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Posted by on February 10, 2011

Art Talks: Terence Koh on "nothingtoodoo"

Art Talks: Terence Koh on
Photo: nothingtoodooterencekoh Courtesy of the artist

Written by Michael Kowalinski on February 10, 2011 for Another Magazine

While New York-based artist Terence Koh may have found a peaceful yet incredibly active presence in the marriage of art and fashion, in New York and beyond, his eye is looking towards debate and both a physical and abstract peace that embraces everyone, in every field, in his exhibition nothingtoodoo. Gathering a group of eight people in various industries and with various mindsets – a philosopher, musician, economist, theologian, scientist, poet, graphic designer and a technologist – he illustrates that everyone's way of thinking, creative or scientific, can influence and shape peace. It began with Koh, who will act as host and enact a progression towards peace, and the result is the creation of a kind of thinktank for peace, creating a debate and discussion that will outlive the exhibition. In the run up to his show, set to open 12 February at New York's Mary Boone Gallery, AnOther caught up with Koh via email who responded in fitting nothingtoodoo-themed-speak.

Another Magazine: How did this idea come to you?

Terence Koh: The idea of nothingtoodoo? I was just on the verge of waking up and it came to me when I woke up that I had nothingtoodoo. This was everything I had toodoo. The world has too much everythingtoodoo. Let's nothingtoodoo together.

AM: What kind of peace are you looking to illustrate?

TK: Peace iz one of the aspects of nothingtoodoo. Peace iz non-violence. Peace iz everywhere. Peace iz now. A peace between yoo and me, me and my cat, macro-level of world peace, super abstract macro-level of tinking that two future universes will not collide to the level of two atoms falling in love. Peace iz everywhere. Peace iz now.

AM: Where do you find peace?

TK: Yoo first have to find peace in yourself. On yourself too. And floating above yoo. And yoo hope that feeling this peace into and out of yourself that it generates peace throughout time and space across the universe.

AM: As it’s a debate of sorts, will the exhibit grow organically? How is the show an evolution of your voice?

TK: The show has grown from a debate, a symposium to a single idea of me performing everyday in the gallery. A perfect mountain of salt at the beginning of the show. I felt that this was not the show that would nuture the debate I had hoped for a few weeks before when I first thought about it. Perhaps I am not ready for it myself. But perhaps by looking at me a debate would form, and it would continue forming after the show. So no beginnning to the show, no end to the show. The show is a stepping stone towards other shows that will provide more concrete ideas for what I would hope to create as a 'tinktank for peace'.

AM: How do these professions that you’ve chosen – what significance do these have?

TK: As an artist, I feel that we should pool in the resources of the entire world together towards positive goals. Our planet iz in danger, our civilization iz in danger; how we treat each other, how I treat myself is delicate. If we bring in fields from economics, science, theology, anthropology, politics, enviromentalist, film-makers, pschyologist, aumist (people that aum) we pool our brains together so that art manifest itself into more branches to support peace. I am not sure if peace itself is the premise of this show but a branch cause there is nothingtoodoo eventually.

AM: As fashion slowly infiltrates more aspects of our lives, how can art do this effectively?

TK: It's not just fashion, it's all the other fields that work osmotically towards first ourself and than the whole cosmos.

AM: You mentioned that you’ve come out of a bit of hibernation. What’s next for you?

TK: I have to focus on nothingtoodoo and nothing else.