Two people, one piece of canvas paper, one lighter
One person holds the canvas paper at a 45-degree angle.
The other person takes the lighter and makes a mark on the paper using the flame.
Switch roles after each mark is formed.
The game is over if the paper catches on fire.
The game is won if an image can be made.
Intimacy is like a dance. One person makes a move and the other mirrors with their own style. Repetition of this creates a flow between two people. The flow can be smooth and beautiful. A mutual understanding can build into something memorable and worthwhile. At the same time, a single mistake can break the rhythm. Once a delicate image can turn into something unrecognizable. And soon the flow between two people is gone altogether.
The idea behind this project is to reflect the nature of relationships. Two people have to work together in order to create a beautiful picture. I chose fire as the main element because of its relentless and unpredictable nature. To leave an elegant mark, one must hold the flame just at the right distance from the paper and just for the right amount of time. All while, the other person must steadily hold the paper. Relationships require care, attention, and trust. When done right, beautiful memories are formed. But a single mistake can make those memories disappear. Just like in this score, a single mistake can lead to the whole paper catching on fire and destruction of past marks.
I knew I wanted to work with fire after seeing Wolfgang Paalen’s work, Fumage, in class. I spent the past summer working on various fire paintings myself, so it was exciting to start another project. Since I couldn’t find a friend who was brave enough to work with fire, I’ve attached a video of me playing both roles, along with a few of my own pieces.