Solo exhibition by Zheng Jianchang
Words by Hsieh Chi-Chang
Open: May 8 2015 to June 27 2015
Location: 102 Art, Tainan
A notable feature in the history of the arts in Taiwan is that after the lifting of martial law, those artists who had experienced it entered a period where their focus was on critical examination of authority, their art part of a wider post-modernist movement. We see this among both Taiwanese locals and those who arrived after 1949. Directly or indirectly, they found ways to express suspicion and anger towards power. Zheng Jianchang is one of these artists. He and a few art-loving friends founded ‘Taipei New Art Consortium’, and they used the urban backdrop as material, attempting to capture the connection between people and city.
In 1983, in order to put down roots, and to gain some distance from the overwhelming influence at the time of western art, Zheng decided to return to his home county, Jiayi. After his experience of urban life in Taipei, he finally found meaning in the land and soil and history of his home patch. And it was there that he gradually established a mode of thinking for his future work, namely ‘Documenting Creation’. This allowed him to think deeply about Taiwan, reconsidering his past experience of Martial Law, an experience that came to help him treasure and value his birthplace.
Taking the role of observer is a necessary element of Zheng’s work. While acting as observer, he re-discovers himself. He self-reflects, seeking to explore meaning in life. He seeks to find joy in being alone in this place. At the same time he is conscious of a certain feedback in his work from daily activities, and from the objects that he observes, in which he finds his own reality.
Over the years, ‘Documenting Creation’ shows Zheng’s growing ability in self-reflection. At the same time, he was experiencing a horror that people, culture and land were disappearing. In ‘Documenting Creation’ we see again and again his journey of the heart in recording the death and rebirth of parts of Taiwan, calling people to pay attention to processes of decay and to urge them participate in rescue and renewal. His works have similarities to Hayao Miyazaki’s manga creations, which are full of breath-taking and heart-touching scenes. The visual language of his work is so rich and imaginative; yet at the same time there is evidence of deep thought, a demonstration of his thinking on reality and problems in society.
Zheng has devoted his life to this land and its human landscape. His paintings record his silent and faithful observations of the environments, land, people and culture. He also contributes his thoughts on important issues facing society. His concerns for Taiwan’s land and people will become more and more apparent as time passes. We are looking forward to seeing Zheng’s ‘Documenting Creation’.
This exhibition, entitled ‘Murmullo – Myriam and Hsieh Chi-Chang Joint Exhibition’ presents the art of Spanish artist Myriam Catala Soler and her husband Hsieh Chi-Chang, who studied in Spain for some years. The exhibition is scheduled to run from 10th January to 26th February at 102 Art in Tainan. There will be an opening tea reception at 2.30pm on Saturday, 10th January, and all are welcome.
In this exhibition, Myriam will display her works which much exhibit a particularly Spanish style of artistic expression; at the same time, Hsieh Chi-Chang will demonstrate his own style, which was transformed after studying in Spain. Together, their works demonstrate a perfect combination of East and West. The works also illustrate use of different forms and techniques in search for their own inner worlds and imaginary totems.
Myriam coincidently discovered that for her, clay is like a wonderful magic which allows her to go deep inside and create forms from her dreams in three dimension expression. Although her manuscripts and sketches are created without constraints, they also serve as mental maps, bringing out the variety of her three dimension works. The works in this exhibition illustrate her practice of inward-looking contemplation of the external world. She is in search for human relationships in order to understand the internal connections between herself and others. Myriam’s works all start from her imagination, and come from the bottom of her heart. Through her hands and eyes, her work communicates interaction and transformation between external and internal worlds.
Hsieh Chi-Chang’s works tells of his experience of transformation after spending years abroad. Based on the graffiti he drew and the simple notes he produced on his travels, he confronted and uncovered hidden impressions in his mind, and went on to enquire into the connections between abstract shapes and mind through repeatedly transforming, co-presenting and overlaying materials in his art. Some works in this series were put away for a while and picked up for completion from several months to a year later. In the process, some of them were completed, then destroyed, and re-built. In the end, memory and sub-consciousness become the origin and source for the artist’s creation.
Through both Myriam’s and Hsieh’s work, an artistic philosophy is demonstrated: coherence and interaction between ‘object and self’, ‘internal and external world’, and finally ‘spirit and material’.