This exhibition takes reference from Edgar Allan Poe's The Man of the Crowd, a short story narrated from a detective perspective, attempting to reinterpret the relationship between a person with oneself, others, and the crowd (society). Allan Poe is a 19th century writer and poet, as well as a pioneer of Western deductive reasoning novels. His writings are generally considered part of Dark Romanticism genre, using literary skills such as symbolism, metaphor and exaggeration to present the flowing consciousness and spiritual dilemma of modern people in the unrealistic environment.
Just as brushstrokes on canvas, letters on paper also guide the viewers to wander among the constructed space of virtual reality. The first person narrative in the novel is also the perspective of the viewer when facing the canvas, which leads each 'I' to track the details of those passengers who walked by–'the innumerable varieties of figure, dress, air, gait, visage, and expression of countenance'. Eventually all emotions and features were merged into one old man, 'I' followed him across the city, chasing the crowd endlessly. The old man refused to be alone, nor does he allowed to be understood. He is the man of the crowd, a symbol of every human individual. The exhibiting artworks construct figurative but non-realistic images on the canvas. Through the frozen colours, gestures and expressions on canvases, viewers could also activate memory and imagination to turn moment into eternity, capture instantaneous consciousness of figure merely at a glance, and to further observe common and complex spiritual world of the crowd, therefore be able to perceive the nature of oneself and the essence of life.
Press release courtesy AIKE.