Artists Spare Room | Lucas Chih-Peng Kao | Part 2

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I wanted to write something that will inspire, maybe shine some lights on something, but I think everything I can share probably had already been written and maybe better than how I can write. Then what is left is the personal autobiographical stories which may still have some authenticity.

In a way, 2018 is the way I finally come out as an artist, being able to claim the title of “Artist”, even that is not my main source of income, as I make my living from making videos and taking photos for others, often charities, institution or performers or artist whose work help the societies in some way. I am very lucky to be able to work like that and support my art making.

I was and still am a filmmaker, again, it took me a few years to claim that title psychologically for myself, mainly due to confidence issue. Since 2010, I had been making films or trying to make films, in late 2017 I hit a hurdle which I thought I was going to pass and move up to the next level, but I was rejected instead, after preparing for that chance for two years.

Out of frustration I started to switch my focus outside of film, I started taking physical theatre, improvisation, immersive theatre, contact improvisation, Butoh workshop which had nothing to do with filmmaking at all. Now looking back, it had been some of the best decision I had ever made and had unlocked a lot of things that I never thought of before.

A lot of these workshops focused on our own bodily experience and senses, and relationship with other people, but not entirely focus on language and logic and more focus on intuition, instinct and sensitivity. How do you relate to another person? How do you listen? How do you give other space? How do you take an impulse and follow it? How do you go from A to B to A to F? It had been truly liberating, I learned to like myself a bit more and understand myself better, thus hopefully making myself a better artist.

And I actually enjoyed making performances, it’s a lot immediate and there is a lot of space for the performers to improvise and audience to fill their imagination. I enjoyed feeling the tension between me and the audience, finding their expectation and reversing it, or layering it up with abstractions. For me, it is just another way of telling a story or experience.

I am proud of myself that I had taught filmmaking and art making to myself without relying on an institution like film or art school and mainly learning through workshop and experience and working with other people.

In 2018, I could had said I had explore a lot of avenues, from making installation, performing movement in front of audience, working with different performers, making prints, drawing, coding, tidying up my flat, going nature walking, writing applications, doing residency, winning the first prize in my life, knowing how to make books and paper. And all of these will be impossible without the friends and collaborators that had done these with me, so I am eternally grateful.

Thank you Eden Art for giving me a week to reflect and find ways to move forward.

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