Painting does not always have a physicality. Depending on what medium the artist uses, the painting might have the materiality or might lose the materiality.
For example, if an artist uses oil or acrylic paint, the work of painting does not lose the materiality. The movement of artist leaves brushmark on canvas which is permanent. At the same time, the movement of the artist leaves the idea on the canvas. The footage of the hand movement delivers the idea to the viewer. When an artist puts de-material medium such as air, evaporating water, sound, and light, on the canvas, the painting loses the materiality. The gesture of the artist would not leave any footage on the canvas, however, the gesture still leaves the idea on the canvas.
“Light on Canvas” is a painting that I created in 2017 at the Alexander Studio of Simon Fraser University. I grabbed sunlight from the window area where sunlight enters, and I placed the sunlight to the exhibition space where we call, Bartlette. I placed six circle mirrors at a certain point where they create the path for the sunlight.
The light on canvas does not have materiality, and the audience could see the light only in the limited time period. It disappears after a certain time.
What the audience observe from the white canvas is light. Is the light an art object? or is this just a natural phenomenon? What people see is not actually a physicality of the object. What people actually see is a reflected light of a physical object. From this work of art, I am questioning about the boundary between materiality and de-materiality. What you see as a material object is truly a de-materialized light that is reflected from the material object.