Installation View; Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen

“SeSiSå” is a workshop-based exhibition that was held in three exhibition rooms of TENTHAUS from 07 to 22 January 2022. Musician/composer Wei Ting Zeng and visual artist Jacky Jaan-Yuan Kuo held several composition and improvised music workshops with local children, many from Møllergata skole, a school in central Oslo where around 70% of the students have a different language and cultural background other than Norwegian. Each workshop invites three participants between the ages of 8 – 12, the sound materials and processes from before and after the workshops are presented at different stages throughout the three weekends: Phase 1: Se (Eng: See), Phase 2: Si (Eng: Say), Phase 3: Så (Eng: Saw).

The two Taiwanese artists have developed “SeSiSå” as the first chapter of its pilot project “Vi Sees” which was exhibited at PODIUM in July 2021. They continue to focus on migration and identity insecurity, combining senses and memories as alternative knowledge. Through unfolding the familial experiences of being misunderstood, (mis)heard, oppressed, they scrutinize the (post)trauma that has been passed down over generations, and how the transformation of individual personhood – identities in progress – operates in relation to the collective. The aim of “SeSiSå” is to research more inclusive forms of knowledge and communication, alternatives to language through visual, sound, improvised music workshops, as well as to foster a safe environment of sharing and caring for one another.

Phase 1: Se

“Se” (Eng: See) starts with an invitation to interact with Jacky Jaan-Yuan Kuo’s spatial installation before the workshops. The folds and curves of the space are adapted from the familial scenes of his memory. Through the extended connection with the floor and the bodily sensations wrapped up in it, the space responds to the moment when a conversation stops abruptly, leaving only footsteps on the wooden floor. Wei Ting Zeng uses sound installations on walls and under the wooden floor to interpret the shapes and curves of the spatial installations, capturing the sound in space, and the changes in frequency and amplitude caused by the changes in form of the installations. The two aim to engage in dialogue and interpretation through their physical perception of space, taking the scene as the initial immersive experience, inviting the audience’s body into an imagination that is more-than-visual, and paving the way for the upcoming workshops.

Phase 2: Si

“Si” (Eng: Say) displays the results of the workshops in three different exhibition spaces. The sound materials and dialogues recorded in the workshops are added to the existing audio and site-specific installations. In the workshops, the children are guided by Wei Ting through visual and tactile exercises, exploring shapes and colours of sounds, and collectively creating an atypical score – a spatial notation. By combining various shapes, lines and colours, and developing the method of reading scores, participants take turns playing the roles of conductors and musicians with varied objects, toys, or musical instruments.

In the process, they share their own perspectives by coordinating and listening to each other closely. Through different rhythms, the intensity of the strength and the length of the notes through practice, a safe space for self-expression is created, and then “heard”. This space nurtures concepts of inclusiveness and care; a need for self-expression but also listening to the voices of others.

Workshop Documentation (B&W); Photo: Jacky Jaan-Yuan Kuo

Phase 3: Så

“Så” (Eng: Saw) is the last stage. The visual materials and spatial scores developed from the workshops are removed, using the manipulation of tense to invite the audience into an imageless environment. Using the dialogue texts of the workshops and the sound of improvisational exercises as the index of retrospect, they explore the workshops and activities that have occurred in the space in the past; that is, the past and present tense of space, a retrospective constituent that can never be coexistent with immediate experience, but accompanies it in fractured form.

The project is generously supported by Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond (Norwegian Visual Artists Fund) and Kulturrådet (Arts Council Noway).

Warm appreciation goes out to the current team at TENTHAUS. Special thanks go to Åsmund Kvarme Skuterud and Joanna Chia-Yu Lin, who have provided vital support for this project.

Related collateral three special live radio programs “On SeSiSå” took place during January and February 2022 on Radio Tenthaus:

11 January 20.00 to 23.00 “On SeSiSå Part One” with Wei Ting Zeng, Jacky Jaan-Yuan Kuo, and artist Montserrat Llampallas

25 January 20.00 to 23.00 “On SeSiSå Part Two” with Wei Ting Zeng and musician Christian Meaas Svendsen

08 February 20.00 to 23.00 “On SeSiSå Part Three” with teachers from Møllergata Skole korps, Ole Magnus Næsbakken Ekeberg and Håvard Johansen

Workshop Participants with Improvisational Performance:
Møllergata Skole korps
Workshop Leader:
Wei Ting Zeng
Sound Editing & Soundscape:
Wei Ting Zeng & Åsmund Kvarme Skuterud
Sound Engineering:
Åsmund Kvarme Skuterud
Site-specific Installation:
Jacky Jaan-Yuan Kuo & Åsmund Kvarme Skuterud
Concept Development/Evolvement:
Wei Ting Zeng, Jacky Jaan-Yuan Kuo, Åsmund Kvarme Skuterud & Joanna Chia-Yu Lin
Video Documentation:
Rickard Aall
Exhibition Documentation:
Øystein Thorvaldsen

Workshop Documentation (B&W):
Jacky Jaan-Yuan Kuo