An object’s usefulness is always subjective. In this exhibit entitled Uselessness at Powen Gallery, Taipei, artists Hoho Lin, Ying-ting Chen, and Jiuann-ru Gong explore the possibility of existence in objects and places that are either discarded or abandoned.
Textile designer Ying-ting Chen recreates objects like screws, cans, and spare parts from ships that are washed up on the shore. She transferred the rust onto the silk organza and folded the material to look like these objects. Some of which are enclosed in neat silk organza folded into boxes as though the objects are kept for safekeeping. You can see more of the artist’s works on Facebook.
Ying-ting Chen also put together used paper bags, coasters, and used papers in this installation, emphasizing the notion that discarded materials can still be transformed into anything we want them to be.
Jiuann-ru Gong’s works dwell on our inner feelings and subconscious and how they affect our waking life. In her paintings, the figures are in very uncomfortable positions and covered in darkness. For her, we should not forget our feelings of isolation, negativity, and persistent stress from everyday life that permeate into the core of our being. Instead, we should acknowledge them and try to get over them. By looking at these paintings, it can be some sort of catharsis as it has been for the artist when she was painting these works. You can see more of her works on Flickr.
The artist, photographer, and cinematographer Hoho Lin’s photographs of abandoned theaters in Jinmen Island and Jinguashi in Jiufen sent shiver down my spine. It’s as if the ruins have come back to life. These abandoned theaters are national heritage. It’s a good thing that the government did not demolish them! For more of Hoho Lin’s works, you can visit his Flickr account and his website.