The Canvas of Resonance is a sound and visual installation inspired by the use of simple metal sheets to produce sound effects for cinema, TV and radio by Foley artists in the pre-digital age.
In the early days of live radio, Foley artists invented a novel way to create the sound of thunder: Their method of rattling a large piece of thin copper sheeting suspended by wires was so effective that it became a mainstay of the industry for decades, and is now what many people associate with a Foley artist’s work.
The Canvas of Resonance re-examines this longstanding audio effect, creating complex, atmospheric sound compositions by manipulating the surface of a series of metal sheets – each of a different thickness – suspended in the gallery space.
The Canvas of Resonance experiments with the full range of audio potential contained within the metal. Each sheet is fitted with five small motors which create vibrations in the metal. As the vibrations and metal thicknesses vary different sounds are produced, with every imperfection and discrepancy on the surface creating new and unique qualities of sound.
The resulting installation – accompanied by flickering lights highlighting the surface of the metal – is an immersive, pulsating and intensely cinematic experience.
Kenny Wong Chi-Chuen is a media artist from Hong Kong. His practice emphasises art as a form of multi-disciplinary research which seeks to express the delicate relationship between everyday experiences and perceptual stimulations. His work is often collaborative and includes multimedia design, mechanical engineering and art research.
Wong’s solo and collaborative works have been selected by high profile festivals including Ars Electronica Festival (Austria), WRO Media Art Biennale (Poland), FILE Festival (Brazil), ISEA Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and Athens Video Art Festival (Greece).
He received the Award for Young Artist (Media Arts) in 2014, Bloomberg Digital Arts Initiative 2013, and the Gold Award at the 16th ifva Festival (Interactive Media Category).
Scroll down for video documentation of the installation in our gallery and a recording of an artist’s talk from Kenny about the making of the work.