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The Variation of Formations (Review) Appreciation
Exhibition Banner - The Variation of Formations
Exhibition Dates: 2019/07/23 ~ 2019/12/15
Place: Ministry of Culture—1F Gallery
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Date: 2019.7.23~12.15

Venue: Ministry of Culture—1F Gallery


About the Exhibition

The word “form” comes from the Greek word eidos, which is related to idein (to see), which refers to the result of how external forms and internal perceptions are experienced. “Form” could encompass various media, styles, patterns, textures, and even perceptions and mindsets. Beyond simply being a representation to be seen, an artwork could also be an extension of the artist’s sense of self, which could be done by deconstructing perceivable natural shapes and forms, reconstructing geometric blocks, and transforming circles into infinite polygons, with a medley of lines used to depict various subject matters in a planar dimension. “Form” is a carrier of representation in the arts; it is applied in painting, sculpture, performance, and spans different media, theories, and disciplines. It reifies ideas and concepts and shows the choices and expressions made by an artist.         


Referencing a selection of artworks in the collection of the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts and showing objects derived from those artworks, this exhibition applies the concept of “form” to deconstruct those original artworks, with the intention of evoking a sense of amusement and playfulness. The deconstructed elements are then further imagined, created, and then transformed into the following five sub-categories: “Original and Derivative”, “Formation Simulation”, “Pattern Conversion”, “Stylistic Recreation”, and “Concept Transfer”. Seeking to reinterpret the interconnected relationship between the original artworks, the derivatives, and people, the exhibition responds to how derivative works could serve as a starting point for communication, which could spark dialogues and resonance between the artworks and the audience.

If artworks were transformations and representations of reality, derivative works are then transformations and representations of the said artworks. Since the inauguration of the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts three decades ago, the museum has been devoted in expanding its collection and also in building the art history of Taiwan and the genealogy of Taiwanese artists, with a multifaceted perspective opted to respond to the diverse contexts observed in the development of contemporary art. Throughout the years, the museum has placed further emphasis on the relationship between its collection and the public, with efforts put in organizing different exhibitions, value-added applications, and event planning, which are all intended to bring art closer to people’s everyday lives and to satisfy the public’s anticipation and needs for cultural activities. Artists commissioned by the museum have worked together with the museum in conducting research and analyses on the notable features observed in the museum’s collected artworks. The efforts have led to further understanding on the forms and styles, colors, symbolism, concepts, and other constituent factors behind those original artworks, and the objective is for the value-added applications of the collected artworks to be done in ways that could be more closely aligned with people’s lifestyles. When people come to see this exhibition, the hope is that in addition to enjoying a unique experience, the artistic playfulness that is incorporated in the design of the exhibition could reignite their interests and feelings of amusement for beauty and aesthetics. 


Original and Derivative

On view in this section are original artworks by Lee Shi-Chi, Yuan Jai, and Li Yu-Chen, and also derivative works inspired by their artworks, with the unique visual styles and shapes from both lots reinterpreted and highlighted. These three artists of different generations are each noted for their refined expressions and diverse styles. Lee’s oeuvre focuses on abstract visual expressions, with rhythmic lines and the subject of time repeatedly presented in his creations. Yuan incorporates vivid and vibrant decorative elements in traditional Chinese landscape paintings, with a sophisticated contemporary aestheticism projected by the artworks created. Li, on the other hand, transforms memories through a process of mental set assembling and deconstruction. The result shows a journey that is both abstract and full of symbolism. Working with the artworks by these artists, the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts has commissioned the design of a clock based on the theme “Instants of Thoughts and View of Starry Sky” inspired by the stylized symbolism and temporal quality observed in the artwork, Work #25; and also the design of the “Layers: Tableware Set” is transformed from the distinctive lines in the style of ukiyo-e seen in the artwork, Genesis. The memories and life simulations and imaginations from Travelling Series II have inspired the “Mountains & Rivers Tableware”. The purpose of these designs is to remind people of the wonder and beauty that surround us in our everyday lives, and we should always remember to follow our hearts. 


Formation Simulation

The blue geometric-shaped house is adapted from Upraising the Civilization by Chang Yung-Tsuen. In the artwork, the artist employs shapes of square, rectangle, triangle, and semicircle to create a simplified architectural shape that serves as a symbol of human civilization, which the artist uses to depict the dense layout seen in urban settings. Inside this house are derivative works inspired by Chang’s artwork and also Pneumatic Swimming Pool Series by Fan Yan-Zong, Naughty by Chou Chu-Wang, and A Monkey in the Wooden Hut by Chen Chi-Mao. The playful and imaginative works by these artists are applied in the designs of these everyday tableware sets inspired by the shapes and forms found in the artworks. The objective is to bring the artists’ refined and intricate ideas and thoughts into people’s everyday lives. 


Pattern Conversion

Last Judgment Under the Rainbow by Lai Chiu-Chen consists of 68 acrylic paintings, with associations of heaven and hell depicted in the style of pop art. Woodcut prints by Wang Wu (born Ni Yu-An) is incorporated with the essence of ink in an earnest manner, with the original patterns of the wood preserved on the artworks. Suddenly See the Light by Lee Shi-Chi shows rhythmically energetic calligraphic brushwork set against a black backdrop. Inspired by the patterns, brushworks, and images on these original artworks, the elements are innovatively incorporated into everyday apparel and accessories. The derivative works are displayed in front of five large panels of engravings, with the necessary techniques of printmaking shown on the panels to correspond with the printing process used on the apparel and accessories.  


Stylistic Recreation

Worship of the Moon by Lee Shi-Chi consists of nine prints composed with energetic abstract calligraphic brushstrokes and the gentle image of the moon. The bold and harmonious color palette shows the artist’s sophisticate innate spirits. It is especially notable that under the printmaking principle of using a singular color on each plate, it is extremely difficult to compile the plates to create a gradation of color in a highly precise manner. Showcasing this “one plate one color” principle, each plate from the artworks in the series is individually printed on a semi-transparent gauze material and showcased in this section to represent the refine craftwork behind chromatic printing. 


Concept Transfer 

Liu Kuo-Sung and Shiao Chin were both born in the 1930s and are artists that have been influenced by Western avant-garde art whilst staying grounded on a foundation built on traditional Eastern philosophy. Liu is known for using rubbing and tearing methods to unveil the inner textures of xuan paper, and after some shifts and changes in life, Shiao has returned to using colors to create simple and vast abstract expressions to reflect his own spiritual state. On view in this section are derivative works “Full Moon Rocking Chair Set” inspired by The Lantern Festival by Liu Kuo-Sung and “Shiny and Colorful Table Lamp” inspired by the allegorical image in Shiao Chin’s artwork, Untitled. Also on display is a clock derived from Spring is Long in the Wonder Land II, a gouache painting by Yuan Jai. The vibrant and illuminating mental landscapes from the artworks are transferred onto everyday home furnishing pieces, with the elements from the artworks extracted to breathe a sense of leisure and ease into everyday life.
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