‘Way of Life, Weight of Life’
YiJie Chen, Chien-Wei Yu, Hsiang-Ping Huang and Ming-Chen Liu
The volume called Life is composed of chapters featuring everyday trifles that constitute diverse forms of human existence. Unlike metaphysicians who may be able to extract truth from human history on the macroscopic level, we are deeply caught in it, trying to withstand all it brings with our flesh. The weight of the gathered fragments is precisely the temporal and spatial reality for us.
In the spring of 2020, streets in the UK were haunted by an apocalyptic atmosphere. Due to the lockdown and social distancing resulted by the pandemic, the physical exhibition we had been organising was put to a halt. While the spring was breeding lilacs out of the dead land, the human world seemed to be withering. We carried on our creating process, or rather, in solitude, revisited the fragments of life, including those inevitable flaws and regrets.
Returning from Edinburgh to Taiwan, YiJie Chen, Chien-Wei Yu, Hsiang-Ping Huang and Ming-Chen Liu are holding the joint exhibition ‘Way of Life, Weight of Life’ after pondering on the period of time. The weight of life connotes the burden of living, but at the same time, life is attached weight because it is treated seriously.
‘Obsessive Letters’by YiJie Chen showcases the human obsession with various objects and intangible concepts. The format of the work resembles that of social media, on which every character is subject to public gaze, insinuating that under the influence of consumer culture, humans get lost as the boundary between human and object blurs, rendering themselves commodities available for purchase. Behind the illusory and surreal scenes saturated with vibrant colours, the detailed eccentric expressions and human figures exquisitely portray the subtlety and complexity of humanity.
游千葦的系列作品“Dear Life”，描繪內容為加拿大作家Alice Munro的22個短篇故事中，小人物在毫無防備面對生命中突如其來的事件時，無力理解與抵抗，只能任由命運擺布並淹沒在時間的洪流中。畫作中使用大量隱晦的色調營造寧靜沉鬱的氛圍，呼應Alice Munro故事中緩慢的敘事步調、寂寞懷舊的氣息及角色複雜的心境，觀者在進入角色內心與場景時或能有某個生命片段被喚醒，理解同時也感覺受理解。
‘Dear Life’ by Chien-Wei Yu is based on 22 short stories by the Canadian author Alice Munro. Incapable of comprehending and resisting the incidents happening in their life, the characters simply surrender to their fate, being drowned out and washed away by the river of time. In her work, vague tones are applied to create a tranquil and somber atmosphere, corresponding to the slow narrative pace, the lonely and reminiscent mood, and the complicated emotions of the characters in Munro’s work, which may invoke a certain image from the viewers’ memories as they enter the scene and the inner world of the characters, so that as they understand, they also feel understood.
以平面設計作品“A Good Bye”將台南傳統葬禮儀式過程中有趣的片段擷取出來，分別做成互動小冊、日曆和短篇動畫，希望觀者可以透過輕簡易懂的內容了解台南喪葬文化，並體會最終在送別生命的時刻，人性油然而生的和解、莊重與情意。創作者嚮往細膩的傳統美感，更渴望在創作中完善送別生命的記憶：回身發掘自己的根，也真正反覆地旅走、細探曾經與親人道別的路途。
‘A Good Bye’ by Hsiang-Ping Huang extracts intriguing segments of traditional funeral rites to be made into interactive pamphlets, calendars and animated short films with graphic design, which aims to provide a simple way for the viewers to grasp the funeral customs in Tainan, and to realise the conciliation, solemnity and commitment in the last adieu. Owing to her fondness for the delicacy of traditional aesthetics, the creator yearns to compile her memories of sending someone off with her art. Through ‘A Good Bye’, the creator traces her origin by repeatedly traveling back to the road of bidding farewell to the beloved.
劉名真的布藝創作計畫“Not Only 100 Days”自生活細節拾獲圖樣造型(pattern)，重複性如詩詠般複沓迭唱，一再演繹平實卻至要。在絹印、版畫印刷、手繡、機繡等手藝練習之下，進一步使用印製的布做出實用與美結合的口金包，盛裝模糊的家戶記憶。源於蘇格蘭藝術創作活動一百天計劃，創作者選擇以布料圖案設計作為每日的實踐練習，期許在過程中不急於求成，感受時間沉澱及技藝積累的重要性。
In Ming-Chen Liu’s fabric design project ‘Not Only 100 Days’, she picks up patterns and shapes from life. The quality of repeating patterns resembles repeating verses, which reiterates its plainness and essence. On the basis of screen printing, linocut printmaking, hand or digital embroidering, she proceeds to make crafts with printed fabrics that integrate practicality and aesthetic, such as the clasp bag that embodies blurred familial memories. Inspired by ‘100 Days Project Scotland’, the creator chooses fabric pattern design as her daily practice. During the process, she refrains from rushing it, allowing time for polishing up the skills
These works record the fragments of life. While it is uncertain when the haze covering the world will dissipate, the exhibition that was not realised has now been reborn in our hometown, in which we discreetly keep our respective life memories.
撰文/ 劉名真 Ming-Chen Liu