Shih Yun Yeo(Singapore) & Katja Pal(Slovenia)
Volume 1 (Singapore Sept 2009)
Volume 2 (Lendava, Slovenia June 2010)
Volume 3 (Singapore Feb 2011)
Separated by ten thousands kilometers, and culture differences between the east and west, there seem to be no common ground for this two artists Shih Yun Yeo and Katja Pal. Shih Yun Yeo was born and lived in Singapore since 1976. Katja Pal on the hand was born in Slovenia and has been living there since 1979. One eventual day in July 2008, Artist Shih Yun Yeo and Katja Pal met in a residency in Lendava. A year later, artist Katja Pal was invited to a residency in Singapore and it was then that their very first collaboration was conceived.
The title of this collaborative project “Zerorize” means to reset something to zero. In this project, these two artists are going back to basics- the raw form of language. Back to the times when language was made up of just signs and symbols.
The strong link between them was the commitment and great passion of the art form, painting in the 21st century when the trend is do create videos and installations. There is no big philosophy behind their collaborative paintings, no hidden messages. They are not out to change the world. In their own quiet ways, their collaboration can be seen as a pure cohabitation of two souls.
In a way, it is not even a collaboration; their styles merged during their painting process, one cannot tell the authorship of the marks made on the canvases. They do not know beforehand how the painting will look in the end. When either one artist poses a question, the other seeks to answer it by marking marks on the canvases. Some kind of communication takes place between the two artists without words. They let the painting grow with the time and stop "talking" (working) when they feel that everything they had wanted to say has been said on the canvases. To them, every line, every mark is a trace unrepeatable; it is an authentic expression of their feelings, as they emerge within a specific time and space.
'To jam' is an expression used by musicians to describe performing together without a set purpose or itinery. a 'jam session' is often between musicians who do not usually play together and just play one-off for the fun of it. Their intent is to make music. A jam session is a musical act where musicians gather and jam without extensive preparation or predefined arrangements; improvisation. This is the same way that these two artists, Shih Yun Yeo and Katja Pal create this collaborative series of paintings. The artists meet together at a proposed place and time and then they 'jam' with brushes, paints..etc instead of musical instruments.
There will be canvases as well as papers on the floor, this specified surfaces are the official record of the jam session. Music is the main catalyst. Music is the voice of the world. It speaks universal tones.
A 512MB RCA mp3 player will be a collaborator in every artjam session. This mp3 player stores songs that both artists love at a specific point in their lives. Each artist has the freedom to delete or add the songs once the mp3 player is in her hands. The mp3 player takes a plane to and fro from Singapore to Lendava. The songs in this mp3 player offers magic, joy and inspiration to each artjam session. We regard this process as conversations. The process of mailing the mp3 player, the distance these songs travel, and the openness of sharing, all become mixed into our various ways of communicating with each other and knowing each other a little better through music. We are interested in using references to daily life. Ordinary and easily recognizable things seem to carry the most meaning and work the best as material for our conversations.
Evidently, it is music that they love, the element of chance and the haphazard nature in which this collaboration is fashioned that makes it impossible to predict exactly where it will go on once it has started. Indeed, this painted surface will outline a hurried aesthetic dialogue between two creative impulses commonly separated by miles and miles of land, but for one session they are bound by a single lapse in space and time. The method of painting involves the willingness to let something become better in ways that we expect and to become better in different or unexpected ways. By working together, we give up control to each other. The reward is uncertainty and surprise. We let the paintings grow, change, drift apart and come together. Randomness cannot be avoided, nor do we want to avoid it.