• Suspense

    Sophia X. CHANG, "Suspense." Photo: Anita KAN.

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Sophia X. CHANG: Suspense is a recent architectural installation at the INVIVIA Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. . . .

    Allen Sayegh (Co-founder of INVIVIA) and Ingeborg Rocker (Co-founder of Rocker-Lange Architects) curated and sponsored the installation, an unexpected fabric space that manipulates the architectural frame to blur the boundaries between inside and outside and piques the viewers’ awareness of their bodies in space. The softened geometries of this expansive fabric insertion frame both people and their context, while confounding the experience of interior and exterior, wall and room; hiding and revealing places to be found and explored. Upon entering the piece, both occupant and environment are estranged, creating greater awareness of one’s self, one’s relation to others, and relationships to one’s surroundings.

    The installation’s curved rooms are made from Lycra fabric that is suspended between rectangular frames, which capture moments of the original context and pull them into the suspended space. Visitors occupy both sides of the frames, creating playful interaction between those enclosed within the fabric and those outside. Looking around, the smooth fabric surface breaks open to a view of an old stone wall, a glimpse of brick, a stair, or out to the street. The re-captured everyday appears distant and other.

    The installation is conceived as multiple layers of poché. The term commonly refers to the space within walls, here poché receives a more ambiguous reinterpretation: what could be understood as a wall or reminiscent space from one vantage point, becomes an inhabitable room from another. The complexity of the curved forms precludes immediate understanding of the total piece and allows for the visitor’s perception of the space to shift as they continue to discover new places to sit, contemplate, walk, and watch within the gallery. Neighboring wall spaces are activated as people encounter each other through the fabric. The installation is an “open work” (Umberto Eco) as it is not limited to a single reading or a predetermined range of readings but rather encourages multiple readings. With changes of light, occupation, and the flexing of the geometries, new realizations continuously become possible.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    SXC: Andrew Kudless (Matsys), Hiroshi Ishii (Tangible Media Group), Scott Cohen, and Philip Beesley.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    SXC: Listening to Portishead, St. Vincent, and Hooverphonic.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    SXC: Ernesto Neto, OZ Collective, and IK Studio.

    Additional credits and links:

    Installation Design Advisors, Curators, and Sponsors: Allen Sayegh (Co-founder of INVIVIA) and Ingeborg Rocker, PhD. (Co-founder of Rocker-Lange Architects).

    Project Team: Timothy Carey, Paulis Austrins, Hyeyun Jung, Eliana Dotan, Claire Townley, and Eri Yamagata.

    Photos: Anita Kan.

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