I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
Exhibition view: Lai Chih-Sheng, Between Dog and Wolf, Eslite Gallery, Taipei (2 September–8 October 2017). Courtesy Eslite Gallery, Taipei.
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, and transformation.
LAI Chih-Sheng's work is not based on artistic technique but conceptual practice that imparts his audience a familiar yet new experience that is both immediate and poetic. Born in 1971 in Taipei, LAI's recent solo exhibitions include An Exception to Reality—LAI Chih-Sheng (ESLITE GALLERY, Taipei, 2011), Instant (IT Park Gallery, Taipei, 2013). In 2012, his work Life-Size Drawing was invited to participate in Invisible: Art of the Unseen 1957-2012 (Hayward Gallery, London, 2013).
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 color, 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 (7.2x21.3m) 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.
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