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Creating a collaborative artwork (Part 2)

After months of planning and decision-making with my client, the proposed collaborative artwork slowly came into fruition. The idea literally sprung out of a brainstorming session with me and the client where we had a literal eureka moment to envision what the artwork was going to be. I liked how as an artist, it didn’t always had to be me directing the vision but rather, a natural consensus to an idea which I actually think would be great too!

But first, we had to have a participatory element in the work in order to make it meaningful and relatable to the employees and company. Taking advantage of the much awaited D&D for the company, we had the company employees set aside some time to design some of the components in the artwork aside from their door gifts. Everyone was puzzled as to what this was going to result in as it felt very abstract at the beginning. Well, it was quite mind boggling to understand how this could be anything at all. But I knew they would be in for a surprise at the end.

<Photo of marbled blocks>

I spent about 3 weeks putting the whole artwork together, meticulously measuring and gluing the individual pieces down. It took longer than I thought when the hours flew by, making sure everything was in the right position before doing the next part. The artwork was made from over 200 pieces of hand-marbled blocks that were coloured in different tones which resonated with the company’s brand identity. I loved how the free spirited lines of the water marbling design juxtaposed with the hard edges of the pine wood blocks, creating a very tactile perception to the work. It was exciting working on the piece day by day, seeing it through to the end.

Alas, it was time to hang the piece on the office wall. The artwork had to be strung on wire and suspended against the wall partition board in order to display it. Hence, the artwork had to be as light as possible but the sheer size and quantity of blocks made it rather challenging. Working on it in my studio up close, it was hard to imagine how it would look like on the wall but seeing it in the actual space was such a surreal experience. From a rough sketch on paper to a computer illustration and then to the actual material, I pride myself for being able to create something as what I had envision it to be.

“The GB lightbulb”

Comprising of over 200 pieces of wooden blocks marbled by employees of Groz-Beckert, the artwork is a symphony of colour and precision. With the formation of a lightbulb, illuminating the company along the path of its vision and motto for the future. I really enjoyed working on this project because not only was it something I have never attempted before, the collaborative component in the whole process with the company made it very meaningful. Often as artists, we work as solo individuals with our own personal bias and beliefs which can often become too comfortable. Doing something out of the box and be open to new ideas is always challenging but it is definitely worth it.


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