© 2019 by DS LEE

OFF THE GRID is a site-specific installation created in multiple sites inside an unused building on Governors Island in New York City. 

The given sites located inside the h­ouse 405B, Colonels Row were quite indefinite areas; first, the reception hall, then added a part of the living room. These were not ‘rooms’, not giving a sense of full enclosure or substance of ownership. (Actually, the areas were used by other people as a common area.) I was more interested in my mentality facing the duality or conflict of the sites; my space vs. communal space. - People must go through this area to enter this house. The vibe of the space was very unsettled and fluid although it's still contained in a certain architectural form. The architectural elements sounded calm and reserved yet looked peculiar as they represent the old time. I imagined my work to make a good companionship with the architecture while adding a different voice.

 

The old architecture was a living creature survived throughout the history of New York and the U.S. I enjoyed examining all the architectural organs creating the breathing atmosphere in the house. My first goal was for the viewer to look at them. I chose the rolled materials (rice paper and acetate film) to freely adapt to the wall’s specification, being flexible to cut and extend, both for size and form, not determined by my perception. I conceived the island as a freed island from the mainland, Manhattan where the strict grid system rules formally then mentally. Surprisingly much undiscovered, the island and the house were exuberant. For a Manhattanite, the conception of the grid is inseparable in my life – it inevitably sets me in a certain box, I see things structurally and systemically. This project was stemmed from questions and transformative thinking on ‘grid’ in art and life, then my thought expanded to investigation on the principles of visual arts; line, shape, geometry, and proportion by stretching out the rolls directly onto the wall, in equivalent to drawing on a 2D paper. The paper rolls functioned as lines, and the shape formed by the roll papers eventually provided a chance for viewers to observe the wall surface framed by the paper layouts, further the surrounded space and the architectural details.

*Material: rice paper roll (W: 8 in), acetate film roll (W: 20in), marker, Dimension variable (approx. H: 92in), 2019