Chrome Present, 2007, balsa wood and paper, 9 x 21 x 20 inches / 23 x 53 x 51 cm
Green Present, 2007, balsa wood and paper, 18 x 22 x 16 inches / 56 x 56 x 41 cm
Linked Gold Present, 2007, paper, 153 x 9 x 9 inches / 3.8 m x 23 cm x 23 cm
Light Blue Present, 2007, paper, 4 x 10 x 16 inches / 10 x 25 x 40 cm
Blue Present, 2007, paper, 3 x 8 x 12 inches / 8 x 20 x 30 cm
Transparent Present, 2007, acetate, 9 x 10 x 10 inches / 23 x 25 x 25 cm
Stacked Orange Present, 2007, balsa wood and paper, 53 x 27 x 27 inches / 134 x 69 x 69 cm
Stacked Red and White Present, 2007, balsa wood and paper, 78 x 14 x 14 balsa / 198 x 35 x 35 cm
Like half glasses of water, these absent presents function as barometers of optimism or pessimism.
For some, a gift is only as valuable as the object inside; for others, the decorations transform a normal day into a special one.
I was interested in asking, Does the artist imbue the object with this extraordinary essence, or does the viewer project it upon the work of art? My interest in the material and ineffable is articulated by Fluxus artist Daniel Spoerri, who wrote in The Mythological Travels (1970):
...we’re all fetishists snared by the object... until they... pile up stripped of their magic and cut off from the memory of their history... all that remains of these preserves is the container the artist made for them,... the container will never interest me as much as the contained, but where would i pour my wine without a glass?—and it is inbe- tween these two poles of inseparability of the two that my anxiety of finding a definite solution will oscillate....
Caption: Christine Wong Yap, Presents, paper, balsa wood, acetate, various dimensions.