YS: Tell me about your practice.
Chee Wai: Like I mentioned, now I’m in transition between just doing a performance and the state of adding new elements to my performance. Because I’m getting really bored just sitting right in front and giving myself that podium to create sound that sound if it doesn’t really have much of a meaning. I just start to lose interest. I mean, I’m not siding with anybody, but this is just my new method of work which I find has not been ventured into in Asia yet. It’s a fine distinction between a sound artist and an artist working with sound, but both things are very different - now I’m beginning to see sound more as a tool for expressing concepts, for expressing ideas.
YS: How has FCP been for you so far, then?
Chee Wai: Good good. Like I was telling KS last night, it has transformed my way of presentation, Because I’ve always been questioning myself about this and it has now given me an opportunity to present my work this way and think about sound really much more. Conceptual sound. I was saying.
YS: Which artists do you feel you’ve bonded with the most?
Chee Wai: Definitely Meg. Meg Stuart. Tiffany as well. Naeem. Of course, for Meg, it’s because we improvised together for the presentation. I found that the I discovered a sense of improvisational language which doesn’t really get fixed on a particular genre. The improvisational language comes from the conversations, dialogues and mindsets, and how similar or dissimilar two persons are. Tadasu as well – Takamine. Because we just go drinking.
YS: Tell me about Tom Waits For Nobody.
Chee Wai: Tom Waits For Nobody is an ongoing thing. As you know it’s a project that I do with Zai [Kuning] and Leslie [Low[. And it’s toured to Russia and we did a show in Singapore not too long ago and we’re hoping to do more shows overseas. And the idea builds on itself. Because every time we present it’s different, but we might be adding more things in, we might be adding more instruments into it, but the base is ourselves.
YS: And what about the pan-Asian sound art collective you helped to found, Hadaka?
Chee Wai: For Hadaka I might be taking a break. I initiated the collective of Asian artists. But it was something Otomo Yoshide wanted to do for more than 10 years, in fa ct more than 15 years. But it’s been done and now that’ it’s been initiated and it’s had a first meeting, he wants to carry it on. So I’ve passed on the responsibility to him and Dixon from Hong Kong. So next year we’ll most likely be going to Japan, all of us, in October. And Dickson Dee is trying to do a similar thing in Beijing.
YS: Which countries are represented?
Chee Wai: All across – there’s Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore,
YS: Not Malaysia?
Chee Wai: No. I invited them down but they didn’t really respond.
YS: How did you make all thes econtacts?
Chee Wai: Through word of mouth, through fiends’ friends and for Dickson it’s not his first time in Singapore - I’ve done a show with him before. Otomo was actually in the year 2000 Flying Circus Project, but I knew him through Dickson. And the Indonesian guy as a contact through Ka Fai, and the Korean guy, I met him in Seoul. He’s in the same circuit. We were very shocked we ended up knowing each other.
And Nhat Than, the Vietnamese guy - I floated his name up for the Asian arts mart. Before that we were already in correspondence, because he and other sound artist in Hanoi - Huong - we’d already been in conversation for a while, because he wanted to collaborate with me for an ANA project.
YS: What have you got planned for the future?
I’m supposed to do two solo shows next year but I’m not sure if I have time next year. But right now I’m working with a single curator, so the curator will curate me for a single project. Also touring with Tom Waits and the Asian collective. I’m supposed to also do a solo show - something in terms of installation-based materials. I want to break out of the gallery framing. So it’s more of fusing my ideas about conceptual and invisible sound and all that into my installation works. Which will be more public art based. Ahh… I can’t unveil or reveal anything here. Don’t know.