While most art appreciators take a “hands off” approach when viewing their favorite pieces, the striking creations of Illinois-based multimedia artist Pei-San Ng are designed to be set on fire and charred gray. Her work, which we’ve featured in the past, consists of hundreds and even thousands of red-tipped matches glued onto wooden surfaces. Ng reached out to us to share three of her newest pieces–Ignite, Transformation, and Creation–which spell out individual words while interpreting their meanings through arrangements of lit and unlit matches.
“In Chinese culture, red is a very lucky color, and matches evoke danger. I think that by mixing those two messages, the audience is forced to take a second or third look. I want to tempt the viewer to destroy my artwork,” Ng says in her artist statement. “When you look at these pieces, you realize that if you light the matches, then you change the work; it becomes a performance, and the artwork is potentially destroyed; there is a tension there, you get a moment of satisfaction, and then you have nothing–I like that tease.”
Pei-San Ng: Website
My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Pei-San Ng.