Tuan Mami’s artwork Physicality is based on his research at an abandoned Pharmaceutical Factory II, formerly the Army Medical Department Pharmaceutical Factory. The permeation of perennial chemicals at the old factory where pharmaceuticals used to be produced creates a unique environment there, with medicines deeply ingrained in the humid walls, creating a haunting feeling that echoes life, death and the invisible existence of the physical world.
To create the artwork, Mami collected the perennial chemical plaster from the wall, mixed it with new soil, and planted different types of cacti in the mix, taking advice from a cacti expert on which types of cacti will be suitable to grow in that mix. Through the retention and transformation of material, the material itself becomes a historical existence – a haunting memory, and a new story has begun. The new faith in a physical world gradually transforms into a belief, an obsession with the natural law of reincarnation, despite what we want or do not want to accept about the past and present.
Mami states: “As an artist, my interest lies in engaging in ongoing experiments as means to creating and exploring new conceptions of interaction and exchange. My works often present a view in form like two sides of a coin; one, analyzing the condition of our encounters with each other, which often is a critique of the present state of society; the other, responding to and attempting to shift or change current forms of relation. My work deals with questions about life, meaning and social interactions between people. I re-construct a situation into which I engage people or objects from particular reality to enter and involve with me in a social process. “Art is like a game” which transforms one thing into another whether it deals with a big issue or a neglected one. What is life? What is art? What is the artwork? Who is the artist? … I consider doing art as a way of challenging perception, to work with and follow the fast changes in life. I challenge myself to see other sides of things and find relationships between life and art. My works are site-specific, and re-constructional concept. I’m influenced by reality and I question it: What should we think to fit ourselves into the whole? I want to reconstruct a complex correlation between human desire and natural resource”.
To find out more about the artist and his work, please visit: www.tuanmami.com
Mami’s Physicality can now be visited on the top floor of the Administrative Block at Renaissance, where the installation is on show from 08 February 2018.