Oil and Acrylic on canvas
“Disappearance” and “temporality” have always been the cores of my practice.
These core concepts have evolved into four art series in recent years and respectively engaged with different aspects and issues, which include Sanchuan State (2015) that explores the viewing of Taiwan’s past and present, The Images Left Behind (2018~) that discusses contemporary social issues involved in my personal experience and memory, as well as Painting (2015~) and Glacier (2019~) that employ the perception of materials and forest landscape as metaphors for memory and time.
The experience of traveling between different cities and searching for information online using simultaneously multiple windows have influenced the way I see and think about things for a long time. My personal thinking is formed through the intertextuality of images; and with artistic creation, I have shaped my observations and values in respective stages. For me, art needs to be open and imaginative in this era instead of providing answers and displaying reality.
Sanchuan State originated from my attempt to process the modern development of Taiwanese landscape from the period of Japanese rule to the contemporary era as well as the viewing and identification of urban and natural landscape. However, I was deeply drawn to the massive amount of landscape on postcards, especially those created around the dawn of the 20th century. In that era when photography was not yet common, the intricate, complex relations among object, image, documentation, the awareness of drawing, image resolution and texture were contained and captured by the small pieces of paper. For an artist, whose practice mainly and consistently engages with painting, it became an issue I felt compelled to examine, which I has termed as “to open up interstices that permit the perceptual viewing of reality.”
Painting, for me, indicates taking action rather than merely just drawing. It involves the creator’s viewing, consciousness, emotion and the interaction between materials as well as the display and statement of all these things combined in a space. In an interesting way, even piling up and storing these things in a warehouse can be considered a statement. In this era of image information explosion, the images recorded in finished paintings are also part of it. We should think about how we could re-consider the materials and temporal relations in painting, along with the historic phenomena they reflect.
The Images Left Behind deals with topics of changes occurred in my family. A death in the family as well as the material exchange between land and money reveal the relationship between memory, material and capital under circumstances informed by various uncertainties and constant disappearances. This series is not created for conveying any social critiques. Under complex, entangling circumstances, everyone tends to uphold a different stance, and the situations they face also vary. What I am more interested in is to recover personal belief and value as well as the imagination of memory instead of trying to solve certain problems and voice any criticism. If we are offered a different way of thinking, we might have more courage and take action in facing separation, disappearance and the present reality.
Painting reflects more ambiguous, less denotative phenomena about viewing and disappearance. Landscape as a metaphor and the thinking about materials and forms of painting are other issues explored in this series.
The process of creating a painting is similar to observing one’s interaction with the surrounding environment, as fragmented life experiences are assembled, combined and extended into something new through the process. The creative subject of my painting in recent years has evolved around my travels, hiking trips into forests and the impact upon seeing the glacier lagoon in Iceland. I have become fascinated with using changing landscape and material forms as a metaphor, such as the capricious weather in the mountains, fog and mist, ancient forests, minuscule plants, glaciers, to reimagine and represent the faded past.
As I have mentioned, painting means taking action for me. The materials of the series mostly come from observations in life and spending time with other people. Most of the images are photographs taken with other people during hiking trips in high mountains. In my preparation of painting, photography seems to have become my way of sketching and viewing. I do not aim to represent the landscape captured in these photographic images but rather to shape the sensory experience and the metaphors throughout the process of painting. The objective of the series is to employ painting to express thing that defy clear descriptions or denotations.
The complicated phenomena formed by the composition of paint, lines and forms, light and characteristic changes of materials as well as the viewing of audiences resemble our daily life and all its variations.
If massive image information has already become our way of communication and viewing in this era, painting contrarily offers a slow-paced, intricate and profound interface for thinking.
自身經驗與記憶所觸及的當下社會議題，【The Images Left Behind】(2018~)。
【The Images Left Behind】我思考的是面對家中的改變，親人逝去、土地與金錢物質的轉換，諸多不確定性與不斷消逝的狀態下記憶、物質與資本的關係。不是為了社會批判而做，在這些複雜糾葛中，每個人立場不同，面對的現實狀況也不盡相同。我所感興趣的是喚起個人的信念價值與對於記憶的想像，而不是解決問題與批判。如果能夠讓人有不同的思考方式，我們將更有勇氣與個人行動來面對離別、面對消逝與當下的現實。