Stumbling down a Melbourne laneway, on a still dark night in wintry July this untitled glowing work jumps out at me. It is bold, bright and intriguing. An intertwined pattern that demands attention from me in a jewellery shop window near the iconic cafe Pellegrini’s. Grace Tan is a Kuala Lumpur born Melbournian who has lived and studied in both Rotterdam & New York. She has a degree in Media & Philosophy and hopes to begin a Masters in Urban Planning in 2012 at Melbourne University. She does not claim to be an artist or a designer, though she says she is surrounded by the art world, with a multitude of friend artists whom she regularly assists. This work is Grace’s first piece, it was created in 2010 in response to joining a group exhibition.
Tan says: ‘The piece enquires the idea that “the electric light is pure information” (Marshall McLuhan), existing on a level primordial to any applied meaning or content. Light carries an active presence in itself, prior to our contrivances. In the currency of our situation where binary coding forms the very fabric of our digital age, light as a medium does not require such coding to function, though significantly renders the transition from analogue to digital possible. Instead of an apparent abundance of knowledge and clarity of thought that many futurists had hoped, there is a phenomenal amount of confusion and angst produced from within our so-called Information Age. Such technological optimism is harked by the simplicity and romanticism of neon light, a physical form of the yearning for a sense of purity that no longer seems possible or real.’
Posted by: Rose – NIS Melbourne