Mathematical minimalism.


Artist Dori Deng’s studio is a minimalist cavern of calculation. Mathematics and architectural drawings span the length of the space on meticulously arranged sheets of stark-white paper. The artist has tried many types of studio space over the years, from a small and dark one in South London, to shared studios with other creatives. Deng expresses that she doesn’t necessarily mind the space itself as long as it is quiet without distraction and with facilities to make good coffee. Given that her practice is site-specific and the ‘real-deal’ happens on the spot, her studio mostly serves as an investigation into fairly small-scale drawings and maquette models, which are the early conceptual developments of her works. The artist finds that this studio practice is providing her with a quiet headspace, in which especially drawing is becoming a ritual for her to achieve the right mindset. The artist herself is dressed entirely in black, this being a common tint in her works, since colour is never used as a subject, rather it is simply a tool or indication to something else. In this sense, it’s almost comical that one of the few bursts of colour in the space is a bright yellow spirit-level, an object used purely for precision. To source the light that is such a staple feature in the artist’s works, I notice plugs upon plugs, stacks of wires that spill from shelves, and multiple electrical-looking objects. To almost escape from the near-overwhelming intensity of technicality in the studio, a yoga mat is positioned in the corner, inviting a space for release against the systematic categorisation that occupies Deng’s working mind.

All photography by Martin Mayorga © DATEAGLE ART 2019

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