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James Seet

Renaissance: oKey-doKey

Renaissance: oKey-doKey

Year: 2023

Medium: Ceramics, Parts of old furniture, Household items and Off-cut wood

Dimensions: 41 x 85 x 40


Negative Positive

I am deeply affected by the words of my mother - “What is old are obsolete and to be discarded.” Her perspective, while understandable as she is in her 90s, is one that I cannot subscribe to. Instead, I have taken her metaphor and turned it on its head, using it as a springboard for my latest work.

I have been collecting off cuts from carpenters and giving them new life - materials that would otherwise have been discarded and burnt. I have incorporated ceramic pieces belonging to my mother, broken wares and unused elements from the house into my work, along with old wooden chairs that were damaged and no longer functional. Through my art, I am breathing new life into these objects and giving them a new purpose.

But this series of works are more than just an exercise in repurposing materials. It is a reflection of my frame of mind - a reflection of the chaos and beauty that exists in my daily life. Juggling full-time advertising work, my art practice, and the care of my aging parents for over 20 years has not been easy. But I have learned to be disciplined, to compartmentalize my daily routine, and to find beauty in the most unexpected places.

The abstract nature of these pieces are a reflection of my journey - navigating negative spaces while finding calm in the midst of chaos. It is structured, yet fluid, with breathing spaces that inspire a sense of positivity in a world that can often feel overwhelmingly negative.

Through this work, I am balancing the philosophy of yin and yang - creating something new and beautiful out of what was once considered old and obsolete. It is my hope that this series will provoke emotion and inspire others to find beauty in unexpected places, to challenge negative perspectives, and to embrace the imperfections and flaws that make life so uniquely beautiful.

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More from James Seet

In the quest for eternal change as an artist, I find it essential to tell stories, the dramas of life that may begin with something obscure to the infinite complexity that tickles the emotion. It’s a visual representation of a dialogue I am after, a theatrical performance to the eyes that behold!