Spotted! Philip Ho

NOISE TAP  was a very good experience under the guidance of my mentor Kelley Cheng who is a sincerely kind and generous human being. I have made some friends – and perhaps some enemies – and I learned a lot about my creative process and its weaknesses.”

Philip Ho is a fledgling artist familiar with multiple media including ceramics, illustration, and photography. “At the moment I am intensely concerned with bridging the gap between self and other through sincere interaction and I hope to get better at it as I begin my freshman year at NTU’s ADM.”

About the project: “In a world composed of arbitrary definitions, Spilled Milk considers the significance of human life amidst the recurrence of senseless violence and irreversible harm that serve to satisfy the human whim –starting with gendercide in present day China. I chose to look at the issue of unwanted children and the imbalance created by the harm inflicted upon them because I myself have had sustained personal experience with feeling like an unwanted child.

I didn’t want to make my work about me, or too autobiographical like my previous and first exhibited work. I think that work like that tends to err too much into becoming an exercise in self-pity –at least when it is me who is making the work, and I didn’t want that. So for this project, I tried to use my personal experiences and feelings about those experiences to empathize with the greater suffering of other children who may not necessarily have had the luxury of self-expression, so that they may speak through me.

I chose to speak about gender-specific abortion and not abortion in general, because I accept the latter as a legitimate personal choice of the free individual of the 21st century. With about a 35,000 abortions annually, most of which are girls, China presented itself to me as a promising candidate for scrutiny. I also felt more attracted to addressing China than any other particularly gendercidally-ridden country like India because I felt that I better understood the “traditional” values of that society which were responsible for the predicament more personally and intimately.

My mother herself was given away as a child because her family was already poor and they did not want to have to sink further into destitution by raising a girl. As a result of this, she has, for the great duration of her life, been dealing with abandonment issues and the whole slew of other emotional hurdles associated with it. Growing up under her care I experienced and observed first-hand, the harm that that had done to her, and subsequently to her children also. Children learn much in the way of how to be parents from their parents. And so, left unchecked, harmful behaviours like sexual discrimination roll down the generations.

Among the many reasons I have for choosing the materials and mode of presentation for the creation of this work is that it let me play around with all the skills that I had picked up over the years. When I was 10, I learned how to handle clay –how to throw, trim, glaze, fire- and so some of that knowledge in manipulation three-dimensional form came into play denting and crushing the cans. I started drawing (like all children do) in infancy, and so I got to push the illustrative part of me when I painted and drew the portraits on the cans. And my most recent love of analogue photography helped me to sort out some compositional matters as I put the whole thing together.”

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