Body, Symbol and Spatial Situation
Exhibition venue｜Soochow University Youyi Plaza
This exhibition is held in a space with a gallery-like layout, and I return to the primary rules of construct for the works, while also pursuing lightness of designs and focusing on the materiality of materials. I emphasize the unique concept of the expressive process of industrial machinery through turning objects into unitized elements: that is, the language states of the materials and knowledge of machinery, and the different types and specifications of steel that can be twisted, stretched, forged, and changed into different shapes; especially metal media’s quality of immediate shaping through machinery, which naturally becomes a topic of my aesthetic thinking. Thus, steel is the readymade material forged and produced by machines, and I try to explore the industrial aesthetics exhibited by these materials and the combination with daily life; in the constructive process, I also carried out in-depth analysis and verification of the possible force the elements can become.
Basically, metal expressions are an exploration of external forms through constructive methods, a kind of applications of bridging, framing, organizing, and depicting in space, and a kind of structural mode that focuses purely on geometric forms directly added and constructed on the dialoguing relationship with the three-dimensional space. Just like how drawings are created, the development from point, line, plane, to volume; before concrete presentation, they can mathematically establish countless new possibilities connecting external and internal forms. The elements, texture, and structural quality, such as dimensions, size, density, organization, length, and thickness…all share a mutually shocking relationship, and are all internal factors of works. Thus, when working with metal, different techniques are used, depending on the different forms, and they generate different effects. There are two common methods: <1> fasteners like screws and nails <2> welding using electricity and fire. Most artists respond to the material properties and interface of machinery when creating, and they have to make adjustments in the end, as the final outcomes often differ to the original designs. That is, under the mutual influences of the elements that give objects internal structures, many unpredictable phenomena will rise through the many complicated processes of the work’s production or concealment, creating a mysterious sympathy and chain of relations. I explore the unique properties of the elements, and their interconnection with the space. Through direct dialogue between sensible operations and material physicality, incidental grasp through the creative and expressive processes, and lastly, own experience and knowledge, I further discover new formal contents to turn the interface of metal media into the essential root of creation, presenting alternative variations.
How should we look at the types of works and the content they intend to express? I choose light and thin stainless steel wires for their openness, penetrability, and weightlessness; also, they showcase the flexibility and delicate quality of metal lines, displaying the changing quality of lines that penetrate and transcend, turning spaces into tangible shapes as they set the boundaries of the spaces. Thus, in addition to construct and expression of lines, the works further emphasize that space is an important element for the consideration of the overall fullness and emptiness of the work, which can be divided, penetrated, closed, and shaped, rather than filled. Especially, the relation between space’s abstract and concrete symbols, and the state revealed through the process, become the starting point of the exploration of the work’s content. The embedding of symbol, in terms of interpretive concept, resembles the symbolic structure of Yuan songs to an extent, such as Ma Zhiyuan’s Tianjingsha: Over old trees wreathed with rotten vines fly evening crows; Under a small bridge near a cottage a stream flows; On ancient road in the west wind a lean horse goes. Westward declines the sun; Far, far from home is the heartbroken one. The rotten vines, old trees, evening crows, small bridge, stream, cottage…they automatically form a conversation, and jointly create a natural scenery.
Thus, in the creative process, I accentuate the traces of mechanical operations, allowing works to break free from the subjective roots and roam around the objective exploration of current phenomenal quality, while also reexamining the gains existing within its own autonomy; a dialogue between forms and functional aesthetic belief displays the maximum scale of an object as property, such as work “Mini Stage,” where the connection of lines form a stage-like structure. These metal materials’ linearity is given different surface textures and phenomena by external forces, such as round and smooth, rugged and fragmented, and divided and cut. The unique qualities trigger our imagination of tactile tensions. Furthermore, through wings, twisted and dented fragments of beaten stainless steel tubes, round and smooth spheres, and some random abstract symbols, I emphasize the overall state of connection between structure, material, space, and symbol, hoping to trigger a reference of multiple meanings, and a kind of visual enhancement that transitions into the description of the mindscape of people. Jointly, they connect into a dialogue between nature, industry, and culture, a microscopic industrial myth that collects the narratives of cultural situations in the current world.