Jian Yi-Hong
La Dolce Vita
1.15 – 3.20

Michael Ku Gallery is pleased to be presenting a whole new 2022 exhibition: Jian Yi-Hong’s ink painting exhibition “La Dolce Vita.”

The works featured in this exhibition showcase Jian Yi-Hong’s renderings of love and desire, as well as his reflections on people, animals, plants, the city, landscapes, and moments of “living.” The exhibition title is inspired by Italian director Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita. Although life in Taipei does not resemble life in Italy during turbulent times, the concept of “life” and “living” is still embedded in our minds. “Dolce,” which means “sweet and soft,” inspires the imagery of fulfillment, but once it is combined with “vita,” which means “life,” it is immediately tainted with a light touch of sorrow.

The artist describes the state with Endless Words, a song by Teresa Teng: “I don’t know why, but I am surrounded by melancholy.” Is sweetness an oasis in the desert? Or is it more like a mirage? Sweetness gives us hope, and the faint melancholy in life may also be moments of fleeting happiness.

The artist returns from imagining and peering into the world of the internet in his 20s to observations of the real world. The joy of immersing the body in a hot spring, the shadows of birds in the swaying branches, the movements of the cat, lovers on a midnight stroll, precious exercise sessions during the pandemic, stories overheard while sitting on a park bench, life that unfolds offstage in the audience seats…these real and imaginary scenes under the sun and moon disappear in an instance, but also bring unexpected beauty. The artist attempts to capture all of these scenes in his paintings, while the fluid lines and varying layers of ink depict moments of life through a subdued style that highlights the lingering mellowness of time.

Finally, the artist depicts a blooming kapok branch. Taipei is filled with kapok flowers in the springtime, and kapok flowers symbolize cherishing the sweetness of life.