The eagerness to make his own life better may explain why Pak’s works are very personal in nature. In his latest “Go Home Project” which took place at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum during the Taipei Biennial 2010, Pak would wait everyday next to a vertical banner that read, “Let the artist accompany you home!’’ He would then share a special journey with a visitor who responded to the invitation.
Apart from challenging the conventional distinction between the artist and audience by exchanging roles, Pak says the project also stressed the importance of mutual trust. In retrospect, he realised this was an expression of his own sense of a lack of security.
On the first night he moved into his current home in a village in the Sai Kung district last year, his home was broken into and all of his valuables were stolen. “Before that, there was no such thing as a thief in my world,’’ Pak says. “Ever since then, I don’t feel secure at home and have become more alert to any possible danger.”
Pak views the “Go Home Project” as part of a process of recovery, which helped him to rebuild his trust in others and heal the psychological harm that was done. He also describes his creative works as being driven by a visceral force.
“My body helps me to search for what I really need. Sometimes these may even be things that I am not aware of myself,” he explains. “It is not necessarily the brain that leads me along the creation process, it is the body which often reacts faster when something goes wrong inside. It will help you to recover your equilibrium.’’
Pak says he has gone through years of persistent training in order to build up his sensitivity to his body’s reactions and to the environment.
He recalls forcing himself to walk on the streets every day during the time he was working for Ming Pao, as a way to train his senses. “After walking slowly for a while, I am able to feel a certain level of tiredness in my body. That is when my breath, heartbeat and mind are in a state of perfect coordination… And then, ‘Ding!”, interesting ideas will pop into your head by themselves.’’
Pak gives an example of such an idea. He once dialled a number using the numbers of bus routes at a bus stop near his home. He talked to the person on the other end for quite a while.
” I believe that 10 out of 10 people you interview would not do such a crazy thing,” Pak says, laughing. “But it is because of the sensitivity I have to the things around me that opens up different doors of possibilities for me to try things out.”