Tactile: 12 Concealed Sculptures is an international visual art exhibition within a space devoid of light. Bringing together the works of Maltese, Japanese, Italian and French sculptors, Tactile will see audiences engage with the works primarily through the sense of touch. The visually impenetrable setting will invite the general public to interact with the exhibits through what will remain a purely tactile experience. By having these sculptures concealed from the naked eye, the project aims to reverse any preconceived notions of the ‘normal’ process of perceiving visual art exclusively through sight.
Tactile is the very first artistic project in the Maltese Islands that places visually impaired individuals and the rest of the community on an equal footing. The exhibition will reveal to those deprived of sight a world that, by its very visual nature, typically excludes them from engaging with it. It will also act as an ‘eye-opener’ for the general public, who will be involved in the act of perceiving sculpture in the same way as the former do. In this manner, Tactile will attempt to bridge the gap that separates these two communities’ perceptive practices, in the hope of leading to a closer sense of understanding through a common sensory experience.
The project is curated and managed by Jesmond Vassallo in close collaboration with designer Jonathan Galea. It also sees the participation of Omura Shunji, Kunie Fujiyoshi, Takashi Yukawa (Japan), Claire Fontana (France), Adriano Ciarla (Italy), Raymond Azzopardi, Joseph Chetcuti, Jonathan Galea, Noel Galea Bason, Paul Scerri, Jesmond Vassallo and John Vassallo (Malta), each of whom will be exhibiting an individual piece. One year of ongoing collaborative work will culminate in the said exhibition, which will be set up at the Valletta University Campus and remain open to visitors daily between October 5 and November 4, 2018.