Graduating from the University of Brighton with a BA in Fine Art Printmaking, Malaysian print maker Jacintha Philip caught my attention with her engaging interpretation of architectural structures. Jacintha describes how during her third year, she developed a fascination with windows, particularly elaborating on the relationship between the ‘inside and outside’. This intrigue further refined itself into acknowledging the concept that windows by their very nature are at once revealing yet also a tool for privacy, and how this motif can be artistically applied. Now placed in a technologically advanced time, the juxtaposed idea of privacy and publicity are played out daily in our lives. Jacintha describes how she views the screens attached to modern technology as a variant in her window theme, giving us the opportunity to change how we want to be perceived, whilst raising questions surrounding the need for privacy and the need to be seen.
Jacintha cites Hitchcock’s award-winning Rear Window as influencing her work; initially attracted to the idea of watching events unfold from the safety of a window, a concept explored through the main characters storyline. Jacintha’s dissertation goes further on to detail transparency in architecture, a theme encapsulated in Swiss-French architect and all-round creative Le Corbusier’s quote “Le dehors est toujours un dedans”; (The outside is always inside). Jacintha explains how the combination of these prevailing artists contributed in influencing her own artistic perspective.
Jacintha’s work consists mainly of monoprints, etchings and printed photographs, and reveals printmaking has served as an important process to her work, in part due to the nature of creating mono prints. She describes how the plate creates ghost-like impressions that reflect the motif of transparency in her work. Jacintha has developed her practice based on images featuring places that are familiar to her, resembling fragments on the idea of home. This includes buildings in both Kuala Lumpur and Brighton, reflecting the artists personal response to questioning what it takes to call somewhere home. Jacintha recently created a series of collages for a picture interview with Kollektiv gallery. This work best showcases the work the artist is currently developing, exploring further the idea of ‘home’.
I got in touch with Jacintha to get more of an insight into her practice.
Hi Jacintha! Your pieces very intriguing. Can you give us a bit of background to yourself and your work?
Thank you! I am a printmaker based in Brighton. My work consists mainly of mono-prints and collage works. I am interested in windows and transparency in architecture, the way in which it allows the inside and outside to merge. Elements of windows or negative space are consistent in my work. Most of the imagery in my work comes from pictures I recently took when I last went home to Malaysia. The idea of ‘home’ is also something I am interested in exploring.
Can you give our readers any artists or concepts that have inspired you throughout your work?
Hitchcock’s film ‘Rear Window’ initially influenced my concept relating to windows as a narrative device, I was fascinated by how so much can be observed from a window, both inside and outside. I then began looking into the idea of the window as a frame after reading Anne Friedberg’s ‘The Virtual Window’. Michael Wolf’s architectural photographs in his series ‘Transparent City’ inspired me to photograph buildings in my hometown, Kuala Lumpur. Robert Irwin’s installation ‘Five x Five’ which consists of large pieces transparent material which is something I would like to incorporate more of in my work.
A favourite piece of yours and why?
My favourite piece would have to be my series of prints titled ‘Pasar Seni’, which is named after a train station in Kuala Lumpur where I took many of the photos for my work. Another favourite of mine is this blue print, which is also part of the series. I think the shade of blue perfectly embodies the state of the sky (on some days), just after sunset when the light from inside buildings illuminate and everything is visible from the outside.
(‘Pasar Seni’, Jacintha’s favourite piece)
Are you able to give any details of artists you think we should keep an eye on at the moment?
I really enjoy Claire Oswald’s collage work and Im always looking out for any James Turrell installations, I recently saw one of his light installation piece in a chapel in Berlin which was an amazing experience.
Check out Jacintha’s website here.