Ting Cheng

By CREAM ATHENS    |     February 2021 

Ting Cheng © courtesy of the artist

What do we need to know about the work you are exhibiting at Not Applicable?

Little Odd Things is a project that uses photography and sculpture to highlight and rediscover the diversity and uniqueness in daily life. I hope to give commonly neglected things like misshapen vegetables, everyday disposable items and unappreciated objects I found at flea markets, an elevated position and the possibility of being re-seen. Before this project, my main medium was photography, I really enjoy capturing my ideas through a camera lens. However, during the process of making Little Odd Things , I fell in love with the sensation of touching the objects and was inspired to attempt not only to photograph them, but also to preserve them through sculpture. Also the pace of creating the art is totally different from photography. The time I spent on sanding and polishing the materials whilst casting and sculpting, it’s like a new form of meditation for me.

How do you interpret the term ‘Not Applicable’? 

Not Applicable (N/A ):  Used on a form when you cannot give a relevant answer to a question.

For example:

Q: What’s the latest lipstick colour trend?

A: Not applicable.

Q: How’s your new swimming costume?

A: Not applicable.

Q: Free Hugs anyone?

A: Not applicable.

Q: When will the pandemic end?

A: Not applicable.

Q: When can we take off our masks and exchange our chewing gum?

A: Not applicable.

How do you choose the themes in your works?

All my work is related to my personal life, experiences and my current state of mind. Of late, like many people environmental issues and what we consume keeps me thinking.

How is an artist copping through the Pandemic?

Trying to survive during a pandemic as an artist is difficult (as it is for many other fields), but I am appreciative of having a chance to slow down, look back at what I’ve done, and make plans for the future.

Are there any strong realisations during the pandemic?

I’m from Taiwan, it normally takes 14 hours to fly back home to visit my family, however because of the pandemic it’s taken a year and I still haven’t got there! I’ve been thinking a lot about home... and the distance .. and how now the planes have gone, 6076 miles is a very long way. I find myself trying to recreate all the things I miss...the smell, the taste, the texture of food.

I’ve been trying different ways to build the connection with other people who're also feeling homesick on different online platforms, singing karaoke, cooking together, and exchanging 10 mins Food Hack ideas about how to turn English supermarket food into niche Taiwanese Cuisine within 10 mins….!

Ting Cheng © courtesy of the artist

What has changed in your life to the good during the pandemic?

Because we are not able to see friends, nor hangout normally, the pandemic makes us think who’s necessary and important to stick together, who’s your support bubble. On the other hand it gives us a chance to build a really intimate relationship with someone you really care about.

What do we need to know about you that we don’t already?

My birthday is the same date as Sailor Moon (the Japanese cartoon in the 90s) . I was really proud of it at the age of ten.

What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?

Earthquakes and typhoons, I grew up on the 15th floor of a tower block in Taipei. Typhoons come and go every summer and earthquakes are just really unpredictable. I can still remember the feeling, the sensation during earthquakes and the sounds of the typhoons outside the window. The fear of not being able to use the lift during the earthquake, and numerous dreams about walking up and down the staircase, trying to find the right way out. When I first moved to London, I would get anxious if I saw something fragile ( like ceramics, glasses ... ) on the shelf without any secure support or protection! 

Which artists have been your big influences?

I don’t know about influences, but I love Pina Bausch a lot. I love how she broke down the boundaries from traditional and contemporary dance, melting the movement, narrative, music together into the performances. Her work reflects human lives, feelings and relationships, it’s really witty and humorous, but also shows the struggles and tragedy at the same time. What I love most about her is how she celebrates uniqueness and imperfections in individuals by choosing dancers from all around the world, with different ages, races and body shapes. She just gives me limitless inspiration.

Teach us something we don’t know

Humans share about 50% of their DNA with bananas.

Ting Cheng © courtesy of the artist

See more work ting-cheng.com

Follow on Instagram @floatingting

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