The Municipal Galleries are pleased to present Sem pressa de chegar [In no hurry to arrive] by Sara Chang Yan at the Boavista Gallery. The exhibition has been curated by Sara Antónia Matos and Pedro Faro. The title ‘Sem pressa de chegar’ is a phrase taken from a sound piece by Sara Chang Yan in the exhibition and which serves as the basis for thinking about how the artist has worked with the space and time of drawing in contemporary artistic practice. Her work attempts to divert our focus towards what is contained in each line, incision, mark and reflection. Thus, it could be said that her work and modus operandi involves a kind of slowing down in relation to reality. In no hurry to arrive at anything in particular?
Working with drawing in different mediums – on paper, video, with sound, on the wall and within the space, often in the form of installations – the artist explores the representation and presence of subtle elements such as light, shadows, transparency and opacity, the intensity of things and not just the things themselves. Could her works be considered energetic equations of space?
Sara Chang Yan draws space rather than objects. In the words of the artist: ‘When I look at the world, I don’t feel like it’s enough. There must be more than this. I’m interested in the qualitative aspect of the gesture.’ The works thus aim to capture the internal quality that motivates them, that gives them life. ‘I think that life unfolds in states that are neither visible nor material’. The artist examines how the internal state within each one of us can affect reality. From an ontological perspective, her drawings seek to understand or give form to the often-invisible complex of structure-movement-vibration, looking at states and notions such as: intuition, intention, emptiness, consciousness, evidence, being.
Each of Sara Chang Yan’s stems from the interstices between the visible and invisible, the material and immaterial, the tangible and the infinite. Each drawing produces evidence and creates moments of awareness, not so much of shape or representation of objects, but rather of the qualities, internal properties, movements and vibrations which come before form. Perhaps what interests her comes before thought…
In Sara Chang Yan’s drawings, at a certain point, a range of gestures on paper began to appear: cuts, reliefs, as well as dense and translucent layers. The drawings came off the paper, the wall, and were put in space – as if acquiring the quality of an energetic equation, thus testing the viewer’s resistance towards their immateriality – towards this near void, almost nonexistence – and the slowdown imposed by the drawing.
Sara Antónia Matos and Pedro Faro