Forty Days

Forty Days

Jawshing Arthur Liou, Yuan Goang-Ming, Tsui Kuang-Yu, Katagiri Atsunobu
Online Viewing Platform
May 22 – June 30, 2020 

Jawshing Arthur Liou
Crossing, 2009
Single-channel Video, 1080p, Colour, Sound, 36’40”
Sound Composed by Richard Cornell
Courtesy of the artist and Chi-Wen Gallery

Crossing (2009), a part of the Improbable Waves series, is a high-definition video piece rendered through 3D modeling procedures. The textures used to simulate realistic ocean movement are based on actual oil paintings. While the production process is a formal exercise of combining painting and animation, the work itself serves as a means for the artist to mourn the passing of his daughter. By observing the painting in its fluid state, Jawshing Arthur Liou finds moments of living environment that he can immerse hiself in, such as navigating the turbulent waves in a storm, or looking out at the boundless water after sunset, feeling small and desolate.

Jawshing Arthur Liou (b.1968) currently lives and works in Indiana, USA. 

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Yuan Goang-Ming
Landscape of Energy – Stillness, 2014
Digital Photography, 102 x 150 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Chi-Wen Gallery

Landscape of Energy was inspired by the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. The disaster reminded the artist of the fact that a nuclear power plant was also located within 20 kilometers from his family’s home in Taipei. Here he questions possibilities of crucial changes in our environment that may occur regardless of human thinking or acting, as well as forms of energy as a supporting pillar in our daily life. 

Expressed through mechanically filmed pictures, these views come across with a sense of coldness that only stresses the urgency of the artist’s appeal to his audience: a dormant crisis lurks, while lingering apprehension haunts the viewer, foreboding the death of tomorrow.

Yuan Goang-Ming (b.1965) currently lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan. 

Tsui Kuang-Yu
2010 Arctic Diary: The Wrong Ice, 2010
Eight-channel Video, Colour, Sound, 21’37”
Courtesy of the artist, Double Square Gallery and Chi-Wen Gallery

‘2010 Arctic Diary: The Wrong Ice’ was produced for the 2009 Arctic Circle expeditionary residency program organized by the U.S. Farm Foundation for the Arts & Sciences (FFAS). The film was shot on location in Spitzbergen, Norway and in Taipei, Taiwan.

In October of 2009, a group of artists and scientists set sail for the island of Spitzbergen, where each of them embarked upon their specific projects and research plans. In the extremity of this natural environment, Tsui Kuang-Yu contemplated how he might use the various resources brought by their group, representing a microcosm of civilization. Perhaps here, he would unveil some intangible system that responds to the urban life that people are all too familiar with. Ultimately, however, with limited access to resources, the harsh environmental and other mitigating circumstances, this meant that this expedition turned into an exercise in self-exhaustion against the face of rugged nature; as well as a journal documenting the limits of his own creativity as he confronts an environmental extreme. Upon his return to Taipei, the memory of the expedition gave him a new starting point in his continued focus on urban perspectives and pulses as he attempted to respond to and organize the powerlessness and conflicts he felt on his journey to the Arctic Circle.

Perhaps, what this journey truly showed the artist was that the island of Spitzbergen in the Arctic Circle was a mirror. The journey unveiled the expectations and disappointments that travelers carried with them to the island. It projects an intermittent silhouette of the values of human society as it responds to extreme environmental conditions. Everyone clung to their own convictions as their limits were put to the test; they gathered up what incomplete and broken environmental resources they could find to support the needs of their ideological framework. Persisting in maintaining the shape of this framework as they waited for the unpredictable changes and uncertainties in next midnight sun.

Tsui Kuang-Yu (b. 1974) currently lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan. 

Tsui Kuang-Yu
The Welcome Rain Falling from the Sky, 1997
Single-channel Video, Colour, Sound, 1’01”
Courtesy of the artist and Chi-Wen Gallery

In The Welcome Rain Falling from the Sky (1997), a person was placed in a condition of simple game. He has to avoid a wide range of falling objects, including flower pots, TV set and motorcycles. Tsui meant to take it as a good model or measurement of someone who is able to fit into a dangerous situation.

Tsui Kuang-Yu tries to respond to the adaptation relation between human and the society from a biological point of view and attempts to redefine/question the matrix of the institution we inhabit through actions and experiments that break the social standard of normality. In doing so, the artist has developed new means to adapt to the environment and redefine the reality. His action can be regarded as a medium, or a parameter, to gauge social tolerances. By revealing relationships in the present institution and the relation between man and his environment, he conducts repetitive body experiments to accent the absurdity of the social values and reality that people have grown accustomed to. 

Tsui Kuang-Yu (b. 1974) currently lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan. 

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Katagiri Atsunobu
A Tale of Unborn, 2020
Digital photography, Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta Paper, 90 x 60 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Chi-Wen Gallery

Ikebana artist Katagiri Atsunobu was part of the ongoing Hikarie Contemporary Art Eye series and highlights the flower artist in Minamisoma, a city heavily damaged by the triple disasters of 3.11 and located on the edge of the exclusion zone established after the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi. In 2013, three years after the disaster, the endangered monochoria korsakowii (oval-leafed pondweed) flower was found growing wildly near the coast, in areas where the tsunami had washed away houses and livelihoods. Katagiri was inspired by this fragile blue blossom, which led him to undertake a series of projects in Fukushima.

Katagiri Atsunobu (b.1973) currently lives and works in Osaka.