Summary: I wanted to work with people. In our conversation, we all felt that delivering an art project and delivering an fundraising campaign together with two different aims would not be a good idea.

Conversation notes: • Delivering an art project “n+1”, the activity has no purpose: “I don't know what I would be doing, except I know I will travel to each location/square throughout a period of time.” I initially begun “n+1” project to raise money for the Mind, the mental health charity. It had been holding me back to go further for different reasons since 2013. Therefore, I wondered if I did the project by fundraising for the D&D that would give me a better reason and motivate me to deliver this challenge.

• Delivering the fundraising campaign for the D&D or any of the charities, the activity has purpose: “I want to raise money for the D&D communities to make theatre. I love D&D and Open Space, and love to raise money for the D&D charity.”

After the discussion, I realized the ideas of doing an art project and fundraising for the D&D, they were separate, and had separate challenges. In truth, I felt I needed to have a good reason or purpose in order to do art. This was the main reason of holding me back.

Li: “my project has no purpose. If I don't find a good purpose of doing this, I can't do it.”

Lee: “Just go for it, do the project yourself. You can do it….You can always do the fundraising for the D&D in the future.” Paul: “Doing the project for its own sake with no purpose.”

Paul: “Just do it, you don't have to justify with other people.”

Paul: “Mental clarity - be clear in your mind what you need to do.”

Li: “I know now, the purpose of doing the project is doing the project for its own sake with no purpose. It is just an experience of doing it. It is ok not having a purpose. Art has no purpose. Art is not a functional object. This is part of ‘my thinking posture’ in my work, so there is nothing to worry about.”

Lee: “Art has no purpose.”

In another session, someone asked me, “Why do you still do art? What is the point of it?” I replied with a word, “VALUE”, then I added, “Self-value”. I didn't know entirely what this meant but I felt strongly that was the reason I wanted to work in the art and left my day job. On my way home, I looked up the meaning of “Self-value” in Chinese, nnnnnnnnnn. I couldn't find English definition in google that matches the Chinese definition. Do most people understand the meaning of “self-value”?

Gentle self-reminder:

1. About collaboration: Bringing two or more than one purposes together into “a same boat” was not a healthy idea in collaboration. The boat could just sink, stay still or can't go far. In order to deliver a project successfully, it will require sharing the same aim before stepping into the boat together.

2. About working alone: Think simple, focus one. (for example, avoid doing two things at the same time or do one thing at a time that will help me to deliver the project better.)

3. Give a great attention and care to each step of the project, by giving myself a self-guideline to deliver the project.

Action to take:

1. Re-design the project image, using one image and one sentence about the project. (be sharp and direct without too much information, get done by 20 April.)

2. Re-name the project title, considering one main focus of the activity. (do not try to fit in more than one idea into the activity, has to be simple and direct without confusion, get done by 20 April.)

3. Write up the project proposal two versions, short and long versions, including the back-up plan and project date if it is working without any funding, get done by 23 April 2014.

4. Get in touch with London Transport, Samsung, Welcome Trust, Mind, ACE, backup plan from family or alternative ways of funding the activity.

5. What else could I do to get supports for delivering this project on no purpose?

Action completed within a week:

1. images re-development: 'n+1' old project - re-development ongoing (but ended 20.05.14) 'n-1' new project - new approach upcoming both images and projects were developed/re-developed from the alternative practice guidelines 21/04/2014.

2. someone advised me to make a plan to apply AHRC funds for starting a 3-4 years project.

3. someone advised me to look up Mayor's of London Arts and Culture

4. i am still holding myself back and thinking: “is funding a good approach?” this will be the next step to find out. (self-reminder: get my original idea written down first before making any contact to potential supporters.)

(3.6.14) Lucky, right time, this is an event that I was looking for about funding uncertainty. I attended this event to find out, Devoted and Disgruntled: Why is funding the arts better for everyone?

I give myself 4 stars **** to say well done to myself about this report.


Many thanks to Lee, Paul and the people who were there to help me discovering this. I feel I have the confident to write up my project proposal and contact potential sponsors. So happy to discover I can now allow myself to take an action (just do it) without the needs of attaching any functional purposes.

Three different new questions came up from the report:

Q: Do most people understand the meaning of “self-value”?

Q: What would be a project like for fundraising D&D?

Q: Who would support a project with no purpose?

I got the answers to above questions that set me free now.

DandD conversations and reporting are a great way forward for the unknown and uncertainty. Thank you.

notes added 7.6.14:

1. Paul suggested “The concept of “self-value”, the English equivalents would be “self-worth” or “self-esteem” or “self-respect”. In the context of creativity and artistic achievement, he would say that “personal fulfilment“ is also a powerful motivation.

2. He also commented, ”Regarding the other issues in your report, obviously raising money for charity is a respectable goal and can make an activity which might otherwise seem self-indulgent (”a project with no purpose”) more socially acceptable.

3. Paul asked, “Are you using your project as a way of raising funds or are you using fund-raising as a way of justifying your project? Which is the means and which is the end in this case?”

In respond to above comments:

1. Paul gave me a very detail clarification and understanding. In Chinese translation, “self-value” means “personal fulfilment”, rather than “self-worth”, “self-esteem”.

2. This was the reason I got confused with myself, my mind was thinking both English and Chinese when I proposed to bring fundraising for “Mind, the mental health charity” together with my project on ‘nothing’ with ‘no purpose’ structure.

3. I was interested in challenging how the society value ‘nothing’. In my mind, I though I would be able to raise at least £20,000 to £100,000 with my project ‘n+1’.

4. At that time I was looking for a charity to give the money to if I did make this project successful from ‘nothing’, I couldn't find any organisations.

5. At the end, I picked Mind charity, it was because of the charity logo had the connection to my artwork and the project ‘n+1’. The project 'n+1' marked an end after this conversation and report.

6. Because writing the report helps me to understand what I was doing and why I had self-conflicts between ‘value’, ‘nothing’, ‘no purpose’ and arts. I found value by having fail to the project now, but a new project is born from this conversation, 'n-1',

7. 'n-1' #ndeduct1 will begin 15 August 2014 last for (360)days. “What would a project be like with no purpose?” Find out more via twitter #ndeduct1 for more stories coming up.

8. ACE application has already completed and ready to be submitted by next week.

9. Summary Report End:

Now I understand my mind have always been thinking mostly in Chinese but also in English living in London.

10. Thank you very much for DandD's support, and to everyone from DandD who helped me in this journey from 2009 to 2014.

11. I am so pleased to be able to receive Improbable's new DandD logo attached to this new forthcoming project ‘n-1’ #ndeduct1 (image below).

12. The invisible support will mean so much to the ways how I will take this challenge of making it happen.

13. Cheers!