Towards All & Nothing
‘Towards All & Nothing’ was created in 2019 by Bettina Fung | 馮允珊 as an artistic response to the exhibition, Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination-Repetition, co-curated by Hammad Nasar and Kate Jesson. It was presented as part of Asia-Art-Activism’s ‘Being Present’, a performance programme at Manchester Art Gallery on 6 March 2019 and was translated into the digital version ‘26×2=0’ for the British Art Studies journal (Issue 13) in the same year.
‘Towards All & Nothing’ is fundamentally a work about remembering and came out of Fung’s research on the life and work of Li Yuan-Chia.
It was also performed at:
SEA Currents Festival, Raven Row, London, UK on 8 March 2019
Young Blood Initiative’s The Infinite Wheel of Time exhibition, London, UK on 6 July 2019
Eastside Projects, Birmingham, UK on 2 August 2019
ACTION: The artist continuously draws a large circle around her with graphite in one movement and subsequently erases it, on a large piece of paper held down by rocks. She does this 26 times after which she gathers the rubber shavings with a brush to form a point on the spot where the centre of the circle once was.
Using the simple gestures of drawing and erasing, the artist contemplates on legacy and disappearance, the significance of holding on to and letting go of, what remains and what is lost. This work is a tribute to the artists Li Yuan-Chia, drawing from his life, his concept of all and nothing and the point as the origin and end of creation. Each circle marks a year of Li’s life spent in Cumbria, where he remained until his death in 1994. The repetitive action enables a kind of remembering, remembering Li Yuan-Chia, connecting to him in another point in time.
Photographic Documentation: 6 March 2019
Photography by Andrew Brooks, courtesy of Manchester Art Gallery.
’26 x 2 = 0′ (digital translation)
’26×2=0′ is a digital translation of ‘Towards All & Nothing’. It was created as a cover collaboration for the online British Art Studies journal Issue 13 in 2019.
’26×2=0′ comprises an edited audio recording of the performed action, an imagined conversation between Fung and Li Yuan-Chia created in the form of a digital zine and an animated GIF. In contrast to the ephemeral nature of live art, this digital version highlighted the always present and always ready nature that cyberspace brings.
At another point in space and time…
As the opening event for ‘Till We Meet Again IRL, Best Wishes, Asia-Art-Activism’, Fung reimagined ‘Towards All & Nothing’ into a new live art piece ‘Towards All & Nothing (in reflection)’ that took place entirely in Google Docs on 29 October 2020. As the original performance drawing, this work continues to contemplate on the idea of legacy and disappearance but from an online perspective and explores the sense of liveness and connectedness in cyberspace.
The Google Docs document, in which the performance took place, is available for viewing here.
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