Time Practices: Calendar

15.5m x 1.75m (Installation)
25 x 35.5 cm (each sheet)
Ink, acrylic on calendar paper

“Today is Saturday, April 4, and by the lunar calendar, Thursday, March 12. It is the first day of the solar term Qingming, when the sun reaches the celestial longitude of 15°. The weather grows warmer and rainfall increases; plants start to thrive. It is a suitable day for travel and marriage but not for funerals. The best hours of the day are 09–13:00,17–19:00, and 21–01:00.

I gather those from the calendar, along with tacky color combinations and the weekend treat: a color print of a flock of birds. I tear this page from the calendar, open the cap of a fountain brush, set up the timer, and go. I start from the left corner of the color print, stretching the point and moving toward the right. I then make a curve, continuing the line and finishing the tracing until I reach the opposite corner. The time I spend on this exercise is 6 minutes, 53 seconds, and 93 centiseconds, from 17:31 to 17:38. I stamp the numbers in order and tape them on the wall.”

Time Practices: Calendar begins from January 1, 2020, so as to set up a new routine throughout the year. The daily calendar is an ordinary object that can be found in every Taiwanese household. It is a lunisolar calendar combined with the Chinese divination guide and almanac. Each page would be torn off every day as a reminder for the passing of time and the possible future. Those wouldn’t be thrown away but kept for later use: turned into folded dumpster boxes for fish bones and fruit peels; or writing practice paper for math and Chinese characters. These negligible actions become sacred, both as a celebration to the dawning new day and a mourning to the passing of a day. In this exercise, I pick up this act and sculpt it into a new ritual.

This 'practice' integrates all the methods that I have been working on: drawing is the primary tool to track and form new system; the ink stain and the weekend’s color prints are the contingency from the preset route; the dates, divination guide and almanac are the objective time frame; the time I spent on one calendar paper is the intervals for possible encounters with the outside world, furthermore, an abstract unit of time.

Installation photo by Øystein Thorvaldsen, at På ubestemt tid, Startblokka, Oslo, Norway, 2021

April 4th and 5th, 2020/ from 17.30-17.38/ Time span: 06’53’’95

March 12th, 2020/ from 20.14-20.34/ Time span: 19’19’’38

*This period/site-specific installation dated the first day of the lockdown, the 12th of March, to the 29th of April, at the only available space in my room.