the conversation between purity and complexity

By Lu Wang

(Audio and Graphic piece will come soon:)

Being in the world, any existence which also includes human nature, are inevitable, perhaps even irresistible begins with purity and then proceeds to complexity.  


Dates back to fifteen years ago, the memory is still fresh as its scent. The smell mixed cestrum nocturnum aromas and the wet soft soil, a very particular smell of summer night for my childhood. I hold a red umbrella, inserted the umbrella handle into the soil which is quite soft after the summer raining, sitting underneath the umbrella, hold my legs with my arms, listened to the sound of rain hit the cover of my red umbrella. Water drops dropped, tic…tic… tic… the gravity pulled down them, then the relatively big raindrops scarred as smaller water drops, stick on the cover of the umbrella. I sat on the ground and breathed quietly, tried to count the number of the raindrops through the sound which came from the vibration between the raindrop and umbrella cover. Gradually it became more fun to capture the smallest raindrop’s dispersive sound. Before they dropped they were unified, as one raindrop, however, at the moment they fell down to the umbrella cover, the unity was broken into innumerable subtle water drops, the existence of the unified raindrop turned into several complex and abstract states. If we define purity and complexity through the number of their compositions, in my childhood, it might be one of the conversations ever happened between purity and complexity, which I perceived them from the sound.
















Suddenly, my mind flew from raindrops counting to another world, a sci-fi story, which I was addicted to at that age. It’s a story about six children with the same age of me, who suddenly are able to fly freely. Although I’m always having the fear of height, the yearning of flying without the auxiliary tool became so strong after I read that book. I was keeping asking myself why I have the desire to fly although I had a mental fear of height. I realized the reason when I gradually grew up, it comes from my deep desire and curiosity on the authentically celestial sound as well as the endless landscape view which I could look at if I’m able to fly into the sky without any external force. Mental fear couldn’t stop being curious. The purity of curiosity has been grown up, shape to a relatively clear understanding of self-consciousness, which is self-consciousness is so complicated that can’t simply be decomposed as one single element.


The slightest thing, the smallest thing kept attracting my attention since childhood. I always believe that curiosity comes from the purity, which we all somehow remain the black slate in our mind, and open to all kinds of possibilities without bias or resistance which brought from cultural influence and educations. The abstract imagination grows from the black slate mind and landed on the complexity which contains the accumulation of educationally concrete thoughts. I’m lucky to have music as my tool to project what I see, I heard, I experienced into the world. The world I felt is constructed by different scales, from the tabula rasa to the accumulated existence, the complexity, which is a division and merger of orders of magnitude, and the Dasein convert concrete observation into an imaginative and abstract expression.


David Kennedy has suggested that in Western Understanding, the childhood appearing as the shadow of enlightened adulthood, I would rather address the word shadow as the intersection or the residue of the contest between purity and complexity. For me, the definition of childhood is not limited to the specific stage of biological species, but the blank slate stage for all kinds of matters, objects, species, and universal progressions. Childhood represents being in a state of initiation on growth, as well as a state which provides the contrast between complexity and maturity. Everything and everyone could have their eternal childhood, no matter about age or time, but the state consists blank slate and the corresponding purity and innocent.


Somehow I always spiritually kept myself in a state of “childhood”, under the secular defined adulthood. I keep been sensitive and innocent, being pure along with ignorant. In the state of immersing myself in the mix of complexity which represents the realistic social rules, and purity which represents a perceptually sensitive blank. This mixture greatly stimulates my creativity and observation of two different characters which are complexity and purity, how did they have the conversation and contest under the whole social structure as well as individually.


As several extreme elements inside my body, extreme rationality and sensibility, extreme purity oriented and complicated, it’s quite necessary to express what I experienced through my ears, my eyes, my body on the understanding of childhood, the pure stage of all existence, convey them through sound and vision. Telling the story about the conversation between purity and complexity through music, visual art, the story of childhood in different species and objects and matters through the combination of my art creations.


Visual arts which including computer graphic or hand drawing will be my whiteboard, the symbol of purity. Since I would like to interpret childhood stage as a more abstract expression which still not fully educated and more intuitive.  Music and sound in terms of the representation of dialectical complexity, which will be my original compositions series and the sound achieve I’m going to collect from different spices and objects, the sound of their childhood stage, the pure stage, and utilize them as elements in my music compositions. Every music and sound piece will have one corresponding visual artworks. The way to present my works could be an installation, performance or Augmented Reality oriented exhibition.


As I mentioned before, the initial stage of things could also be considered as the childhood. New media arts for me is still on the childhood stage now. The production efficiency oriented technology is relatively mature compared with storytelling or humanity evoked oriented technology. And how will the new media art and technology will address the abstract artistic expression? Could I be able to tell different stories with the assist of new media arts technology such as spatial audio, real-time music-visual interaction or augmented reality and immersive sound system?


I would like to launch the conversation between abstract and concrete, purity and complexity, childhood and adulthood, humanity and technology in Alpine through my creation and conversations with other insightful fellows. I always believe that places will gather experiences. So I firmly deem that I will get the most intelligent and pure inspiration rooted in humanity and these conversations will evoke the deepest childhood inside me.

(Child goats from Thailand, recording from my Thai friend Brad Tin, I wrote some code to use sound generates corresponding computer graphic , here is the goats childhood sound and the corresponding images)