Chong Boon Pok, 'Every Corner of My Flat'

Dust penetrates every corner of our living environment like the way we are surrounded by the everyday. ‘Every Corner of My Flat’ was inspired by the dust accumulated in Pok's own living space. Started in 2009 and ongoing, he uses photography to document the process whenever he clears the dust in his flat; they are rolled into a ball shape and continue to grow. The process provides a chance for him to scrutinise his living space more intensely; along the way he observes, familiarises and recollects himself when going through his belongings.

The piece is interested in the relationship between time, objects, space, man and his behaviour and examines how they influence each other. It reflects how a space affects its inhabitant and the way we arrange our inhabited spaces to suit our needs. It is one of many potential ways to ‘draw a portrait’ of a person, or to describe the character in his habitant space. The endless repetitive and accumulative activities manifest a sense of infinity and meditation that reflects in some of Pok’s work. Dust also reminds him of two equally good and yet contradictory Buddhist poems that go like this:

The body is the Bodhi Tree;
The mind is like a bright mirror standing.
Take care to wipe it all the time,
And allow no dust to cling.
                                       Shen Hsiu

There never was a Bodhi Tree
Nor bright mirror standing.
Fundamentally, not one thing exists,
So where is the dust to cling?
                                                 Hui Neng  

Devoting attentiveness to the everyday is central to Pok's studio practice; his work is inspired by and physically derived from objects and activities that are evident in his immediate environment. He is doing a practice-led MPhil/PhD research based on the title ‘A Comparative Study on the Concepts of the Everyday in Art Practice and Zen Buddhism’; and has exhibited in the UK, Italy, Malaysia and China.