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baby's first house visit

Ihaven't been updating this blog as Gilles has mentioned. I was so busy with work at Artify and June is a crazy month and somehow I got involved with more than I planned to be. Anyway!

Yesterday, 20th June, I went on my first house visit ever to one of Jeremy's collector's place. Her initials are CL and I don't know how much I should be divulging. She collected one of Jeremy's Terra Sensa foam panels from the 2013 Biennale. Coincidentally, that's also the first of Jeremy's work that I've encountered. Such a nice serendipity, eh?

I've never done a house visit before, and let alone meet a collector in person. Jeremy's in Rajasthan for a residency, but we hadn't gotten around to visit CL since Say Ocean and TAAC Live, so I was to go and document what needs to be done.

It wasn't difficult to find CL's place, but it's in a very quiet neighbourhood with lots of big houses. CL's is one of the most inner houses in the neighbourhood. I walked there all the way and along the way the workers around the place told me which building to go to.

CL's place is really beautiful with a lot of art. I only got to see presumably the living room and the landing. Jeremy's work is right in the middle of the back wall. CL had an air purifier right next to it at the corner, as she pointed out to me later that she kept turned on 24/7. She also kept the windows closed so dust and dirt don't enter the room to pollute the work. She chose a good spot for the foam panel; it fit so well and as she said it makes the room calm and zen.

Basically, the issue of the work is that there's dust on the foam that wouldn't budge. She cleans it gently with a microfibre cloth frequently but the dust still formed. It looks a bit like a very strange and mild sea cucumber and feels like eraser dust from a poor quality eraser, still attached to the eraser.

I don't know a lot about foam, but I believe it is corrosion. The foam Jeremy used is polystyrene foam, and it looks like you know how it looks like beads of white balls smushed together? The edges of the beads are kinda protruding to some degree and catching all the dust. Funny thing is that the underside has those things too.

Jeremy had mentioned using a brush to gently brush it off, but after running through my fingers over the surface, I realised that it would not budge with a mere brush. I suggested that we could get something to sand it down, and hopefully get something light and inconspicuous to coat it with so it's easy to be smoothed down.

I don't know what can protect foam without changing its appearance too much and not melt the foam (chemistry things, such as epoxy etc), but so far I've found this thing called Foam Coat while I'm on a deep dive into Google.

My task list now pertaining to this is to figure out Foam Coat and figure out how to remove the dust. That would warrant a visit to Jeremy's Studio to find a similar material and test on it. I doubt I could find much, because at one point Jeremy was purging his studio and cleaning up. I saw one prototype piece that Jeremy gave Khairi to experiment on and it was so dusty too, but he did clear all the prototypes out.

One interesting thing I learnt was that collectors talk to each other. CL was asking if other collectors had feedback about the same issue. She also said she had another collector over who told her she should clean the piece and get Jeremy to help. His piece was in the gallery or something so he didn't have to worry about it.

She was so kind to give me a lift to the nearest train station and I asked her about how she got to collecting. She said her initial interests were in textiles, then painting, and her husband's interest is in modern ink drawings and paintings. I knew that collectors are one of the big reasons artists are still alive, but I've never heard it from the personal point of view before.

Another funny story that both Jeremy and CL told me was how that piece was not the original one. The movers thought it was packing material (to be fair, it's polystyrene foam after all) and disposed of it, destroyed. The patterns were printed from a digital file of the electromagnetic waves so he got another made from the same file, and the movers paid for the re-production. CL told me that she came back to the living room that day and cried about it. It's heartwarming to see someone care so much about the work. Jeremy told me the current one is an imposter, I told him it's a rebirth.

Anyway this has been long enough. I'm gonna have to fill in the Say Ocean bits that I've done before, and the rest of the stuff I've been up to and am preparing. Here's a lowdown:

- Prepare studio for visit from NY gallery in August

- In general, clean the studio up a bit and reset the furniture to pre-gig status

- Another house visit next week, but not a house since it's at NUS

- Rajasthan insurance claim because the flight didn't connect and Jeremy was delayed in Delhi (haha. Delhayed hahaha)

- Say Ocean deinstallation

- Gearing up for Tainan show

Okie dokie that is all for now. I'll have to upload the photos from my phone because the laptop can't read HEIC and I'm too potatoes to figure it out. Good night!

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