WAKE // Art Installation: videos, original music, photographs (2015-2020)
by Richard Earl Leong Yu Ralya

‘WAKE’ began as a series of videos I filmed during an Artist Residency in Istanbul, Turkey. Over the past five years, it has expanded to encompass a return trip to create a series of photographs as well as composing music to accompany each video. The entire installation is presently composed of seven large format photos, four videos, and three original music compositions. 

The first video in the series, ‘Intro’, sets the tone for the rest of the works while the next three pieces carry the viewer through the three stages of life… arrival (birth), transit (life), and departure (death). These videos are simple abstractions from real life.  No computer animation, major effects, or complex alterations.  Filmed in and around the Bosphorous in July 2015. Photographed in 2017. Scored from 2018 to 2020. While they definitely have a direct relationship to Istanbul’s ferries, they also have an other worldly feel to them as abstract works of art – speaking universally to the human condition.

In general, the music I’m composing for the installation will be more inline with classical music. These are all still being worked on, but while working on Part II, Transit, I fell down a rabbit hole and actually completed a downtempo remix first (I’ve never been one to do things in the proper order… sue me.) Part III is still a work in progress. I’ll be updating the rest of these videos over time as they are completed.


What we see and what we think we see are two different things… 
The truth lies somewhere in-between.

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.“

Carl Sagan

Part I – Arrival

There are many that believe that the soul exists within an ocean of nothingness and everythingness… and is plucked from that ocean when it joins with our physical bodies. Whether you call it a soul, spirit, or energy. Whether you subscribe to religion, spirituality, or science. None can deny that there is a spirit that animates this flesh. A spirit that breathes life into the lifeless. A spirit that flows…
It must come from somewhere. 
To somewhere it must return.

Part II – Transit

Regardless of race, class, wealth, physical appearance, personality… every one of us struggles to traverse the distance from birth to death.  In this, we are all the same.
We journey both together and alone across the waters, creating and destroying relationships. Each of us disturbing the currents with our uniqueness, leaving behind a wake. 

Part III – Departure

We traverse this material world, and in the end, when life separates from the body and moves on, we all return to that same ocean of nothingness and everythingness from which we were plucked. 
It must come from somewhere.
To somewhere it must return.
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