Artist Takeover: Sookoon Ang

On the week of 12 June 2023, artist Sookoon Ang did an Instagram takeover of The Everyday Museum’s account to provide a deeper insight into her creative process in conceiving the sculpture Moonlight as part of Singapore Deviation: Wander with Art through the Rail Corridor. These are her personal anecdotes on the collaboration with The Kunstgiesserei St. Gallen on how Moonlight came to be: 


Mon, 12 June 2023: 

Bonjour, this is Sookoon. For this Instagram takeover, I’ll take you along in the production process of my sculpture, Moonlight.

Techniques and material are expertise information which I am constantly learning because technology is evolving all the time. There is only so much one can learn from art schools. My working knowledge has to be accumulated over 2 decades of art practice. Each new work is different because I use diverse methods in art making. Depending on the level of techniques and equipment required, I either make the work myself or collaborate with a fabricator.

It’s harder to talk about the artistic concept because it is more intimate and has a lot to do with my existential anxiety. To talk about my work, I have to pry open a thick layer of mental white noise that buffers me from a pensive mind. A soft, hazy place is where I try to be.

St Gallen foundry sits in a small and shallow valley outside of town. To create the legs of the sculpture, I needed twigs. There is wooded area behind the foundry. I was told by Sonja, the project manager assigned to oversee my sculpture production, that I will be able to collect twigs there. I asked for a small handsaw and was given a good Japanese one. For anyone interested in handsaws, Japanese handsaws are usually small and lightweight and they cut in pull-strokes which is less strenuous to work with than regular handsaws that work in push-strokes. One has to walk past an open field with cows wearing bells to get to this small neck of the wood. I asked a kind passerby who was walking along the path to take this photo of me with my harvest. 


The second photo is the pieces of 3D prints which will be used to create the mold. They are black because they were dipped in black wax. You can see the pieces not dipped in wax stored under the table. 


The third photo is Sonja and me discussing the installation method at the foundry’s office. Sonja had worked out how deep and large the concrete base should be. This will be the base that will secure the sculpture in place.

Wishing everyone a peaceful moment scrolling on the app until work calls or sleep takes over. À la prochaine. 


Wed, 14 June 2023: 

This is Sookoon, back again for another round of show and tell on the titillating topic of bronze sculpture making.

We are seeing in this first photo, the foundry’s welder expertly piecing the cast bronze sections of Moonlight together. This is unpolished bronze so it has a matte surface, unlike the polished bronze one is used to seeing. I was thrilled when Sonja sent me the photos of the cast bronze pieces being welded together. 


The second photo is of a metal workshop technician grinding down the welded seams. As a team, the chaser, the welder and him, they did such a brilliant job that you won’t be able to see where the joints are on the sculpture. So, if not for visual art, then perhaps for the art of metalwork, one should take a trip to see my sculpture. 


This final photo shows how the 3D model of the sculpture is divided into sections for 3D printing. The traditional method would be creating the to-scale model using clay but with the current technology, to-scale models can be produced using 3D printing or CNC milling. I love it! – the evolution of sculptures and sculptors. It means the contemporary sculptor is no longer limited by her/his technical skills. For the contemporary sculptor, her/his imagination is (nearly) the limit. Well, there are still things like gravity, physics, plasticity of material and a budget to grapple with. Nonetheless, so many possibilities. 


Fri, 16 June 2023: 

Last post! C’est Sookoon. These photos document my final visit to the foundry. My dog, Laika and I took the first direct train departing from Paris to Zurich in the wee hours of the morning to arrive early at St Gallen foundry for a good day’s work. I had to carry Laika and didn’t want the extra weight of more clothing other than a set of overnight PJs, so I worked in the outfit I traveled in. I am filing away the black patina coating to reveal thin silvers of bronze underneath. The black patina, the bronze underneath, the hollow center, the twig legs, the enlarged tree bark texture form the uncanny and idiosyncratic makeup of the sculpture.

The second photo is Laika looking extra-scruffy, lying on a piece of packing blanket and waiting patiently for me to finish work. A good girl she is. As I am writing this, she is sleeping under the desk to keep me company.

The following photo is myself with Nathan, who is a metal specialist. We are working on reinforcing the legs using the remaining cast-bronze twigs. Nathan marked and bent the cast-bronze twigs to join them to the existing legs. It was a relatively short meeting because (what can I say?) he knows the job. 


Last photo is Sonja, the project manager standing next to the finished sculpture. It shows the scale of a person next to the sculpture. And Sonja is as cool in person as she looked in this photo. 

Moonlight materialized through molten bronze poured into a hollow mold to form a positive body. This hollow mold came from a sacrificial wax model incinerated to make way for a sinewy reincarnation. As if taking its first breath, Moonlight expanded just before it set and constricted as it cooled. A black cloak was singed onto its surface using an alchemy of chemicals— liver of sulfur and ammonium sulfide. Ostensibly, I called it my work but in truth, it is an independent entity that I am getting to know as well. Its purpose of being is unfolding with time as I wrestle with mine.