Michael Ku Gallery is pleased to announce Kuang Jun’s first sculpture exhibition in Taiwan, Decorative Metaphor – Atonement. The show features the artist’s latest works made in 2014 and comprises three sets: Decorative Metaphor–Atonement, Allowed to be Human 2 and Small Swallows. Extending discussions about visual language and concepts found in sculpture works by UNMASK, the artists group to which he belonged, Kuang Jun’s first solo show stresses more on depicting the construction of one’s self and of the times in the modern society.
The media of the three sets of sculptures range from iron gratings dismantled from demolished abandoned houses of the standardized communist period, ready-made wood beams or door frames, or bronze sculptures of human figures made by the artist. As diverse as the media may seem, Kuang Jun applies to each work the acts of “destruction” and “repair” in the process of making. For Decorative Metaphor–Atonement, the artist collected used iron gratings and re-assembled shattered glass with copper through sculptural approaches or inlays the glass into mosaics. With Small Swallows, he carbonizes wood door frames and beams, wraps them in purple copper, digs out charcoal and creates images of swallows dragged over the floor. For Allowed to be Human 2, he employs sculptures of humans and pedestals pertaining to the language of classic sculpture and applies the craft of iron wrapped in copper, a technique drawn from the aesthetics of the past. While the artist chooses the classic manner to treat the figures, materials, craftsmanship and presentation of this piece, he hollows out certain parts of the bodies, thus juxtaposing the new and the old, the glamour and the gloomy.In the name of creation, such “destruction” and “repair” are justified. A kind of belief in the past, like the song titled Small Swallows in the film Nurse Diary(1957) about the advent of spring and the belief in it, it is about passion for new life and new construction. And the Small Swallows reflected in Kuang Jun’s work are collapsed beams left from the past. “Repair” comes from one’s respect toward objects; this is about the tenacity of confronting the past and about re-creating on the basis of previous bases. The artist attaches the term “atonement” to the end of the title of each work, emphasizing the process and motivation of art-making. This also represents the most essential inner mentality in Kuang Jun’s sculptural oeuvre. Kuang Jun reflects on the transformations of Chinaese society; the motif of observing modern society also implies the artist’s inquiries into the nature of sculpture, the essence and feeling of one’s existence and the essence of art.