2017 Thanksgiving Tree – National Museum of Taiwan History, Tainan, Taiwan
Exhibition venue｜National Museum of Taiwan History, Tainan, Taiwan
About the work
The design of this piece is based on the basic elements of stainless steel spheres in varying sizes. In addition to highlighting the possibility of infinite reproduction due to the advancement of modern industrial technology, the spherical shapes give the impression of movement; a sphere is also the most basic structure in terms of geometry and is a shape that exists within nature as well. It can also symbolize the smallest unit that constitutes the universe: the molecule. Utilizing the concept of a molecule to illustrate the state and structure of the artwork, combined with the surrounding landscape, grants these basic spherical structures a new form and meaning, achieving harmony between nature and humanity. Additionally, in order to strongly portray nature within nature, civilization, and the humanities, the artist presents an industrial product: a sturdy tree composed of stainless steel lines, the image of a mythical peach blossom that blossoms upon this vast, grassy plain. Due to the reflective characteristics of stainless steel, the base of the work is a mirrored sphere which reflects the environment, convening the surrounding people, houses, nature, and culture. The tree is fashioned out of densely packed lines which give off the strong impression of continuous upward movement, akin to growth. The curved branches reach and extend upwards, with each ending in mirror finish stainless steel balls that resemble small planets. In addition to reflecting the surrounding landscape, these numerous spheres also allude to the condensation and gathering of the phenomena of life on different planets in the universe in this one single location, while also symbolizing the century-old history and development of Taiwan. They embody the culmination of all the hard work and dedication poured into this land. Liu arranged 12 steel spheres around the tree as a tribute to inheriting the past and ushering in the future, as well as to imbue the work with a temporal element. The names of foreign individuals and workers who have contributed to Taiwan over the years are etched into the inner halves of these spheres, as a representation of Taiwan’s historical evolution and heritage, and to further establish the value of traditions and developmental significance of Taiwanese society. Despite its installation already having been completed, this piece can continue to function as a landmark in response to everchanging times and locales and is also capable of perpetually expanding and developing. As the conditions of its environment continue to change, this art piece can continue onward in a state of eternal and everlasting glory.
Translated by Ada Chen