Taiwanese artist Huang Cheng Yuan’s paintings of human figures that reveal the vast expanse of the subconscious

The first time I saw this series of paintings was at the Art Taipei last November. Huang Cheng Yuan uses ink wash painting techniques to interpret Western artistic thoughts. No wonder his works clearly show an amalgamation of the traditional Chinese painting and the modern Western abstract painting.

His works are full of electrifying lines–straight, bent, jagged, unpredictable–forming human figures in constant state of motion. In his paintings, you might see people swimming across the dark water, or a person lying on the sand or a flat surface. Huang’s works resemble sketches made of acrylic and charcoal, and sometimes coffee. For him, the movement found in his paintings is reminiscent of the physical labor he experienced as a child. After school, he would work in the field. This inner energy has been translated into his paintings over the years. Working on his paintings is like painting his inner self until it is revealed, or perhaps provoking the viewers to take a look at the inner language of their subconscious.

To learn more about his works, you can visit Yes Art  or take a look at his Facebook page.

JpegJpegJpegHuang Cheng Yuan painting 1Photo courtesy of yesart.com.tw

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Photo courtesy of yesart.com.tw

The Parallel Universe of People with Alzheimer’s Disease as Observed by Taiwanese Artist Hsieh Chun-te

Hsieh Chun-te observes that the elderly men and women with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease seem to enter a parallel universe that is entirely bound by a different sense of space and time. In the exhibition entitled The Parallel Universe of Hsieh Chun-te ─ Brave The World at Museum of Contemporary Arts (MOCA) Taipei months ago, the artist used installation, interviews, photographs and videos to let the viewers experience the cognitive dynamism (or dissociation) these elderly men and women experience. The artist also explores the viewpoints of the caregivers and the family members of people with Alzheimer’s. Hsieh’s interests in this issue is important as Taiwan is dealing with the continuously growing number of people with Alzheimer’s.

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A powerful waterfall is projected onto the three walls of the exhibition space. The water is flowing upwards against the gravity. There’s also an installation with water dripping from the ceiling onto the floor, creating a dripping sound. The viewer is invited to step onto the small platform where they can hear the water droplets free falling from the ceiling and collecting in a bucket on the floor. This coalesces into an unsettling contrast visually and auditorily.

witch picPhoto courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Arts (MOCA) Taipei, Witch 1 x 10

In this installation, the video is projected onto 16 mirrors, creating an illusion of infinity mirror. The naked white witch stomps the ground with a staff, creating a thud which triggers the warriors clad in aboriginal-like costumes to act out certain postures. This image, multiplied by the mirrors and accompanied by the loud sound of a beating heart, creates a rather eerie and distressing feeling.

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This video installation of five angel warriors flying mid-air and a sculpture of a child sitting on a chair show the juxtaposition of the real and the unreal. The artist explores the fact that people with Alzheimer’s revert back to their child-like innocence.

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This is another video installation in which the angel warriors jump and flip over while being supported by harness.

JpegPortrait of 98 Years Old─Chen Chuang, King-Chi

old women picPhoto Courtesy Museum of Contemporary Arts (MOCA) Taipei, Portrait of 103 Years Old─Paelabang Tivitiv

Hsieh explores the concept of time through the video portrait of 103 year-old Paelebang Tivitiv. In this video, which was shot at 1000 frames per second, the elderly aboriginal is seen moving in slow motion, just like when you see cars moving from the top of a building–they are much slower than when seen right in front of you. This perception of time interests Hsieh as he wonders about the definition of time.

Taiwanese artist Chen Yun’s enigmatic paintings of women

Chen Yun’s works mostly comprise of two or three works put together that form a dream-like narrative. Her paintings are like poems, enigmatic in their ways. A metaphor that needs to be interpreted. Her paintings of women in a state of longing for the past are at times haunting, even more so when juxtaposed with flowers, plants, or symbols.

You can see more of her works on Artsy.

Collected here is a selection of the artist’s works included in a show at Lin & Lin Gallery, Taipei.

Address: 1F, No.16, Dongfeng St., Taipei, Taiwan (Google maps) Tel: +886 2 2700 6866

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Project Fulfill Art Space Taipei presents the dual exhibition of Hong Kong artist Stephen Wong Chun Hei and Japanese artist Kenichiro Fukumoto

Stephen Wong Chun Hei and Kenichiro Fukumoto explore the relationship of man and nature in their paintings.

Collected here are works available for viewing at Project Fulfill Art Space, Taipei from 20 May to 24 June.

Address: 1F., No.2, Alley 45, Lane 147, Sec. 3, Sinyi Rd. Taipei 10658, Taiwan (Google Maps) Tel: +886-2-2707-6942

At first glance Wong Chun Hei‘s works are about nature–forests, mountains, and trees looming over and dominating the landscape. However, after giving each work some time, one notices that they are dotted with people who seem to be on a pilgrimage, in the middle of a ritual or celebration, or simply on a trip to escape urban living. The brush strokes are soft and short, giving off a feeling of stillness. Life, indeed, is slower when spent outdoors, in nature. You can find more of his works on Facebook.

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Kenichiro Fukumoto‘s paintings of plants set in urban setting stand in sharp contrast to Wong Chun Hei’s works. Years ago, Fukumoto went on a trip to Southeast Asia to visit some wild forests. The chaos found in nature inspired him to focus on nature as his subject, gradually shifting to ornamental plants found in urban areas later on. Looking at his works, one can feel that these plants represent our attempts to bring nature back to us. For more of his works, visit his website.

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Taiwanese artist Poren Huang’s humanized dog sculptures at Powen Art Gallery, Taipei

Born into a family of wood carvers in Taichung, Taiwan, renowned Taiwanese sculptor Poren Huang grew up with Taiwan dogs which served as guard dogs for their family’s factory. Up to now, he has twenty plus dogs in his studio, running about as he works on his bronze dog sculptures. Most of his sculptures are made of bronze and some, plastic. Some sculptures are wrapped in gold foil. A dog lover, Huang humanized these dogs in his series of dog sculptures called The Dog’s Notes which explores themes of pride, wealth, loyalty, success, and love. By humanizing this loyal animal, he is also relating his own story.

Collected here are some of his works from the The Dog’s Notes series available for viewing at Powen Gallery, Taipei.

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American artist Peter Opheim’s new whimsical clay works and paintings at Powen Gallery, Taipei

Looking at Peter Opheim works is like observing out of this world characters come to life. They seem to transform into totally different creatures when observed from different angles. With short but forceful brushstrokes, his characters look animated and frenetic in their actions. His paintings take on a clay-like three-dimensional quality, especially when observed from a distance.

Collected here are some of his artworks currently on view (for the first time) at Powen Gallery, Taipei.

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Works by Desire Obtain Cherish (D.O.C.) aka Jonathan Paul available for viewing at Bluerider ART Taipei

Working under the alias Desire Obtain Cherish, Jonathan Paul creates satirical artworks to delineate our current society’s attitude towards sex, gender, drugs, commerce, media and fame. For him, “Art is really just a mirror of ourselves.”

Pieces collected here are available for viewing at Bluerider ART, Taipei from 23 May to 1 July.

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This appropriation work contains a playful narrative: Picasso holding Gary Cooper’s gun, Warhol-inspired gun prints shooting as the object bursts into bubbles, arranging themselves into Damien Hirst’s spot paintings, and finally culminating in gold bars wrapped in foil. This mixed media seems to create a statement that our society is obsessed with assigning a price on an artwork that is way more than its actual value.

This artwork uncovers the unpleasant truth about our society’s consumption of designer products to quell inner conflicts.

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The artist stacked cheap plastic flowers on top of one another and placed DOC pills on some of them, representing the illusion of the American dream that it’s all good and prosperous, but deep down there are problems that are not readily seen. Like for instance, our use of prescription drugs while we try to pull ourselves together.

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Hershey’s chocolate is a popular chocolate when the DOC was growing up in California. Hershey’s chocolate bars are arranged like a melting cross. The chocolate was so popular that it “has taken on a fanatical worship among its followers.”

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This creative and witty appropriation work is reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s Knives and Lucio Fontana’s Spatial Concept: Expectation. A perfect match indeed!

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Part of his Disposable Series, this sculpture alludes to man’s tendency to treat things and people as disposable. This is a sculpture of a discarded lollipop, barely touched and melting under the sunlight. When asked where the idea came from, the artist said, “The idea for the series came to me after I had dinner with a friend years ago. She told me she was breaking up with her boyfriend. I asked what was wrong, and she said, ‘Nothing’s wrong, I’m just kind of bored. Onto the next!’” (via Artsy)

Izumi Akiyama’s Still Life XI (2015)

no.11stilllife1130F72.790.92015Photo courtesy Izumi Akiyama, Still Life XI (2015), pencil on paper, 727 mm X 909 mm

The first time I saw this work was at the Taipei Art Fair last November 2016.  There are two candles on the floor. Since the foreground takes up a little bit more than half of the space and the horizontal line traverses the center part of the candles, we can assume that the perspective is that of someone squatting in front of the candles. The candles are different in size and shape. The one on the left is spiral and thin, while the one on the right is short and thick. These differences may lead us to think: which candle will burn out first–the spiral one or the thick one that melts inwards when it tunnels? Both are lit, illuminating the dark room.

The thing that struck me most about this artwork is the way it alludes to human experience. It reminds me how even though we’re with other people, we’re still alone and left to our own devices to survive.

Hong Yong-Xin and Christina Tsai show their inner world through their new works

At first glance, Hong Yong-Xin’s works look like a series of inkblot tests. Perhaps her works are meant to stir our emotions in a subtle way. Butterfly specimens are glued onto the paper, theirs colors and patterns carefully interacting with the paint.

In contrast to Hong’s works, Christina Tsai’s paintings are more direct and restless in giving the viewers a visual experience. For Tsai, creating these pieces aims to expose the naked existence of the self and serves as an immediate response to the feelings she has when making them. (via Facebook)

The pieces shown here are available for viewing at SLY Artspace, Taipei.

Hong Yong-Xin’s works:

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Christina Tsai’s works:

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Group show with Hoho Lin, Ying-ting Chen, and Jiuann-ru Gong that tackles the power that lies beneath discarded and abandoned objects

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.

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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.IMG_6268IMG_6242IMG_6244IMG_6248

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.

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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.

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