A Momentary Glimpse of Absolute Contentedness

Chan, JJ [Artist] and Golding, Johnny [Author-contributor] (2019) A Momentary Glimpse of Absolute Contentedness. .


A Momentary Glimpse of Absolute Contentedness was the title of an exhibition at Lily Brooke [gallery], London which featured a series of assemblages by JJ Chan exhibited alongside an essay by Johnny Golding. The exhibition began as an attempt to consider contentedness, which through the process of making revealed itself in the shadows and often in time spent staring blankly at the sunlight on the floor. In the gallery, Chan presents a series of small assemblages formed from collected objects and stolen stories. The work acts as a retrospective of moments remembered, employing these collected objects as props in a story-telling, confessional show and tell. Through a code breakers algorithm, the work Congratulations - 恭喜你, is a device that shares a certain joy with strangers. It silently reads the electromagnetic noise from around the room translating it into eleven-digit numbers which always begin with 07. It proceeds to send a text message to each mobile number generated with the message; “I have just won the lottery. Love J x”. The responses received are slowly written automatically across the blank innards of celebratory greetings cards, only to be flicked out onto the floor for visitors to take home. A national lottery scratch card is pinned to the opposite wall. Elsewhere, rotating in sporadic episodes, discarded fragments of a teenage promise refract and realign across a rectangular mirror that sits at right angles to a maze of geometric forms. Trivial Matter - 濕濕碎 reveals at moments, the broken biro message on the back of a postcard offering up an imagined dinner for two. Played out loud in the gallery, at varying speeds, is a rendition of Shigeru Umebayashi's Yumeji's Theme, from the film In The Mood For Love, directed by Wong Kar-wai 王家衛. The shifting playback speed creates moments of ease and unease in the gallery space, drawing on frustrations and their reflections in previous artworks and projects, and together forming a critical response to notions of time in capitalism. Alongside these works Johnny Golding presents an essay in the viewing room, titled 'Grey : Matter', drawing on a memory of a lullaby shared with her mother. The essay’s quietness beats slowly against each object in the preceding room, which grow heavy, cast under a new tone. Walking between the two spaces the motion of electronic devices interrupts the electromagnetic noise which holds traces of the past. The replay of a moment can recur over and over, long after that initial encounter, long after it is reconfigured as memory.

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