I want you to know that I am hiding something from you

2011
Tracing paper, ink, printing medium
Dimensions variable

The textures of peeling paint, with its simultaneous accumulation and decomposition of layers, speak to the underlying tension between creating and destroying. Each painstaking process in the making of this work is the visual exploration of this complex fragility. The relationships between these elements precariously balance that which is absent with that which is present.

A mixed media installation as part of P L A C E: A Collaborative Art Showcase, the forms were inspired by peeling paint around the Katong neighbourhood where the exhibition took place. In addition, its two panels mirrored the two windows in the exhibition space. Three layers of mark-making interlock in positive and negative space: 1) acetone transfer of black-and-white photocopies, 2) screen printing in translucent printing medium using hand-cut stencils, and 3) tiny holes pierced using needles.

The title is a phrase from A Lover's Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes, in the chapter entitled ‘Dark Glasses – cacher / to hide’ – “Yet to hide a passion totally (or even to hide, more simply, its excess) is inconceivable: not because the human subject is too weak, but because passion is in essence made to be seen: the hiding must be seen: I want you to know that I am hiding something from you, that is the active paradox I must resolve: at one and the same time it must be known and not known: I want you to know that I don’t show my feelings: that is the message I address to the other.” [emphasis mine]