Lai Chih-Sheng's latest solo exhibition Between Dog and Wolf, features approximately 10 new works ranging from paintings, sculptures, videos to installations. The exhibition title is drawn from the French saying that refers to the specific time just before dawn or dusk when everything is shrouded by dim light. Looking at an approaching silhouette, one is uncertain if it is a dog or wolf, friend or foe. With this as his theme, Lai Chih-Sheng proposes different approaches to look at ordinary things, captures memorable moments in daily living, and imagines the no longer imagined.
An achromatic colour, white is without hue and because of that it is often overlooked. However, to Lai, white can be elegant and when looking closer, there could be myriad variations to be discovered in the white paint of White Painting. By placing it on the floor instead of hanging it, the wall is given a respite.
30cm is a ruler that had been stretched and thus has lost its function as an instrument for measurement. No longer a useful tool, the only way to approach the ruler would be to appreciate it as is. The largest work in the exhibition would be 8cm Inclination, a site-specific installation that takes up the largest show room (7.2 x 21.3 m) in the gallery. For the work, Lai uses a minute way to alter the walls so as to create an illusion that the floor is uneven. Born in Taipei in 1971, Lai creates a minimalist, atypical reality within everyday circumstances. His artwork has a site-specific quality, involving concepts of labor and consumption, and raises questions about art and its production, while also drawing on his 13 years of experience as a professional bricklayer. His recent work responds to the contemporary art world's reliance on display systems and explores subtle sensitivity in a self-referential way.
Press release courtesy Eslite Gallery.
If 30 cm (all works 2017), a common thirty-centimeter plastic ruler stretched and distorted by Lai Chih-Sheng, can be used to navigate Between Dog and Wolf ––a title inspired by the French expression " entre chien et loup" —it suggests that our familiar methods of assessment are of no use in a site of uncertainty, metamorphosis...