Meet the Makers: Lighting Sculptor Simone Chua
In this Meet the Makers blog series, we will feature an artist that, quite simply, makes something. Drawing inspiration from custom works handcrafted in various media, we travel beyond the pieces by diving into the minds of the creative makers themselves.
Today, we feature our interview with Simone Chua, the creative maker of Affinity; a large-scale lighting sculpture of interconnected neurons of the human brain. Simone designed and installed this sculpture, which is inspired by the electrochemical activity of the brain by simply allowing viewers to explore the effects of Alzheimer’s on memory.
GPI Design: What (3) words best describe your work?
Simone Chua: Tactile – Bold – Experiential
GPI: What compels you to create with this particular medium?
Chua: Being installation artists is in a way, akin to being entertainers. We love playing on the audience’s curiosity, and making our works accessible and engaging to the public. Light is perfect for this. It’s exciting, and immediately stimulates the audience’s senses. As industrial designers, this also means that we can leverage imbedded technologies and interactive lighting design in a way that is explorative and experimental, keeping us entertained in the process!
GPI: What is your biggest constraint in the creative process?
Chua: The biggest constraint has to be budgets and timeframes.
GPI: What would your 5 year old former self say about your work now? And what do you hope your future 90 year old self will say about your current work?
Chua: I hope my 90 year old self would look back on my work and think “why isn’t the audience standing on hover-boards?” and “where are all the hydrogen suspended cyborgs?”. As an artist, especially those fascinated with new technologies, the aim of the game is to keep on evolving. So with another 60 or so years under my belt, I hope I can still appreciate the relevance of our work now, complemented by a whole new insight into the possibilities that were still before us.
GPI: What other maker would you most like to collaborate with?
Chua: At the moment, kinetic movement and light are our two primary obsessions. There are so many artists that we would love to work with, and so much exciting stuff happening in the technological interactivity space. However, if we had to choose someone right now, we are fascinated by the work of Reuben Margolin, and would love to incorporate light and interactivity into his work.
GPI: What do you think the future of creation/creativity holds (for you, and the artistic world as a whole)?
Chua: Wow, tough question. I can’t say for sure what it holds, but I know it’s exciting.
Technologies are incredibly fast moving, and we as a cohort, navigating through what this means for our generations, are open to so many interesting ideas and conversations. For example, collaboration is booming as a result of the internet, as is sampling and referencing. The paradigm shift about what it means to be an artist and ‘original’ in this space, naturally follows. Questions that flow from these un-chartered waters, should be responded to with conversations, not ‘answers’, and this is where art becomes such an important medium.
Art is perfect in this space, because it compels people to have individual ‘responses’ and can often help people to consider other views in a way that isn’t dictated or forced. Art is always an open ended conversation, and that’s one of the things I love most about it.
So, to come back to the question, I think the future of creation/creativity is unknown, but that art will be an important tool to in helping us to navigate our way through these rapid changes in a considered and reflective manner.
GPI: What does your work space look like right now? Send us a selfie of you in your creative arena!
Many thanks to Simone Chua for the insight into her craft. Stay tuned to our next Meet the Makers interview coming up in two weeks! The interviews will publish every other Tuesday throughout the remainder of the year, focusing on a wide variety of makers, which has us truly redefining what it means to create.
View this maker’s work: Simone Chua