"As Vast As Night and Light"- An Interview with Artist Sean Tseng
採訪編輯 Editor｜Joanne Hsieh
翻譯 Translation｜Joanne Hsieh
文＋圖 Image Courtesy｜曾彥翔 Sean Tseng
Please tell us where you’re from (or where you’re based), what it’s like and any personal favorite spots you’d recommend for visitors?
I currently live in Taiwan, I go back and forth between Taipei and Taoyuan for work. Taipei is exuberant and busy but you can easily find a quiet and relaxing spot in thr city. Taoyuan is crowded and energetic. For personal favorite art-related spaces, I recommend TKG+, THE HALL, and Taipei Fine Art Museum. For traveling, I love visiting Orchid Island.
What’s your current studio/work/life situation?
partner Sara 討論成立藝術實驗空間的可能。
Currently, I spend my time between making art, taking classes, part-time jobs, traveling, reading, organizing my studio and living space, sourcing art news. Me and my partner Sara have been in discussions about opening a artist-run studio space.
How would you describe your work to a stranger who’s never seen your work?
Most of the time I like to ask the viewer what they see-- some are naturally drawn to the objects themselves by their specific shapes, colors or materials; some viewers make immediate associations to an imagery, a scenery or a specific feeling generated by the rhythm or weight created by the installation as an entirety. I would then share my process of creating the work, and my observations of the finished work. Allowing the viewer to have their own interpretations while giving them clues is an art I'm still trying to master.
What do you wish the viewer to take away from your work without prior
understanding to your practice?
I've always been open-minded to how the viewer interpret and interact with my work. Personally, I would approach my work first through the shape, color or medium of each object, and through the sounds as well. Then gradually taking in how each object interacts within the space, the relationship between each object and the viewer themselves. Simply put, I wish the viewer can completely immerse themselves in the space that I create.
Could you tell us about your educational background and why you decided to make art?
I obtained a B.A. in advertising from the college of communication at National Chengchi University (Taiwan), followed by an MFA from the Royal College of Art in 2022. Many years ago, I took interest in painting and took classes at an art studio, also started taking photographs wherever I go. My painting instructor at the time and professors at college inspired me to dive into philosophy and sociology literature, I started asking myself, "What are the pictures I'm taking? What am I painting? How do I perceive/observe?" Eventually I started making 3-dimensional works and creating "spaces". With many questions still, my curiosity carried me to where I'm at today.
What inspires your aesthetic choices?
I enjoy laying on the beach, soaking up the warmth of sun and feeling the gentle breeze on my skin. I like observing light and the shadow that it casts, I enjoy literature on philosophy and aesthetics. I love traveling. These are what inspire my aesthetic choices.
What is your favorite medium to work with?
It's difficult for me to pick just one medium, but I would say photography. I'm familiar with it and I'm fascinated by the process of translating an image from real life to a different form.
What’s your favorite body of work created by another artist?
Sean：李禹煥，凱西．威爾克斯（b. 1966, 北愛爾蘭藝術家）以及奧拉維爾．埃利亞松（b. 1967, 丹麥裔冰島籍藝術家）。
Lee Ufan, Cathy Wilkes, Olafur Eliasson.
Who inspire you? Who are some of your favorite writers, artists or musicians?
Sean：李禹煥，克勞德．德布西，約翰．凱吉，莫里斯．梅洛-龐蒂（b. 1908, 法國哲學家），以及我以前畫室的廖進祥老師。
Lee Ufan, Claude Debussy, John Cage, Merleau Ponty and my painting instructor Mr. Liao Jing-hsiang.
Do you collect anything?
I like taking pictures while wandering around, collecting imageries as a way to cultivate how I "see" things. During travels, I would buy a magnet from each place before the journey ends.
What was your favorite activity as a child and is it relevant to your work as an
As a kid I was always very excited about traveling, which also made me become very interested in reading books about traveling. I told myself that I must travel solo when I grow up. With that mindset, during college, I started working part-time jobs just to save money for travels. The things I saw and people I met during my travels provided me tons of inspirations for my art. I enjoy the kind of excitement and the slight nervousness you get while traveling, it stimulates my senses and makes me pay more attention to details.
Can you recommend us a documentary or a book (s)?
The Big Blue (1988) & The King of Adventure (2009).
What are your goals for the next 5-10 years?
I thought long and hard about what I expect of myself and came to the conclusion that, instead of focusing on meeting deadlines and completing projects, I want to focus more on honing and establishing an ideal lifestyle -- maybe I'm a romantic, I just want to enjoy the moment and be present. With all the experiences and memories that I have, I will carry them and move forward with an open mind. I wish myself to stay hungry and curious and continue exploring the world, to always be true to myself and cherish every encounter. Keep working and creating, keep an open mind and the ability to critical thinking, and be self aware. I'm not so sure how to actually achieve all this, but as long as I give 100 percent to whatever I'm working on, and be spontaneous, I'm sure life will bring pleasant surprises.
Special thanks to Sean Tseng.
曾彥翔（b. 1995, 台北）畢業於英國皇家藝術學院雕塑學系碩士、國立政治大學廣告學系學士，現居台北。創作媒材常交錯使用工業材料如水泥、金屬和自然中採集的石頭、樹枝、水等，探尋材料之間的互動，並在空間意象中層層疊出韻律,探索感知的深度。作品結合裝置、影像與物件，注重物質相遇時的可能、狀態與韻律，並以身體及感知為藝術實踐之核心。作品曾多次展出於臺灣、⻄班牙、英國、中國。近年與臺灣藝術家吳依宣籌辦以「空間」為研究核心的藝術家線上交流平台 ss space space。
Sean Tseng (b. 1995, Taipei) holds an MFA from Royal College of Arts and currently lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan. Tseng primarily works in installation and photography. Through the use of a mix of natural and man-made materials, his site-specific installations explore the rhythm and subtleties in landscape, while investigating the relationship between urban and natural landscapes, allowing the viewer to immerse in these spaces that he creates. Tseng has shown in Taiwan, Spain, Great Britain and China. He is the co-founder of a research-based and artist-centered platform "ss space space" with artist Sara Wu.