Comtemporary Art Exhibition in Taipei's East District
The ivory-white mansion is situated right between Xinyi Road and Daan Road, the intersection where capitalist investment and daily life of common people meet.Before its renovation, 7 contemporary artists--Xiu Zhen Yin, Ryusuke Ito, Tsan Cheng Wu, Kishimoto Masayuki, Po I Chen, Wan Jen Chen and Wen Fu Yu--respond to the deconstruction and reconstruction of an urban setting. Each of them, through different materials, not only shows their own artistic interpretation of the space but also pours in memories and magical sparks that transcend time and space.
"築", the Chinese character for "build", was created with the radical 竹, which is a pictogram for bamboo. 築 and 竹 are also homophones, both pronounced as "zhú".
Built with over 60,000 pieces of 2.4-meter long bamboo slivers, the artwork is a large bamboo surface that spans across 500 square meters. It flows organically across the façade and cancels out the solid concrete building. The artwork conveys the simple beauty and flexible vigor of this common material, and its juxtaposition with the architecture is on one hand corresponding in terms of shapes but on the other hand it offers an alternative to look at the core meaning of 築.
Sound Map, using Google Maps as its interface, is a collection of sounds while the recording locations are respectively indicated on the map. Each location may include single or multiple recordings from different times. The sounds recorded can be accidental or commonly-heard. What's more, there are sounds we tend to ignore or were unable to hear before.
Since 2010, Tsan Cheng Wu launched Taiwan Sound Map Project. In this long-term sound art project, the artist records sounds over years in various places in Taiwan. Traffic noises, human voices or sounds from urban activities, little by little the project has grown into a comprehensive soundscape of different cities.
In this installation artist Wan Jen Chen has built an "under construction" scene with ready-made objects and video projection. Large ladders, shipping wood crates and construction barricades are placed in front of the light to create shadows that seem to be buildings of a city. If one observes closely, in between these architectural shadows are some small figures playing different types of sports.
Artist Xiu-Zhen Yin often uses second-hand clothes as a material that showcases memories of individuals.In the series titled Books, second-hand clothes, which in a way represent their original owners' identities and personal experiences, have been transformed into books kept on the shelf for the audience to read. The colorful book spines also stress on their individuality. While clothes are often viewed as the "second skin" to us, in this work they have been transformed into books that carry erudition. In between everyday experiences and rational knowledge, the work offers the audience a chance to "read", both visually and tactiley, the multiple possibilities in different people's life.
Based in Tokyo, Japan, Masayuki Kishimoto takes ordinary ceramic objects as the creative medium for his sculptural works. After collecting unwanted cups, bowls, plates, pots, vases, and jugs, he treats the cracks and chips on them with a traditional Japanese technique called "kintsugi", an art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with powdered gold. Although no longer in use, these ceramic articles were once household essentials, and therefore these seemingly empty containers are still loaded with memories of the past. Kishimoto's works intend to revive such memories by "crystallizing" the used ceramics in the form of art. The process also embodies the Japanese philosophy of appreciating and respecting the objects used in everyday context.
A "window" is an opening that connects people and their dwelling environment. With urban regeneration comes the demolishment of memory-loaded old houses; and our environment is constantly being reshaped. OutLook, Chen's series that documents windows in abandoned buildings, is an attempt to capture images of shifting urban landscapes in Taiwan. The windows in these photographic works are looking both outward and inward: the ruins indoor and the framed scenery outdoor reveal the past, the current, and maybe, a future that we can already imagine of.
The house on Tongshan street was once the residence of an Air Force official.Although the house has been derelict, one can still imagine the bygone days when people still lived here. As the renewal of the house is about to take place, 3 contemporary artists--Chih Fen Tsai, Chen Wei Wang and Veronika Richterová--share their thoughts for the nature and the land in the city. Bamboo, driftwood and recycled bottles are respectively transformed into art installations in the yard. You are invited to talk a leisure stroll here and temporarily forget the towering buildings around. Relax your breathing, and enjoy a tranquil afternoon among the art.
Known for his large sculptures, artist Chen Wei Wang has participated in various public art projects. His works touch on the essence of life; meanwhile, they are also a result of the artist's contemplation over the enriching power of art for the land and the people.
After being carefully cleaned and painted, pieces of found driftwood are given a brand new life, which is a wonderful example of the reuse of natural resource. With meticulous structure calculation, Wang constructs the driftwood and iron supports into an installation that resembles spring water gushing out from the old house. This flowing visual imagery is sure to inspire awe among the audience.
Czech artist Veronika Richterová creates artificial yet lifelike animals and plants from recycled PET bottles. At the Tongshan Residence, she has built an urban desert with the material she is familiar with, incorporating the existing plants and objects found on site as well. The best feature of this desert is that one does not lose their way or die of thirst in it; instead, it simply offers a surprising encounter. Besides memorable experiences, the installation is also designed to inspire the viewers to contemplate on how we are closely connected with the nature and the natural resources.
With a twist of imagination, artist Ya Chu Kang has decided to spread out a large fishing net in the alleyways of the city's East District. Through recreating the familiar sight of fish drying in the sun by a fishing port, she connects the scorching summer in the city to the memory of seashore. At night, the scales of each fish glow in the dark as if the fish were swimming through the alleyways. It also resembles a starry sky studded with the artist's warm wishes for the city.
Based in Hong Kong, artist Tin Yan Wong collects discarded wood pallets and assembles them into a series of fun animal sculptures. For this year's Very Fun Park Wong creates new site-specific works. Walking into the Green Park, you may find the Chameleon chair camouflages itself well between the plants. The unique worn texture of the recycled material reveals the traces of time. And as the work title suggests, Wong relates Taipei City with a chameleon, where the subtle yet continuous changes take careful observation to be discovered.
Fubon Art Foundation is situated on the 2nd and 3rd floors of _Fuan Memorial Building on Renai Road. In this environmental-friendly green architecture, with the dense foliage of the street trees as its backdrop, Berge's "moving" installation is here for you to enjoy and relax.
Ki Soo Kwon is a significant pioneer of Korea's new art scene. His signature character "Dongguri" often appears in his drawings, sculptures, and video works.This year, Fubon Art Foundation invites Dongguri to join the cheerful celebration of Very Fun Park's 10th anniversary. Dongguri and his adorable pet stand on the rainbow, with their eyes on each other. Their beaming smiles are to inspire joy in all who look upon the work. The images reflected on the ripples symbolize the search for one's inner self. The artist encourages the viewers to have constant dialogues with their own hearts, as this might be the secret to fly beyond the rainbow, where dreams really do come true.
One often finds fairytale-like tranquility in the artworks by Chinese artist Zoe Zhou. In Just Like a Cloud, the figure, which appears to be as light as a cloud and also as bright as a blooming peony, gracefully sits in the middle of the pond in the garden. The red "air" around it creates a cheerful atmosphere.
Swedish artist Ulrika Berge creates lively sculptures with threads. These flowers, handmade with sewing machine, are of the size of a human. With the gentle pulling force between the threads, the flowers seem to have come to life as they move or even "breathe", inviting people to take a closer look at the work. People are able to walk freely among the flowers and experience the subtle nuances in the relationship between themselves, the work, and the surroundings.
Ta-Hsien Jen aims to strike the perfect balance between simplicity and complexity through making sculptures of all shapes and sizes.Under the high ceiling of VISAVIS, Jen transforms the geometrical elements he has observed in the space into sculptures composed of circles. This can be seen as an extension of his previous creative method, where the intricate details of his works often begin with simple shapes. Meanwhile, these small circles also resemble hair follicles in response to the hair salon, forming an interesting and organic co-existence of the artwork and the space.
Books are the the carrier of knowledge. The deconstruction of the physical feature of a book seems to open up the possibility to reimagine the concept of learning and pursuit of dreams. The work on exhibit here holds a phonetic secret, which is the key to link the symbols hidden. In Chinese, "book" and "to comb", as well as "methodology" and "hair" are respectively homophones. This coincidence, after being pointed out by the artist, bridges the gap between the dictionary definitions of the characters and brings forth a new connection.
Keywords about Living Room was conceived during his artist residency in Koganecho, Yokohama, Japan. After having actually lived in the country, he has realized that "living room", a space where the family members gather and relax, does not exist in local households anymore due to their very tight living spaces. Tatami flooring, low table, and wooden pendulum clock...what he had imagined a Japanese-style living room to be like was only existent in the manga series of Chibi Maruko Chan, or back in the old days of the 70's.
Walking in the sun-lit Home Hotel lobby on a hot summer day reminds the artist of the chilling moment under a gourd trellis when she was still a little girl. The colorful yarn balls hanging down from the installation appear like exotic tropical fruit. The artist also sets white as the major color scheme; thus it gives the yarn, which is often associated with warmth and heat, a different "cool" touch. You are invited to enjoy a "chilling summer time" under the artist's creative gourd trellis.
Lu applies a special cleaning method to the shells before she turns them into a material for weaving. By deconstructing the exoskeleton and reshaping it from the joints, she transforms lobster shells into artworks that resemble flowers or thin paper. Sometimes she incorporates twisted threads and cords onto her shell sculptures, bringing forth an imagery that is simultaneously soft and powerful.
Besides nutrition and palatable enjoyment, the artist encourages the audience to rethink the possibility of an ingredient. It can well serve as a creative material that showcases a juxtaposition of the soft and the powerful, opening up our imagination about what seems to have been already defined.
This year, to celebrate the 10th edition of "Very Fun Park", the Foundation presents a documentation exhibition "10 Cities X10 Art Adventures" with 10 creative examples of city and art. They include "Creative Time" in New York, USA, Artangel in London, UK, "Mobile M+" in Hong Kong, China, "Koganecho Bazaar" in Yokohama, Japan, "Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale" in Niigata, Japan, "Cheng-Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project" in Yunlin, Taiwan, "Wall Art Festival" in Bihar, India, "Scotiabank Nuit Blanche" in Toronto, Canada, "Skulptur Projekte Münster" in Münster, Germany, and "Vivid Sydney" in Sydney, Australia.
This exhibition not only looks back on the past 9 fruitful editions of Very Fun Park but also examines the contexts and like-minded efforts in promoting art in public spaces in different cities and countries. All these art projects, through continuous exhibitions, performances, and educational program, explore memories shared by the locals and facilitate developments in the community. Each of them has shaped a unique style and character for its own city.
Chieh-Hsin Tsai, Sun K. Kwak, Jin-Shi Zhu, Po-Chun Liu, Chih-Fen Tsai, Veronika Richteroá, Chen-Wei Wang, Wen-Fu Yu, Ryusuke Ito, Tsan-Cheng Wu, Po-I Chen, Masayuki Kishimoto, Wan-Jen Chen, Xiu-Zhen Yin, Cheng-Ta Yu, Li-Chen Chang, Yi-Ying Lu, Iyo Kacaw, HENSE, Ya-Chu Kang, Tin-Yan Wong, Ching-Chwang Ho, Ta-Hsien Jen, Hsin-Wen Hsu, Kwon Kisoo, Zoe Zhou, Jin-Shi Zhu, Sugiura Yasuyoshi, Ulrika Berge