Interview with Spime for ‘Fish Out of Filtered Water’ | Exhibition July 8 – July 29, 2023

Thinkspace is excited to present Spime ‘Fish Out of Filtered Water,’ where she marks the inception of an idea with the inclusion of works on paper. For Spime, fragmented drawings are a reflection of progress in an accelerating society or attention economy. ‘You have to be as fast as possible and as omnipresent as possible,’ she explains. ‘The drawings become a form of subconscious diaries of the everyday psyche, while exercising a sense of letting go of the outcome of work, because to create new ideas means letting go of control.’

Our interview with Spime discusses her rituals, about Taoism, and what collaboration might be piquing her interests.

Can you share a little about your background and how you first heard of Thinkspace?

I was born in Montreal and I moved to Hong Kong when I was 2 and grew up there. I was raised largely in 1990s Hong Kong, post colonialism, and its implications formed the backdrop to my childhood. In 2010,

I moved to Canada to study graphic design at OCAD University.

I first heard of Thinkspace through the gallery’s work with Roby Dwi Antono. As I learned more about Thinkspace, its mission and collaborations really resonated with me.

What was the inspiration behind this body of work? What was the most challenging piece?

This work is a continuation of my ongoing exploration of the diasporic experience. I am interested in creating a world of characters and stories that reflect the not so obvious parts about being a third culture kid, a world that mirrors the everyday life of someone who embodies more than one place to call home.

During the preparation for this show, I moved around the world—from Hong Kong, to Toronto, and to NYC. During this time, I needed to express my work in a more flexible medium, which is when I started developing the works on paper (entitled “Figure Studies 1, 2, 3, 4”). These were some of the most challenging pieces, not only because I worked on them across the world, but also because it represented a sense of surrender and vulnerability. In many ways, the works on paper are more authentic to my creative process, because the drawings on paper mark the inception of larger ideas about the work as a whole.

Do you have any rituals that help you tap into a creative flow?

I like to start my day with grounding activities, like drawing on a smaller scale, or experimenting with a different medium. Without needing to formalise the work, it takes the pressure off from completing the larger works that are designed for a particular show/project. The warm up usually takes up to an hour long, then the rest of the day is spent very strategically around the next big project.

What are your thoughts on people having auras? And have you ever had your aura read?

I have never had my aura read yet. But if I were to explain what auras are to a 5 year old, I would say it means the relationship between people, the environment, and sentient beings and how those relationships change over time. Sometimes you have incredible conversations with others which open up completely new worlds for you and you suddenly see things differently. It gives you energy.

How do you practice the act of surrender(ing) in your life? When do you realize you might be trying to hold too tightly to a sense of control?

I practice surrendering in my artistic practice.

I believe as artists you are constantly striving for a kind of beauty in your work, but the phenomena of beauty often appears when you least expect it. So when I notice that I am trying to aim for perfection in my work, that’s usually a sign for me to surrender and let go. Because perfection doesn’t exist, but perfectionism—a false sense of control—exists.

In Taoism, there’s a concept of Wu Wei, which literally translates to no action. That concept resonates with me, particularly if I’m responding to an experience of perfectionism and control.

If you could collaborate with any artists in any sort of medium (i.e. movies, music, painting) who would you collaborate with, and what would you be making?

I would want to work with an industrial product partner on creating uniquely designed home pieces for the home, whether it’s textile based chairs, couches, structural storage, or decorative lighting, etc.

Exhibition on view July 8 – July 29, 2023 at:
Thinkspace Projects
4207 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90016