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Sculptural Poem #3

Empty Time: The Loneliness Epidemic

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project statement

This is a durational site-specific installation comprised of glass vessels arranged to form the phrase "Empty Time." The vessels have been hand-blown and are inspired from ASI's collections. The vessels are filled with colored water to varying levels, and the color saturation of the water is in a gradient. The water is  allowed to evaporate over the duration of the installation. The audience is encouraged to interact with the work by lightly touching the vessels with small bamboo or reed sticks, thus creating sounds, and animating the work as well as the space in which it is installed.

A writer friend once talked about the time that she spends alone writing or not writing, but thinking about her writing, as empty time. As an artist, I can well identify with that state of mind. To me, the phrase Empty Time, is a fragment of a sentence that suggests solitude, even loneliness, and a fugitive feeling about “filling” the time in which one is alone.

In terms of material significance, the fragility of glass is especially appropriate to physically manifest the tenous premise of Empty Time. The liquid in the bowls metaphorically “fills” the time, but also evaporates, thus alluding to the ebb and flow of being “empty” and “filled”. Similarly, the echoes of the sounds produced from the bowls “fill” the empty space momentarily and then return it to silence. The Empty Time work will be a playful, interactive, and experiential installation that will inspire multiple meaning-making possibilities in the viewers.

Empty Time is a continuation in a series of sculptural poems, which are an exercise in paring down to the essentials, to the core, and an attempt at finding the “more in less.” Also suggesting the fractured nature of language, these words are broken or interrupted at seemingly random but very intentional points.

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Many years ago, when I was single, I was having a conversation about this state of loneliness with a writer friend, who was also single. We had a great conversation about the difference between feeling lonely and being alone. Both of us realized that writing and making art are very solitary activities.

Loneliness is a complex experience that carries with a social stigma, and even a sense of shame. I am no stranger to the experience of loneliness and have experienced extended periods of loneliness at various stages of my life.

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Text-based Art | Sculptural Poems

Project Notes

What to learn more about Sculptural Poems project?


These text-based artworks play with the intrinsic nature of language as a means of communication. The sculptural poems are an exercise in paring down to the essentials, to the core, and an attempt at finding the “more in less.”


These text-based artworks are sculptural poems that problematize language through artistic interventions such as fracturing, fragmenting, disrupting, appropriating linguistic conventions to create new meanings and interpretations. These sculptural poems also employ formal methods of color and form to present the text-based artworks as installations on the wall or on the floor.​

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