Space. Image. Human body
Author: Po-Chun Liu
Kandisnsky (1866_1944) once said: “A form that fully matches the spiritual content of the century is the true “face” of that century, that is full of expressions and might. In this sense, it can transform from the past of present in various spiritual spheres. Art possess all those characteristics and even more, it contains a creative prophetic power that infers “tomorrow” from “today”. “The above_said explains the real intention and spirit of an artist in reference to plastic art. An artist shall be like a prophet that needs to realize the meaning of the era in the continuous self searching process and dig out the real nature of things. In this way, he can reveal the yet unseen beauty in the creation process. This beauty should have the possibilities to cover all kinds of art or at least be able to interpret certain kind of meaning and value of the power of life of the era.
Hence, the working process of each piece of sculpture means not only the pursuit of outer forms that involve the mastery of the properties of materials, the working tools and interpretation of expressive techniques. Beyond that, its source of idea actually arises from the personal life of an artist. An artwork is the conscious behavior that formulated by the natural environment, cultural structure, history, politics, economics, religion and science, etc. Therefore, an artwork is the aggregated result of the presentation of the inner mind of the artist and the (conscious) outer environment.
Therefore, each artist got his background in his self_realization process. For me, however, the influence from life should be the most direct, deepest and constitutes the most original source of idea of my creations. Taiwan artists in particular stay in a kind of uncertain cultural factors that derive from a historical colonial background that seems to contain various external influences in its cultural structure. That results in the discrepancy between our implanted root and the recognition of one’s own land. The political disturbances and strife also lead to the instability caused by the immigrations from this island. The rapid growth of Taiwan economy in these several 10 years has been followed by the express changes in social structure. The abundant material enjoyment brought by the industrial mechanical culture has also produced a bubble phenomenon of fast_food culture. Forests of blocks of cement building symbolize modern houses in this prosperous, resplendent city life. Those are the places where people live, shelter, feel secure, protected and realize the value of modern material authority. This kind of dry, dim and cold environment perplexes people, distorts the value and purpose of living that all seem to drown into the hard pursuit of material life. This material culture even more vigorously erodes the spirit and value of our Society, brings also a full destruction to the natural environment and lost in humanness. It has turned so tense, suppressed and distant among human beings, between humans and space, between humans and nature. All things seem to be constructed within a self_set frame in reality. Under this rapid change of time and space, there is kind of complex feelings arise in people’s mind. Does that mean emptiness, worries, indifference, loneliness or deficiency in mental status? Confronting the impact of this era, the conflicting factors, various contradictions and disordered phenomena, a kind of uneasy and wandering feelings naturally penetrate into the artist’s thinking. In this self_realization process, rationale analysis and examination are used for directing the thinking process of my creations to the primary point of the essence of phenomena. Using sculptural construction as basis to integrate the in_depth meaning of image and to conduct the dialogue among signs, the ambiguous time factor is highlighted and described. Following the imaginations, fragments of contents form a “condensed” construction are reconstructed to reproduce the deconstruction and re_assemblage of memory, projecting a simultaneous time concept of past, present and future. The spatial form expresses a juxtaposition of image, story and parable for an indefinite and diversified development. Under this kind of image_constructed world, the imagination that may be induced by the medium used certainly strengthens the transformation and reproduction process (of artwork) to rebuild another dimension of world of image for transcending the surface level (of things) into a self_conscious inner meditative world.
During the creation, the image constructions not only describe and create an aura of the essence in phenomena but also deeply expresses the culture and spirit of this generation. Therefore, I used the physical sign of human body as a starting point for emphasizing the consciousness of oneself as a human being in reflexive sense. The fixed system formulated by history, the fragments of body image, the structural properties of incomplete human bodies are implanted with personal consciousness and feelings. My creations can be the revelations from the remnants of ancient sculptures whose broken surfaces are regarded as fossil. The matters on those surfaces eject mysterious changes that induce one’s deep thinking. The period, history and the living background of those ancient sculptures also bring about further associations and conjectures. The incongruity of or partially hidden parts of the body directly expresses their correlation with the space. The extended meaning from the fragmented image implies a tense and anxious status. Simultaneously, the possible extended meaning found in the inner structure of the parts of body is explored in this kind of lost and obscure atmosphere to seek for another level of sensation. That is to transcend from presenting the visual expression of the form of body parts to conveying the inner potency of the parts of body. Therefore the vocabulary behind the material used is made to combine with the style of work, and the sculpturing to get rid of the inherent properties of the material. The cold and hard metallic materials are transformed into other kind of shapes and forms by industrial machines especially in these few years. Through the melting and welding procedures, the different possible deeper hidden content, phenomena of artwork are being explored. The physics conditions of the materials are stressed during this transformation to reduce the body image into the tactile energy of extension, contraction and expansion. A kind of disturbances and uneasy status can be induced for producing possible space for imagination and thus for reflecting the relationship between the material life of industrial era and human body.
Any conscious behaviors should be in match with rational, deductive processes. Facing the existed values in our life, the fragmented corporeal forms are adopted as my expression basis of work. To further present the affirmative and expansive directions, a “framework structure” is used as the basis to reflect the modern urban civilized life. By this scientific, rational totem of the 20th century, a primary legend of new culture that reflects the modern nature developed form industrial era is presented. This kind of sign is realistic and sustains above us, yet so abstract to be perceived clearly. Like living in the long, tall and squarish structure of cement forest, all things develop within a framework structure that distance human beings from nature. Human beings seem to lock themselves up in this kind of framework, like growing in an ivory tower that can never tells his own position. This kind of structure has is own form, style, established order and specifications that presents a kind of modern aesthetics. Yet is own intense individuality produces also an extreme conflicting contradiction with the natural world, putting itself_set separated world.
Through the complex situations bring forth from the modern civilized environment, I stress in my artwork that essence of things build on their environment. The subconscious and individual subjectivity follows the historical objectivity in environmental structure. Therefore (I express here) a time concept that transcends the present by building the thinking system on a future position. That is to say, using the spatial thinking of the archaeological spot to induce an “evolution process” of seeing the present on a future status, The situation is like being on the excavations of “Soldiers and Horses of Chi Dynasty” and ancient Greek_Roman. This kind of thinking brings about an illusory and virtual imaginative boundary. That’s an individual subjective area of thinking and also an “archaeological scene” of the culture and industrial society of the generation tailored by the artist.
This complicated change of condition is made to generate a kind of prophetic revelation for exploring the original contradictory phenomenon between human body and modern industrial environment. Under this kind of aesthetics on deconstructed image, the style of artwork is made to drift into a time chain of the past, present and future, expanding from the tactile and visual powers of the construction process. Therefore the formation of atmospheric space is crucial for establishing the artwork. That means under the tactile and visual ideas of sculpturing the space, artwork is made to correlate fully with its space. The surrounding space is considered beforehand for integration with the exhibits. (This style of work) shall add attachment to or recreate the atmospheric space and facilitate the overall connection and dialogue within the artwork. The spatial area is intended to make the artwork extends form the inner part of artwork to the whole outer spatial environment. This then can stimulate the audience to enter into the present continuous “archaeological spot” of the generation and allow the most display of the potency of the artwork.
As mentioned above, conditioned by individual thinking and various kinds of expression, the analysis on the present things is made in reference to the marks left by the flow of history. Both subjective and objective, a prophetic imaginary principle plus meditation are made to combine with the inherent properties of sculpture to show a diversified, obscure, “assemblage and separation” status in reaching another verified dimension of space. This is to re_examine the gradually disappearing manners and the indifferent spiritual status in the modern industrial whirlpool. What presented here are not only the reproductions of the essence of phenomena but also an explication and prophecy of the changing and vanishing feelings.