CREATIVITY IN THE ARTS, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Invoking the artist in everyman by VOICES.
Panel Speaker: Chng Nai Wee.
Ideas are spirits of the times. The artist sensitive to the existence of
these new ideas, captures it. Creativity is a mindset, a way of living life, and
engaging the world. In everyman lies an artist waiting to be discovered. The
creative process can be defined by a series of mental orientations that Dr Chng
coins as VOICES: to visualise, observe, invert, connect, evaluate, and simplify.
The creative process can be enhanced by emotional orientations: be passionate,
positive, and persevering. Dr Chng reveals the VOICES orientations in play
during his creation of his various artworks and projects.
Creativity is a mindset, a way of living life, and a comprehensive way of
engaging the world. To celebrate creativity is to celebrate openness, diversity,
and the evolution of the existing into a more powerful and substantial new.
allows you to appreciate the world in all its grand diversity. Creativity is a
meaningful and fun way of doing things, and it allows you to express yourself in
a complete and genuine way.
are spirits and manifestations of the times in the air.
The artist seeks them out and captures them, just like the man who catches
butterflies with a net. It is not as if an idea emerges from the perfect void of
the artist’s mind. When one artist captures and develops an idea, others
elsewhere in the world are thinking about it.
man is an artist waiting to be discovered. To employ the creative process,
requires an orientation of our mental frames of thought, and emotional
acronym and mnemonic VOICES,
illustrates what I understand to be the creative process.
See the final product, the end
itself, in your mind’s eye.
Freely edit the mental image in your mind to change scenarios, and to
introduce new elements.
Your mind’s eye is free portable colourful 3-dimensional movie
Visualisation allows me to see how the work may end up, allows me to make an assessment as to whether the artwork will be successful, how the audience will response.
The most enduring image becomes the vision that leads and guides you, and that focuses your attention and energy.
I have found the best places to
visualise, is to place myself in a pleasant environment that allows your
inner-self to emerge. A disturbing environment demands your reactive and urgent
attention and distracts you from visualisation.
First form the image, and add details. Sketching and moulding are tools
that help me to visualise, and to give abstraction concreteness.
works with evaluative intuition and the making of creative connections.
Observation followed by reflection and analysis is a primary means of
gaining insight, for many concepts are rooted in reality.
observe is a passive and an active act.
your mind, take no assumptions for granted, and extinguish all prejudices,
all senses, see the world around you and within yourself, look at the details,
and the patterns.
We observe so as to question, to gain insight from the details, to extrapolate from the details so as to form the seeds for ideas, to form the elusive connections.
may be by the use of our eyes to detect the emotional body language and the placement of physical objects in context, and
or the use of our ears for the text,
tone, and pitch of verbal comments.
actively observe is to explore.
exceedingly curious and incessantly
I have expanded my artistic capability by observing on-site the construction of artworks by artists, and by scrutinising the artworks of artists.
To invert is turn something inside out, to reverse the order of things.
Inversion involves mental perspectives and emotional values.
Ask ‘why not’ and ‘what if’ questions.
to challenge the perspectives, rules, conventions, the establishment,
rebel, to play the fool, to adopt contrarian viewpoints. Be the minority.
Consider viewpoints which may sometimes posture yourself at the point of
provocation or apparent absurdity. Aim for paradigm shifts. Sometimes you want
to go all the way with your idea.
are made to help us. They are useful guidelines for the uninitiated. But rules
constantly change to reflect the evolution of society, so why can you not lead
the evolution by breaking them?
The substantial inverted idea is one when people appear shocked on hearing it, because their attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge have not kept pace with change.
You can however disagree, and still be pleasant.
is about turning weaknesses to strengths, reframing a negative in a positive
light, and embracing failure as part of the creative process. Understanding the
failure will provide insights for that will make the next creative process more
likely to be successful. Failures are noble failures, because they are arrived
at after you have undertaken a sincere dedicated process. Failures are resting
points for contemplation and recharging along the road to success. Two steps
backwards, and three steps forward has been the story of my life. This reframing
redirects your mind to focus on your energies.
Free your mind and its imagination. Explore the various dimensions,
if a feature, essence, logic, concept, principle, characteristic can be
transplanted to another domain or reapplied elsewhere.
and reapply patterns, metaphors, and analogies.
from personal experience, databases, existing works and ideas.
on the works and ideas of others.
are not copying, but using the principles and enhancing and reapplying it.
connecting, you gain access to exponential relationships and transposition of
These relationships are not defined linearly, but exponentially. Image spheres
floating in the air and connect ed to one another by a series of 3-dimensional,
and even multi-dimensional ways.
to exist in your mind. Intolerance leads to discomfort, and a subconscious
repression of these ideas to regain comfort.
first to understand the essence of a particular culture and belief, before
choosing whether to employ the essence.
all parts of humanity and yourself to exist within your mind. The range of
emotions and tendencies include those of the young to old, introvert to
extrovert, masculine to feminine, people of different cultures and occupations.
all the different role identifies, knowledge domains, value systems, to employ.
Value your experiences, memories, learning.
Have access to media, to books, exciting periodicals, expert friends,
I maintain a personal library, and hang objects and text of interest on
my blank walls, allowing me to subconsciously or purposefully make connections
to arrive at breakthrough ideas.
If you do not demand high standards from yourself, how likely are you to
achieve works of high standards? Be the hardest on yourself. Criticize the work constantly.
a prototype and a model.
These prototypes can quickly enable a feel of the processes at hand, test
whether the assumptions hold true and whether the idea will work.
limitations with conscientious design.
conviction to take hold, to fire yourself, and for you to persuade others.
Be responsive to the work as it develops, and evaluate new directions, make changes, and fine-tune as necessary according to the development of the work.
with a clean slate of mind, free from preconceived notions.
thoughts for evaluation.
works on the wall or in the room, for daily ‘talking’ and review.
allows subconscious thinking when I am asleep, not merely dreaming, such that
when I wake up, new insight emerges.
is the guard of the final unified gateway where subconscious creative and other
intellectual and emotional processes work together give you a summary
Clarify the idea and
seek the essence.
clear and succinct in communication.
Aim for ease of access and use.
aesthetics and beauty.
of design and the elegance of the concept.
and push concepts and works to their limits.
parts must somehow contribute to the whole. Connection of diversify results in a
greater simplified whole. Have no distractions and weed out any part that does
not fit in.
necessary, reserve competing ideas encroaching onto the creative process for
other separate works.
To simplify is to observe for the crux, and to recognise overriding
simplify is to make bold simple connections between various domains.
simplify is also to make the bold clear presentation of the concept.
If you do not believe in the creative process, you cannot embark on the journey.
If you do not believe in yourself, who will believe in you?
Present your ideas convincingly.
– It is better to be a tiger for a day, then a sheep for a thousand years.
you take the minority point of view, and challenge the convention – you will
face opposition from those whose status and security are based on the
preservation of the status quo.
– If you do not lose sight of the shores, how can you discover new oceans?
Unless you try, how can you know if you will succeed?
You are the spark that sets the ball rolling.
– Play is work accompanied with passion - passion gives energy to drive the
Positive –The state of the world in your mind is heavily influenced by your perception of it. To be positive is a strategic move to frame your mind to be productive, to energize yourself, and to make your life to be more pleasant.
You have never failed unless you have stopped trying, the creative process may
be a series of noble failures, where you fail forward, sometimes taking two
steps back, but eventually taking three steps forwards.
project without limitations does not challenge your creativity. The step-by-step
following of instructions to fold a piece of paper into a paper aeroplane is a
transformation by the hands, but there is no creative process engaged.
is on encountering limitations, that you tap on the creative process to overcome
obstacles for you may ingenuously consider different perspectives, observe the
context, and combine and connect different options and resources available,
before artfully surmounting the obstacles.
reality, limitations challenges and engages your creative process fully.
Ideas are spirits and manifestations of
the times in the air. The power of the idea, the elegance, the beauty, the
logic takes over you - in full flow. – as if the work and you are one and the
same. The spirit of the idea moves you to manifest it. Enjoy its power.