Originally published by the San Antonio Current.
When I sit down with Hong Kong-based artist Pak Sheung Chuen, he opens a small black notebook filled with scrawled Chinese script and abstract drawings, produced while exploring San Antonio over the past three weeks. “That is the record of this kind of writing I do every day. The first part of the creation process is doing this,” he says. It is the source material for his exhibition set to open July 11 at Artpace, as part of the acclaimed Artpace International Artist-in-Residence program. Pak will also create four pieces for the Current, published in four consecutive issues beginning with this one.
“The first thing I do is explore the city by random, to see what is the thing that is most interesting,” Pak explains. “For example, this time I am in Tokyo, and I find this book, this map. It’s very interesting, because it is small and when you open it, in the middle there’s always some places missing.” He points to a photo of the map book, where the binding conceals parts of the map. “How can you have it like that? If I live in there, and I tell my friend [laughs]…. So, it gives me a very strong inspiration, and then I make a structure.” Pak traveled along the map crease, visiting all those places that the binding hides, taking photographs while there with himself in the center of each image. Finally, he had the photographs bound into a book, so that part of his body is hidden in the binding.