Unpacking - Take 3
Cicy Sze-Yin Ching
Sculptural Objects & Studio Jewellery
January 11 to 27, 2024
Noon to 5 pm Tues. to Sat.
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 13 2024
Cicy works with finite objects with discrete physical boundaries, and yet her work transports us beyond borders of our lifeworld. Unpacking is what we do in psychotherapy, trying to heal the maladies of the soul, restoring order amidst chaos. Healing is found through her hands transforming inanimate objects into powerful narratives of life. Cicy’s first piece of serious craft is a birthday present for her mom, and her revolt against the encroaching pressure of the market is a line of work for her son. Private? Almost.
The above was written for Cicy’s show Unpacking – mashups, practices, collections 2021. Cicy first explored the idea of unpacking in 2016, which started as a review of her work and her life. The world she lived in was very different. Hong Kong was her hometown. The future she imagined back then was not what her present is now. Transitions make life what it is. We take what life has given us and make them into what we want life to be. Between the given and the made is where life is realized, and where art is found.
The current unpacking that we have the privilege to witness is, according to Cicy, more thorough. We are invited to engage with the key forces that have driven her work, over many transitions. Cicy is always re-reading herself, and such self-exploration unsettles conventional imaginations regarding art and craft. The tension sustains an almost constant apprehension, associated with an artist’s dance with uncertainty when faced with the desired perfection yet to be attained. Cicy discovers the strengths in her own work amidst such anxiety and self-interrogation. Her work evokes but never fits into simple packaged ideas such as environmentalism and upcycling, or confines of a specialized medium, or even themes with both intellectual and aesthetic appeal. No articulation is ever complete, and she is still taking us on this journey, which is her pilgrimage into the core.
Prof. Ka Tat Tsang (December 2023, Toronto)