Irene Kung interviewed by Ludovico Pratesi (ITA version)
I.K.: First of all I walk around the city without taking pictures. Walking, I feel the atmosphere of the city, I walk around the monuments, I observe the light. Usually there’s a moment when I get to feel the atmosphere of the city and its monuments. That is my starting point. Later on I decide at what time the light helps me to portray a monument the way I perceive it.
I.K.: The choice of subject is essential. A monument, a sculpture, the sea. Everything that surrounds us can inspire a pause for reflection, for meditation.
I.K.: I don’t intend to portray reality. What is important is the state of mind, the thought. When the photo was taken there were people running around the monument, there was motion everywhere. In my work movement and noise disappear into the dark. Everybody is on the run and I stop still.
I.K. Silence and immobility. To stop and see, feel, think and dream. I aim to respond to people’s inner being at this time when our world is rushing towards decline. The void. Unfilled space, the darkness around the subject is more important than the subject itself. Today there is too much of everything around us, and I concentrate on elimination and the creation of voids. Empty space offers the chance of giving time a dimension.
Time out. Wasting time as a response to the capitalist dictum that time is money. The speed of communications may overwhelm us, so we are obliged to be on guard.
The dream. The dream-like aspect of my work is not accidental. Working by intuition I approach the mysterious and essential content of the subject. Daydreaming makes it possible for us to see what’s behind things. We can’t think if we can’t imagine.
Nietzsche considered the dream as an essential part of experience, giving it the same importance as being awake. He compared day-dream thought to the thinking of the human kind when they were just starting out.
I.K.: My quest is focused on the truth in the deepest sense of the meaning. A concept which I cannot express through images unless they reflect a reality, surrounding it with an aura of mystery, of suspension in time and space. I think the artist should give the audience what the audience doesn’t have, and therefore the duty of a contemporary artist is to convey an intimate and positive message that can make people dream.
Says Hölderlin: “ Where the risk grows, there also grows what saves you”.