Stealing Breath, Stopping Time was my first video installation. I was intrigued by how having dance training, my body had physical reactions to watching dance on stage. And I wonder do people who are less physically active, could they also get physical reactions to images of the human body in action. I invited four dancers to dance solos for me. For each solo dance, the dancer was videoed with three cameras, at various focal lengths. I wanted to be both able to see the whole dance as well as details of the dancer’s body. I created a three screen installation where the audience could see all three videos at the same time, layered one upon another. The audience could also change their viewing angle and examine each video by itself. The audience had the freedom to move in the space.
I was very fortunate that Ion Art Gallery invited me to have a solo exhibition in their space. This gave me the resources to create Stealing Breath, Stopping Time. I am grateful to the dancers, Chihiro Uchida, Lee Mun Wai, Serene Tan and Malini Bhaskar for dancing in my work. Darren Tan and his colleagues at Little Red Ants created the videos and edited them for me. And the lighting for the videos was designed by Alberta Wileo.
I am grateful to Wendy Cheong for having faith in my work. This installation, Starlight Sonata, Light Signatures and Portraits as History were all part of an exhibition entitled Body of Work. It was my largest exhibition and I was fortunate to have the help of Geraldine Kang as my assistant for this project.
Lee Mun Wai