September 27, 2023


Arts Eternal

Malaysian sculptor’s new series connects art, healing and music

Modern artist James Seet’s newest ceramics job is as substantially a feast for the eyes as it is for the soul. An workout in bringing therapeutic by the arts, these ceramic parts double as wind and percussion instruments that will be employed in audio performances during the exhibition operate at APW Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur from Feb 26 to March 13.

With around 20 years of expertise with sculpture perform and ceramics, Seet has experienced a variety of assignments beneath his belt, such as Tanahair, a floating ceramic installation on a lake in Johor, and a general public artwork set up for an recognition campaign towards domestic violence for Women’s Aid Organisation in Kuala Lumpur a couple a long time in the past.

In 2020, he experienced a solo exhibition, Wobbly Sabi, at Richard Koh Great Art in Kuala Lumpur.

His very first solo present, a collaboration involving Richard Koh High-quality Artwork and The Back again Home, was held at Zhongshan Constructing in Kuala Lumpur, in 2019.

In a significant publish-pandemic outing, Seet’s approaching show re:sonance, comprising an exhibition, ceramic workshops and new music performances, is the 1st in which tunes normally takes on this kind of an essential position.

The inspiration for this multi-disciplinary undertaking will come from a motivation to build artwork for the community, with the musical factor serving as a kind of therapeutic remedy.

Seet's 'The Whisperer II' is one of the ceramic wind instruments in his 're:sonance' project. Photo: Wizard PhotogrpahySeet’s ‘The Whisperer II’ is one of the ceramic wind instruments in his ‘re:sonance’ job. Picture: Wizard Photogrpahy

“The thought of an art form to boost a further art kind is intriguing. But most importantly, it promotes group engagement and goes past the operate of artwork to provide a function. New music normally resonates in us and affects us emotionally and mentally. It calms us and it can create positivity and hope, to provide comfort and ease to people today in this chaotic and uncertain time.

“Through this party, I hope the viewers will be recharged and will be inspired to reconnect with themselves and with modern society at big. It is a reminder that we are not alone. By resonating with every other, we are therapeutic our local community,” suggests Seet, 52, in a modern interview.

The creations in this body of work are dependent on styles from mother nature, from seeds to fungi and vines.

There are percussion devices, exactly where audio is manufactured when they are struck and wind devices which are centered on present devices like the flute, ocarina, didgeridoo and horn.

There is also a piece where by Seet explores hydraulics in which audio is developed when water is pressured to exit by holes in the instrument.

Seet's 'The Didg' is fashioned after vines and roots, following the undulation of the natural world. Photo: Wizard PhotographySeet’s ‘The Didg’ is fashioned following vines and roots, adhering to the undulation of the all-natural globe. Photograph: Wizard Pictures

HaBa, the musical duo of Thong Yoong How and Kent Lee, will be earning songs with these ceramic pieces in a collection of on-web site performances.

Other performers – dancers, guitarists, flautists and singers (Aiwei Foo, Blue Monk, Buddha Conquer, FrhythmS Percussion, Teebai, Winnie Xuan, Syamil Norzalahuddin and YS Tang) – will also “intervene” and engage with the ceramic operates with improvised music and movements.

“It is about conveying the idea of resonance to the audience, where artists of diverse disciplines can interact with the music. Nothing in this article is rehearsed, which retains it natural. At times we are trapped inside of our confines of custom and familiarity. What this aims to do is open up up opportunities,” adds Seet.

This artwork occasion is supported by The Malaysian Creative Marketplace Stimulus Bundle (Prisma), MyCreative Ventures and the Cultural Financial state Development Agency (Cendana).

Remaining grounded

Seet’s adore affair with creating issues with his hands started with plasticine through his school times, followed by paper clay and polymer clay, before his ceramics of today.

“I get the job done with clay as it necessitates me to perform with my hands. It is a way for me to reconnect with the earth and floor me with its healing and regenerative vibrations. I can touch, see, experience, and just about taste it. I really like the procedures with ceramics, there is constantly a little something new to study – both a technique or an ingredient to make appealing results. I am fascinated with geology, chemistry and the science concerned in the course of action,” he says.

Fuelled by a sense of wonder for nature, Seet draws inspiration from his observations and incorporates different shapes and textures into his ceramic works. Photo: Douglas HoFuelled by a perception of wonder for mother nature, Seet draws inspiration from his observations and incorporates different designs and textures into his ceramic operates. Photo: Douglas Ho

His ceramic will work in re:sonance have diverse markings and colours on their surfaces.

A lot like looking at designs in clouds, just one can effortlessly place motifs resembling vegetation, flowers and the nebula on these pieces.

They are all aesthetically satisfying, but a significant portion of the enjoyable for Seet is that few are predictable results.

The different markings on the clay surface area are accomplished with glazes blended with wooden ash, and through carbon trapping, where organic and natural subject such as dried banana peel, corn husk, bouquets, oats, paper and minerals like salt, copper carbonate and copper wire are wrapped close to the clay piece and wrapped in aluminium foil before firing.

This produces soot that is trapped on the area of the clay, forming an impact.

Seet's 'The Rattle Drum I', inspired by the shape of seeds and mushrooms, has beads embedded within its outer circumference. Photo: Wizard PhotographySeet’s ‘The Rattle Drum I’, motivated by the condition of seeds and mushrooms, has beads embedded within its outer circumference. Photo: Wizard Pictures

“The colours are delicate and can only be seen when in comparison with other parts of the work. It is unpredictable and I have no management around it, that is the magnificence of it. And I enjoy the ‘unboxing’ aspect, mainly because I am however pleasantly stunned just about every time. I also enjoy that I will under no circumstances be capable to develop the exact piece accurately as each individual piece is exceptional,” he claims.

Seet finds it extremely therapeutic on the wheel and he notes that pottery has a way of instructing endurance, acceptance and perseverance.

His tips to those new to this is to stick with it for a while.

“If you simply cannot grasp the initial time, don’t give up, if you never get the outcomes pictured in your mind, don’t give up and if it doesn’t go your way, try out, attempt yet again. As soon as you have handed this stage, you will begin to enjoy it. I am presently exploring other materials such as wood and glass, but I will never ever end using clay,” he claims.

'The Swirls' wind instrument is inspired by the twirls of vines and the writhing movements of the earthworm. Photo: Wizard Photography‘The Swirls’ wind instrument is motivated by the twirls of vines and the writhing movements of the earthworm. Photo: Wizard Images

Seet will be conducting the ceramic workshops that are free and open up to users of the general public of all ages. Each participant will be offered a compact piece of clay to make their very own art piece.

This will be fired and employed as section of a wall art installation at a afterwards date.

re:sonance is inspired by the magnificence that exists in character, that is typically unseen by us in our rush to get on with our now ‘new normal’ life of stress, chaos and the not known.

“The workshop invites the audience to pretty much get in touch with a piece of the earth. Get a deep breath, reconnect with the vibrations of the earth and enable it talk to you. When the installation is established up, they can then locate their get the job done amid other people as a type of re:sonance,” he concludes.

Re:sonance is on at APW Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur, from Feb 26 to March 13. To make an appointment for the ceramics workshop or to check out the audio performances agenda, go to James Seet’s Instagram or Fb.