My sculptures were originally inspired by the form and function of the sea urchin. The spines of the urchin, so dangerous yet beautiful, serve as an explicit warning against contact. The alluring texture of the spines draws the touch in spite of the possible consequences. The tension unveiled, we feel push and pull, desire and repulsion. The sections of pencils present aspects of sharp and smooth for two very different textural and aesthetic experiences. Paradox and surprise are integral in my choice of materials. Quantities of industrially manufactured objects are used to create flexible forms reminiscent of the organic shapes of animals and nature. Pencils are common objects, here, these anonymous objects become the structure. There is true a fragility to the sometimes brutal aspect of the sculptures, vulnerability that is belied by the fearsome texture.
To make the pencil sculptures, I take hundreds of pencils, cut them into 1-inch sections, drill a hole in each section (to turn them into beads), sharpen them all and sew them together. The beading technique I rely on most is peyote stitch.
I'm inspired by animals, plants, other art, Ernst Haeckel, Odilon Redon, mythology. In fact, it isn't easy to specify particular sources of inspiration. Sometimes one sculpture will inspire the next, or maybe I'll make a mistake, and that will send me off in a new direction.
Pei San Ng
Pei received her Masters in Architecture in 2008 from the University of Illinois at Chicago. While in Chicago Pei got in on the entry level of a blossoming artist collective called the Chicago Art Department. This concept based studio / gallery offered her not only collaborators but also exhibition opportunities. She rose to the occasions and regularly delivered powerful, iconic artworks that answered the conceptual call in increasingly intriguing ways.
Her most recent series dealing with matches was initially an answer to the concept of celebrating the death of a Chicago Art Department member. Her piece “Mookie’s Sneakers” was a mash-up of her friend’s fascination with shoes and Chinese funeral rites that involved burning things to send to the recently departed.
The “Match Series” has garnered worldwide attention after a series of blog and magazine articles started sharing her work, and she has since sent pieces from her “Match Series” to all corners of the globe. This series, however, is endangered by the fact that her repeated module, the Red Tipped Diamond Match, has been discontinued by the Diamond Company and now is only distributed in green.