The Uncertain Gravity of Being

Apr 23, 2011-May 29, 2011

Michael Lin, Hong Shao-Pei, Huang Bow-Wei, Ye Red-Xing, Tasi Yu-Shan, Liu Shih-Tung


Text/ Gallery100

During the times when Italo Calvino (1923~1985)began to write, all young writers regarded it as their established mission to portray the world they lived in as it really was. Calvino was no exception, but he soon perceived and understood the world’s gravity, stagnation and gloominess, which were inevitably attached to his writing except when he managed to escape from them. He always chose the reality of life as his writing materials, and his works were always attempting to achieve a cheerful writing style. But between them existed an extensive gap. He had to keep working hard to overcome this obstacle.

If we compare artistic creation, especially the 21st century’s, with Calvino’s literary creation, we will be surprised to find their similarity. That is, the gravity of life must be braced in a light-hearted manner. The designing concept for “The Uncertain Gravity of Being”is to present how the six artists, Michael Lin、Hong Shao-Pei、Huang Bow-Wei、Ye Red-Xing、Tasi Yu-Shan、Liu Shih-Tung, “evade” gravity with lightness through the display of their sampled works. Just as Calvino mentioned in his book Six Memo for the next Millennium the idea that Every cheerful and weightless object we have chosen and cherished in our life is apt to reveal its real gravity sooner or later. This condition is an unbearable fact of life. And perhaps only with the wit and agility of “wisdom” can people escape the trial.” In brief, these six artists’ creations have exhibited how they observe the world with their distinct perspectives, unique logic, and newest awareness, instead of being consumed by reality.

The lightness and gravity of many scenarios in our lives are immeasurable. As we remember, Milan Kundera once address his point that The contrast of lightness and gravity is the most mystic, and most ambiguous as well. Then, how can we come to grasp the sequences of approaches with which the six artists have dissolved the gravity in a light manner? And what kind of “wit and agility of wisdom” have their works expressed to us?

Exploring this issue, we feel somewhat lucky that artistic creation differs from literary creation: artworks definitely deal with such dual aspects as outward materials or expressive skills, inner contents or vocabulary. This characteristic of art enables us to observe, study, or interpret these six artists’ works and to understand more easily how they have handled the issue of “lightness and gravity.”

The six artists’ creation contents, materials and styles have had their own individual focuses, but they have all recorded some memories and sentiments in their lives. In general, they have all chosen “light” materials or forms to uphold the “gravity” of life and have all displayed the mystic and ambiguous contrast in their works. Considering the materials or expressive skills they used, the six artists may be divided into two contrasting types: Hong Shao-Pei、Tasi Yu-Shan、Huang Bow-Wei belong to the painting form and Michael Lin、Ye Red-Xing、Liu Shih-Tung belong to the form of patching parallels. Take Tasi Yu-Shan and Huang Bow-Wei as an example. They are both in the generation of the late 80’s. In the face of the outside world’s chaos and gravity, they have continued exploring their minds, reflecting and contemplating. Tasi Yu-Shan has transformed her doubts for reality into the main character in her paintings, a little monkey lady. The bright soft colors, however, cannot conceal the melancholy shown in the little monkey’s eyes. In her works, tender smiles are cleansing and healing wounds, and deep sorrows are tinted with light colors. Huang Bow-Wei has created a weird and imaginary world. This world seems unrealistic, but actually his creating inspiration mainly came from his early childhood memories on the Tai-tong seashores. He endeavored to depict a world interwoven with remembrances, fantasies and myths. In this world, human beings, worms, or non-human-beings, and non-worms have all lost their physical weights, wandering into another world with lightness.

If what is presented in this exhibition is beyond lightness and gravity, then what is the six artists’ core idea for creation? Let’s return to Calvino’s Greek mythological hero, Perseus. Perseus was the only hero who could evade Medusa’s relentless stare and who chopped off her head. (Those who could not evade her stare would be turned to stone.) Perseus’ power derived from his refusal to stare. If we compare reality to Medusa, then artists must carry reality, accept it and look upon it as their special burden. If they make it, what is destined to be a heavy burden may well be dissolved and fly into a different world.

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