Fascinated with abstraction, distortion of forms and visual movement, Alvin Mak's works play with the aesthetic elements, aiming to explore our visual emotional connection. We talked with Alvin Mak about his inspirations and the abstract concepts in his introductory series Cognition and in his newly launched series Rumination.
Sedition: You studied Mechanical Engineering Degree in Canada and New Zealand and have a decade-long career in product development and manufacturing. did your background have an impact in your creative practice?
Alvin Mak: As an engineer, I was always developing ideas for clients. Eventually I sought my own puzzles to solve. The interest led me to explore visual art eventually. By habit I was taking apart and re-assembling ideas. When the parts fit, I’d look at what-if’s of adding or subtracting components, and what it might do to the piece.
Daydream I and Daydream II, from Cognition Series, Alvin Mak
The slow movements and flow of abstract forms are common in your first series Cognition on Sedition, which has a meditative aspect. How did you come up with this series?
Alvin Mak: The interest in abstraction started around 2003. I was photographing the scenery of Hong Kong. A thing that really caught my eyes, was the harbour water reflection of the city’s buildings. It broke down the geometric shapes of the city’s architecture into moving organic forms. Eventually I found a way to recreate the scenery digitally and came to this series of generative video.
Bliss I andBliss II, Alvin Mak
Are there any specific patterns or visual elements that inspire you or your see as a reference point aesthetically or conceptually?
Alvin Mak: I am fascinated with abstraction, distortion of forms and visual movement. My work plays with the aesthetic elements, and on another level hope to explore our visual emotional connection.The ability to create moving elements take the work to the next level.
Rumination I, from the Rumination Series
Could you please tell us a bit about your new collection Rumination? Could you explain the concept and the inspirations behind the new work?
Alvin Mak: Rumination turns up the complexity on the previous organic form & flow. It is a “lost in thoughts” or a “sensory overload” kind of scenario. The mind takes a swim in a sea of information. It holds onto a dozen pieces of data, hoping to put together a full picture. But the picture is constantly changing and result in a perpetual information-truth-time struggle.
How do you envisage the future of art in the digital landscape? What makes you excited about it?
Alvin Mak: Much like the scene in Rumination, I am struggling to keep up with the many developments in the digital art culture. But one thing for certain is that the web has made it very easy to share ideas. By relieving physical logistics and geographical constrains, digital platforms have allowed me to connect with locations I haven’t thought of.
The crypto market may fluctuate, but it has brought digitalization of art to focus, and I think that step forward will remain. I think the digital art is a good answer to our fascination with the future.
Could you tell us about your future projects? What ideas or concepts are you planning to explore in your future works?
Alvin Mak: I spent some time to look at different ways to create interesting motion. And I discovered several things I’d like to try. I would like to take the “Cognition” concept further. In addition, I am experimenting with other generative and video-based process. I look forward to going through the work in 2023.