Jireh Koh is a multidisciplinary artist who works with many mediums including sculpture, installation, video, sound, and performance art, exhibiting his art overseas and locally.
Jireh is interested in subverting, integrating and reimagining the traditions in which he comes from. Through his interdisciplinary and eclectic practice, he aspires to bridge and reconcile perceived dichotomies or distinctions such as Science and Spirituality, Music and Art, the old and new, and the East and the West. He sees the experience of art as an essential way of Knowing. In his works, Jireh explores and plays with the occult quality of art, in which art can occlude, conceal, harbour and reveal deeper meanings through the process of encounter.
Wanton Me, Wanton U.
Mixed media – Raw wanton mee, lacquered, metal grid, incandescent light.
“Attachment leads to suffering. There is joy and happiness from letting go.” – Kopi Stall Guy
The story by Francis Siew opens with a scene around a wanton mee stall in the now defunct Tanglin Huat Kopitiam.
In this work, wanton mee is used as a medium in which the notion of attachment can be encountered and explored. The poignant quote above from one of the former residents in Tanglin Huat Kopitiam, brings to mind the archetypal motif of the ‘strings of fate’.
The story repeatedly references the wanton mee, with the narratives of the space unfolding organically and rhizomatically through the materiality of the noodles, the writer’s affection of the dish, and the social habitus around the communal act of eating, slowly tracing and untangling the intricate web of connections formed by the different groups of people in relation to the space. The narration weaves in and out different groups and individuals, threading between the writer’s personal musings to the (eavesdropped) conversations of the other, binding together intimacies of multiple scales, times and centres of experience.
The community in the present Tanglin Halt space where the Kopitiam used to be participated in the making of the artwork, adding on to the grid by weaving with strands of wanton mee, collectively forming a pattern. This communal act of weaving is a tracing of the epheremal memories of the space – a physical embodiment of the collective nostalgia. The multiple and culminated additions to the image form ever increasing entanglements and connections, just like how our individual stories and experiences are inextricably built upon each other’s, with multiple entry points and lines of flight.