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Old 11-15-2016   #1
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Tsang Kin-Wah: The Infinite Nothing

I have been apprised of an art installation by the Hong Kong artist Tsang Kin-Wah, which has apparently been influenced by Ligotti. Ligotti is quoted, for instance, in his curatorial statement, here:

http://www.westkowloon.hk/en/whats-o...rial-statement

Here is a video presenting the installation:


I thought TLOers might find it of interest, even if it's too late, now, to attend, and there would be, anyway, geographical difficulties for most of us.

"As the Director of one of the five greatest museums in our Eastern States has more than once remarked to me, From the Stone Age until now, what a decline!" - Ananda Coomaraswamy
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Old 11-15-2016   #2
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Re: Tsang Kin-Wah: The Infinite Nothing

It certainly has an eerie, spectral quality but I'm not sure how Ligottian its vision of nothingness is. After all, there's nothing funny about the installation. There aren't any clowns or puppets to be found anywhere in the installation. There's nothing of the carnival laughter that's so essential to Ligotti's representation of the void, the 'infinite nothing'.

And the void as presented in the installation is peaceful and quiet, completely impersonal, yet the void in Ligotti isn't completely impersonal. It's impersonal, but in a curiously personal way, like a wooden dummy or puppet. And it's not at all quiet. It's actually manic in its loquacity: it's a dummy that chatters on endlessly about nothing. In Ligotti, the infinite nothing enjoys none of the repose that it does in the installation. It's a frenzy of awkward, clumsy, and ridiculous activity, as is to be expected from a manic void. And the void that the installation presents partakes of an ethereal beauty that stands in contrast to the strictly crummy and humdrum nature of Ligotti's void.
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Old 11-15-2016   #3
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Re: Tsang Kin-Wah: The Infinite Nothing

Quote Originally Posted by Pharpetron View Post
It certainly has an eerie, spectral quality but I'm not sure how Ligottian its vision of nothingness is. After all, there's nothing funny about the installation. There aren't any clowns or puppets to be found anywhere in the installation. There's nothing of the carnival laughter that's so essential to Ligotti's representation of the void, the 'infinite nothing'.

And the void as presented in the installation is peaceful and quiet, completely impersonal, yet the void in Ligotti isn't completely impersonal. It's impersonal, but in a curiously personal way, like a wooden dummy or puppet. And it's not at all quiet. It's actually manic in its loquacity: it's a dummy that chatters on endlessly about nothing. In Ligotti, the infinite nothing enjoys none of the repose that it does in the installation. It's a frenzy of awkward, clumsy, and ridiculous activity, as is to be expected from a manic void. And the void that the installation presents partakes of an ethereal beauty that stands in contrast to the strictly crummy and humdrum nature of Ligotti's void.
I think it depends on which "Ligotti" we're talking about. Personally, I felt the video did a great job of capturing Ligotti's void, at least as it is presented throughout such stories as "Flowers of the Abyss," "The Christmas Eves of Aunt Elise," and "Sideshow and other Stories." Nevertheless, I understand what you're talking about. Most of his stories seem to contain depictions of a more "manic void" - "Dr. Voke and Mr. Veech" being one of my personal favorites.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 11-17-2016   #4
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Re: Tsang Kin-Wah: The Infinite Nothing

Quote Originally Posted by Pharpetron View Post
It certainly has an eerie, spectral quality but I'm not sure how Ligottian its vision of nothingness is. After all, there's nothing funny about the installation. There aren't any clowns or puppets to be found anywhere in the installation. There's nothing of the carnival laughter that's so essential to Ligotti's representation of the void, the 'infinite nothing'.

And the void as presented in the installation is peaceful and quiet, completely impersonal, yet the void in Ligotti isn't completely impersonal. It's impersonal, but in a curiously personal way, like a wooden dummy or puppet. And it's not at all quiet. It's actually manic in its loquacity: it's a dummy that chatters on endlessly about nothing. In Ligotti, the infinite nothing enjoys none of the repose that it does in the installation. It's a frenzy of awkward, clumsy, and ridiculous activity, as is to be expected from a manic void. And the void that the installation presents partakes of an ethereal beauty that stands in contrast to the strictly crummy and humdrum nature of Ligotti's void.
Legit thought I was reading a Ligotti short story, while reading your comment.
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Old 12-08-2016   #5
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Re: Tsang Kin-Wah: The Infinite Nothing

Thanks for sharing this! It's particularly interesting to see Ligotti's work be "translated" into an installation work, and by someone within my region.

Blue, green, grey, white, or black; smooth, ruffled, or mountainous; that ocean is not silent. - H.P. Lovecraft
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Old 12-30-2016   #6
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Re: Tsang Kin-Wah: The Infinite Nothing

Incidentally, I thought I should mention that the existence of the installation was brought to my attention by Ling Gu (顾灵) who translated the essay I wrote on antinatalism into Mandarin for the Chinese magazine Wissen.

Her translation of the essay, with editorial commentary in preface, is at this link:

http://mp.weixin.qq.com/s?__biz=MzA5...%3D&scene=6#rd

I've already posted it a couple of times, but in case it was of interest to any among those who missed it, the original article is here:

http://www.litfmag.net/issue-2/antin...ht-experiment/

Ms. Gu informs me she is currently reading TCATHR.

"As the Director of one of the five greatest museums in our Eastern States has more than once remarked to me, From the Stone Age until now, what a decline!" - Ananda Coomaraswamy
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Old 12-30-2016   #7
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Re: Tsang Kin-Wah: The Infinite Nothing

I really enjoyed your article, qcrisp. Don't know how I missed it before. Anyways, it's very well written. Thanks!
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