Carolyn Teo is an interdisciplinary artist who works in photography, painting, video, installation and experimental sound.
There is something nostalgic about my work, whether it is nostalgic of my own experiences or the experience of others. I like to play with old objects and imagery as they trigger memories and stories as well as being strong visual codes. Living in a time where technology is developing at such a rapid pace, there is nostalgia for old times, technology and retro objects. People become familiar with these objects as they represent a sense of security, childhood, happy times etc (whether or not these memories are true).
I often use second hand materials in my work; old boxes, television sets, frames, suitcases, pianola rolls, whatever I can find. I believe that discarded objects can have another life, perhaps something more glorious than before. Whether that be through art or use as a tool, the object is allowed to be something other than the mould it was given. There is something beautiful in seeing an old discarded object transformed into something new.
As well as being nostalgic my work is also a commentary on society and human behaviour. I am interested in the human experience, peoples stories and the way that people interact with each other and with art. People like to participate and interact with art, once the viewer interacts with the art; the barrier between artist and viewer is destroyed. It is also interesting to see the different ways in which people respond to interactive works. In a project I exhibited called “He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skills of the physician” (Chinese Proverb) the viewer is prompted by the artist to interact with the installation by planting vegetables in the pop up garden; not only does the viewer become an integral part of the work but they are also experiencing the work on a different level.