George Siahaan : CUT AND SEW

Cut and Sew is a 4 minute, short visual album concerned with the ethics of repurposing art and sampling, strictly composed of “stolen” art.

pursuit of happyness

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Project Statement:

Cut and Sew is a 4 minute, short visual album created by George Siahaan concerned with the ethics of repurposing art and sampling. The project is built upon the famous quote, “Good artists borrow, great artists steal”, which questions the existence of originality in the art world. Is anything ever original in art? If an artist were to make an original project using only existing resources, are they a creator, or are they a thief? Cut and Sew follows a strict policy during its creation that refrained from using any original works, both true in its audio and visual composition. Instead, the project utilizes “stolen” sounds and visuals, taken from colleagues, the Internet, and nature. The “stolen” elements of Cut and Sew were stitched and pieced together to capture the project’s cohesive aesthetic, and to challenge the principles behind repurposed art and originality. The underlying theme of Cut and Sew relates to habits of self-sabotage, specifically avoidance and escape, which the project metaphorizes as a bank heist. Thus, the visual album is dissected into 3 parts: I. THE HEIST, II. THE CHASE, and III. THE REGRET, musical analogies to being presented with an issue, escaping from the reality of the situation, and the final regrets of poor decision making.


Artist Statement:

George Siahaan is a New York based, Asian-American multi-media artist, raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. Developing a special admiration for Hip-Hop music at a young age, Siahaan began exploring music production and DJing during his middle school years. He grew particularly fond of the intricacies behind reworking old music and manipulating them into creating something new and original (also known as, chopping and sampling). As his fascination expanded even further, Siahaan began experimenting with digital audio workstations in an attempt to test the limits of how sound can be reworked, and further develop his own distinct personality through sampling. Siahaan finds inspiration and influence from his involvement in local communities of aspiring producers and musicians both in his hometown of Jakarta, as well as in New York City, where groups of artists are tapped into a similar passion for sharing samples, drum kits, and original music. The diversity in cultural backgrounds and production styles within these communities exposed Siahaan to a plethora of influences that helped facilitate his own journey in discovering his own distinct sound. Siahaan strives to incorporate his passion for sampling in his bodies of work, as well as integrating the multitude of influences he has accumulated from the two places he calls home.