I know that you will be creating an installation with lamps and switches, but what will your final piece look like? How will the lamps and switches be presented?
The final outcome of the work depends on what you gather as the viewer. I think that the work has several levels that will present differently to different people. The lamps and switches are just one aspect of the work. But in creating the installation, a series of other works tend to identify the objective of the work. Thus, the work is designed in such a way where, it really depends on the viewer. To the inquisitive, they will see a much more intricate process that weaves to the final outwork, whereas for the ones who aren’t, will picture a totally different final outcome.
Will the public be able to interact with them?
The nature of the work requires exploration. It’s up to the public to be inquisitive and curious enough to venture further from the obvious to see if it’s interactive.
How was the piece conceived, and what were you inspired by?
To be honest, the site itself became the inspiration. The historic heritage of SAM building as an institution played a very significant role in constructing its framework. I would like to bring that essence within the context of this installation, by formulating them in a more modern representation, by the use of lamps and switches. The design is based on how SAM instigates the growth of knowledge and information. And that this form of understanding somehow seemed to make the subject matter clearer by providing answers and results in a way, that ‘enlighten’ us.
What does the title mean or signify?
I’d like to place the title as a prelude to the installation. It beckons questions more than it does answers as it tries to riddle past the mind, and makes one try to understand the meaning of the work.
What is the message that you’re trying to get across with this work?
Like all things, when we uncover a certain information or knowledge, it seemed to enlighten us, to bring ‘light’ to the matter. This is what I’m trying to present, to the public. And that knowledge only comes to those who explore and are interested about the subject matter. Information does not retain with our minds, if we are not keen on its subject matter.
We should not go thru the phase of the forced institution where we are coerced to learn things that we are told is important to us. Knowledge is better received with interest and understanding towards the subject matter. It should not be pressured by the society to uphold, both in economics and financial standing. It should be something worthwhile that drives the human spirit to live their lives.
What was the most valuable thing you feel that you gained from the mentorship? Did it go the way you expected it to?
Interacting with mentors is certainly a great privilege. The dialogue we had certainly helped in the progress of my work, as their advice stems from experience, knowledge and their expertise within the field. The work has since expanded to areas where ideas were never thought upon, but at the same time, re-directing it towards a more concise objective. The supervisor’s role is to challenge your ideas at times to a point of debate, but then you’ll realise that their intent is the same as yours, to iron out the work and make them more effective. They offer on many countless occasions only suggestions, never obligatory decisions.
Ryf Zaini's Unveil the Curtain to the Window with no Ledge is on display at SAM until 15 Sep as part of President's Young Talents.