Remembrance via Dioramas, 2023
Closed-world game series
Chong Yan Chuah's BLOODY MEMORIES, Remembrance via Dioramas is the result of his memory of the domestic spaces he's inhabited and his practice of architectural design. Guests are encouraged to play and engage with his work, a virtual domestic space that redefines the boundaries of what a home can be. Chong Yan says: "Architecture is the purposeful manipulation of space to influence human behaviour and generate cultural meaning. As we begin to live our lives online and design within virtual environments, the idea of 'space' as the physical environment in which we can walk, and touch, might be somewhat limiting. I'll include online space, literary space, and remembered space as powerful territories that increasingly shape our behaviours and cultures. Intervening in these spaces means rearranging the tangled relationships between people, systems, and landscape. Architecture in practice is shaped by human beings in all our complexity and contradiction. Fragmentary desires and competing systems pull the spaces of our existence in all directions."
The game features an elevated compound in an imaginary and virtual world: complete with weather changes, sound, 3D coveted objects appropriated from the internet, references to his own childhood as well as 3D scanned objects from his actual home (bookcases, artwork, ceramic pieces and furniture). The player has access to a first person-view of the space and can choose to explore, run and zoom in on vignettes. The dioramas on the wall are captured from the game, drawn on and stickered with familiar emojis, displayed in a line-snapshots filled with symbols of personhood.
One is reminded of the technologies we use within our homes: our TVs that are increasingly smarter than us, home systems we can talk to, social media and entire virtual worlds of fictional gaming and reality. Social media like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, as Emanuele Coccia explains, are "virtual living rooms that allow us to cohabit with dozens of people, bypassing the experience of the city." These virtual spaces are in essence an extended home-enabling us to live and share with people who aren't family, to mix reality and fiction, to present an image and live in it. Prompting the question: how will our evolving virtual lives shape the physical homes of tomorrow?
Text: Aminah Ibrahim
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BLOODY MEMORIES. Gameplay. O.S.T.
BLOODY MEMORIES. Remembrance via Dioramas, 2023
is located at the Living Room: Memory and the Future of Domesticity.
Open House: Matter(s) of the Heart
by Aminah Ibrahim
..... For us Malaysians, open houses hold profound significance. These festive celebrations are steeped with tradition and welcome family, friends and even new acquaintances.
As with any modern society, the meaning of our domestic spaces has evolved throughout recent history. The pandemic has only accelerated our changing definitions of home- home has become both a space for rest, isolation and protection, and a space for work. It's a place for intimate relationships as well as a base for connecting to wider online social networks. We are, arguably, spending more time at home than ever, transforming it from personal and family sanctuary to a dynamic habitat.
The "Open House" exhibition explores the domestic sphere as an inspirational and aspirational space, offering a closer look at the treasure of everyday. It features works by artists Azzah Sultan, Bayu Utomo Radjikin, Chong Yan Chuah, Fawwaz Sukri, Gan Tee Sheng, James Seet, Nadirah Zakariya, Rami Sani, Umi Baizurah, Yuki Tham as well as works from HARTA's own collection from artists Ahmad Zakii Anwar, Atiqah Khairul Anwar, Ismail Awi, Jalaini Abu Hassan, Lee Long Loo and Yee I-Lann. Employing practices such as oil painting, charcoal, ceramic, weaving, game technology, sculpture, videography, photography and installation, these artists have reimagined our relation to the materials, appliances, technology and themes that surround us in our homes.