Michael Ku Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition that gathers the works of five young contemporary Taiwanese artists, all of whom share artistic sympathies and inspire one another. From their works, viewers will gain insight into the defining characteristics of Taiwan’s contemporary art. While the artists all share a love of contemporary art, each conveys his or her art through different media — including painting, video art, installation art, photography, and ink and wash painting — making for a diverse and exhilarating exhibition.
Luo Jr-Shin’s works include installation and photography. By observing the subtleties and minutiae of daily life, Luo is able to infer the macroscopic picture of his environment; by delving deeper into his observations, he gives higher meaning to the word “daily,” which is often only used as an artistic adjective. In Luo’s transformation of inanimate objects, we see hints and traces of humanity and of the events that shape our time. Chen Ching-Yuan’s paintings exhibit the artist’s pursuit of an ideal world, seeking truth in the real world, and chasing the celestial movements in which his faith lies. He portrays the world as what he wishes it could be and offers his contemporaries a place to belong. Artist Jian Yi-Hong’s ink and wash paintings blur the line between city and country. They depict people who have shied away from the mainstream narrative, reflecting a sentiment that is, to some extent, felt by everyone in our contemporary world. Wang Shao-Gang’s videos record life in the moment. If the viewers should see fragments of familial memories and pieces of real history woven into scenes that directly concern the artist, it could be because the artist is exploring the value of the self. Artist Kuo Yuping is always traveling — even when she is living in one place. In her travels, she creates art that is entirely her own and completely unreserved. As is the case with her paintings, her videos capture traces of her flesh and and of herself.
The artists in this exhibition have created a great body of work. In the process of doing so, they have unwittingly become a reflection of Taiwan’s youth; one that is clear of mind, fresh in spirit and, at times, naive of heart. They refuse to stay in the same place and do not feign ignorance in the face of a challenge — they are searching and they are building. At this moment in time, we could very well be converging at the beginning of a new era, ready to start a vigorous new chapter full of great accomplishments.
“Even though the future may be far away, even though saying goodbye needs not be at an airport, if only you could describe a future…” These lyrics are taken from the song “Fly,” written by San Mao and performed by Pan Yue-Yun in 1985 at a time when Taiwan’s economy took flight and the nation threw itself into a rapid development. The lyrics speak of someone’s desire to fly away from the rapidly changing and increasingly secular Taiwan to find out who they truly are. Thirty-some years have passed since the song was written, and we are no longer wandering — we are seeking. As we seek to carve out an era that is uniquely ours, life in the city and in the country still floats in slow uncertainty. The distance we face is not necessarily that of geography, but of progress. This exhibition bears witness to the ongoing progress made by a new generation of Taiwanese artists. Perhaps, the best place to embark on the journey to the future is from the promise we make ourselves.