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Jong Hwa (Duly) Lee (39)
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    The Other Room @ Manrey Hotel

    Panama City, Panama 2010.12.14

    part 1

    The other day, Ana Perez from the new Manrey Hotel in Calle Uruguay called me to make a temporary art piece for their lobby. They had asked four artists to do one and each project would be sponsored by a brand; mine being Johnny Walker. Not only do I usually avoid work for brand marketing projects, my first instinct was how I detest when brand logo or image is placed next to a work - labeled "sponsored by:_________".

    I had to do an Andy Warhol move, and use the brand itself as subject of the work. At the same time I had to give the hotel a christmas present! What if I make them a present-box: how about "Whiskey in the Box"?

    The concept of "Whiskey in the Box" is reference to "sheep in the box" in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's Little Prince. The prince asks the pilot to draw him a sheep, and he draws several sheeps only to the prince's discontent. While all the illustrative descriptions weren't satisfying the little prince, at an annoying dismay, the pilot draws him a box with few holes in it and tells him "This is only his box, the sheep you asked for is inside." The prince responds "That's exactly the way I wanted it! Do you think that this sheep will have a great deal of grass?"

    part 2

    The human size Johnny Walker Black box is placed by a mirror wall next to the elevator waiting area. Instead of their logo there are alien indentations on the surface: two curvilinear penetrations into the whiskey box. Through the portal-holes the depth-of-sight is increased by two-folds due to the mirror effect and you are greeted with a sudden shift in perception. What you now see is the opposite side reflection of the wall you're looking through; a static white-lit room with two ocular protrusions - consequently looking back at yourself.

    You are now peeking into "The Other Room" in the Manrey hotel, the secret heterotopic room that Mallol doesn't know about. Perhaps just an empty limbo space stuck in-between this world and the other. To some, it could be a momentary respite from the nauseous coquetry of a loud party scene...

    Alex Alba is looking into the box...

    Tue, Dec 14, 2010  Permanent link

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