Studio Conversations: Zhang Fuming, Singapore

Leica M Monochrom/ 50mm Summilux v.2

I am always drawn with images that embodies ambiguity. Perhaps it speaks of how it parallels with my life experiences and the nature of sound which generally presents abstractions.  

 I regard artist studios as sacred spaces, a space to detach oneself from realities and translate imaginations into tangible forms. In this space I learn and understand about the tools, materials,  processes,  specific approaches and preferences of an artist. 

To date, Fuming is among the few active local print makers in Singapore. 

I relate to Fuming's approach of not talking much details of his works. Similarly, I want listeners of my music compositions interpret what they hear and relate it within their personal context.  It reminds me of Pierre Boulez's saying "if you can describe music (sound) exactly, you might as well write poetry". 

A closer look of the woodblock suggests how gestures create contrasts and textures. In this case, the artist has to imagine from the opposite perspective as the final image will be transferred by pressing the paper on to the woodblock.

A repurposed tool for pressing the paper against the woodblock.

Fuming was kind enough to show his previous works. We shared about how people's perspectives change over time. Somehow we are moulded by our personal experiences and it is interesting to discover new details from a work we previously saw, heard or experienced. I find it personally similar when I re-listen at my own music or other composer's works at different points of time. 

The artist shared his thoughts about a specific approach he learned from the past and how it doesn't align with his preferences. These small prints from a Japanese technique shows the detailed changes and process before coming with a final print. 

Sketches hanging on the studio wall (pressing equipment below). 

I would like to thank Fuming for this memorable visit and Peilin from Art Commune/ AC43 Gallery in Singapore for arranging a visit at Fuming's studio located at the Goodman Arts Center (28 September 2020).

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