Inspired by the 1992 Abbas KIAROSTAMI film of the same name, the exhibit looks to encourage us, who are collectively living through a difficult period in history, to take a deeper look at the core meaning of life. The exhibition will be held in two stages: the online portion is set to run from May 16 to June 4, followed by the in-gallery exhibit of the artworks, scheduled from June 5 to June 27. No opening talk will be held in order to avoid large gatherings amid the ongoing epidemic. Why do we need to press forward and launch an art exhibition when the world has ground to a halt? Or, a better question: How can we respond to a world in distress with an exhibit of art? With that goal in mind, the name originally planned for our 10th anniversary exhibit, "Illusion‧Reality", no longer fits the current state of affairs. As we are confronted with what has become a human existential crisis, we found solace in KIAROSTAMI's film "And Life Goes On". The adventure film that tells the tale of survival after an earthquake has inspired us to face the problems and sorrow straight on while maintaining faith, hope and courage. We need to summon up our collective empathy and help each other as we go through this catastrophe.
The artworks in the exhibit presents the artists' continued reflection on the essence of life and many societal issues. Many have created new pieces to specifically mark the gallery's 10th anniversary. Indonesian artist Syaiful GARIBALDI has brought his latest painting named "Sudor Klasira #8", through which he continues the observation on the landscapes within the world of microbes. Hanna PETTYJOHN, the Filipino American artist signifies immigrant's nostalgia and their potent sentiments with "Ground (DFW, MNL)", a porcelain sculpture shaped by the inner space of suitcases and endless tangled fabrics. This quality of transitional state of matter is further explored by Chinese painter QIN Yifeng in his abstract painting "Line Field 588". In his work, QIN applies onto the canvas an extremely thin layer of paint that is barely visible. Blending paint into the fabric, he conveys a spiritual state where the artist merges with the matter, and both no longer exist in their original, individual state.
Different from the abstract aesthetics of the aforementioned artists, Rao FU and SU Wong-shen's paintings focus more on human nature and societal issues. Rao FU's oil painting "Cloud Fire", which was originally named "auf dem Weg zur Insel Kos", portrays the grueling journey of a man heading toward the elusive Island of Kos under a burning sky. The painting exudes a sense of uneasiness, one that is also shared by SU Wong-shen's 2019 painting "Dogs in the Field". The artist has painted a scene where many dogs perform various stunts, which is his way of mocking Taiwan's public that has long been blinded by politically ideologies. Both Ana Maria MICU and WU Yiming have focused on the vigor of growing plants in their paintings, but with different techniques: MICU uses charcoal sticks whiles Wu has opted to use traditional ink brushes to render their respective versions of an immersive and organic world.
Press release courtesy Mind Set Art Center.