Mind Set Art Center is honoured to present Renaissance, an exhibition that features a collection of artworks by Marina CRUZ, Rao FU and SHI Jin-Hua. At a time when the pandemic has subsided in Taiwan but is still affecting many parts of the world, we take inspiration from the Renaissance, a time in European history where art, politics and economy went through a rebirth, to put together this show of art and to express the hope that the world would transition to a rebuild phase. We would like to extend a sincere invitation for you to join us and artist SHI Jin-Hua for the opening reception, scheduled on Saturday 22 August at 3pm. A concurrent exhibit, Interpretation: A Collection of Drawings by Lin Chuan-Chu 2018-2020, will be opening on the same day at the gallery.
'Life' is an endlessly wide and profound concept. Countless artists throughout history have exhausted their life to explore and experiment with ways to measure life's depth and to interpret its significance. The three artists in Renaissance take inspiration from inward reflection and observation on current affairs to explore the possibilities life's continuation beyond its apparent limits through their artworks. At this particular juncture when the world has slowed down, the spirit of the Renaissance is especially important as it illuminates a path for us moving forward. Philippines artist Marina Cruz has collected over 100 pieces of clothing from her family members as well as their memories of these garments. She then painted portraits of the aging clothes, with great emphasis on their wear and discolouration. Combining realistic and abstract techniques, Cruz has distilled a part of her family history on her canvases in a highly stylised manner. Through her paintings, she retells the life journey of a maternal family that struggled and endured many difficult years. Born and raised in Beijing, China, Rao FU moved in Dresden, Germany in his early 20s, to advance her artistic training. The combination of Chinese upbringing and western education has inspired FU to boldly experiment with layering and clashing different elements on canvas. Taking ideas from his life experience, his readings and observation, FU explores a variety of themes in his paintings, including the complex relations between men and nature, men's defense of and departure from home, the sense of loss when dream intertwines with reality, and the constant cycle of destruction and rebirth. SHI Jin-Hua is a seasoned Taiwanese artist known for his decades of experience in performance art. Having lived with diabetes since for decades, SHI is acutely aware of the fragile nature of life. As a devout Buddhist practitioner, he has been exploring new ways measuring the meaning of life. When he looked through his father collection of stones, SHI experienced an epiphany and he saw the endless landscape as well as trees and mountains that his father once saw in the texture of the stones. SHI collected the dust gathered on the rocks over the years and mixed it into his paint. And with that paint, SHI paints the epic image of sprawling mountains and crushing waves, in and of themselves, generate endless meanings and symbols. The painting no only showcases the landscape in SHI Jin-Hua's mind, it is also his way of remembering his late father. The endless intricate father-son relationship is projected onto paper and it has taken on a whole new life. Rebirth and renaissance go hand in hand with struggle and death.
Marina CRUZ, Rao FU and SHI Jin-Hua explored the possibilities of life's continuation. And we, the audience, get to feel the palpable energy of life's rebirth through their work. When we look closely at the artists' each footstep, we are gazing into an abyss where new grass has emerged, showing the rigorous vitality of the artists' life and creation.
Press release courtesy Mind Set Art Center.