Today; while recovering from sunburn, I headed out to the small but well organised Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei.
Free from the crowds of the national palace museum and other ‘rainy day’ locations it was a short, but enjoyable visit.
There were three major artist exhibits. I loved one of them. From the other two I strongly disliked one and for the other I liked the ‘synopsis’ describing the work, but I didn’t like or ‘get’ the work itself.
I’m not an educated art critic, but perhaps that doesn’t matter. I do think; like many things in life, deeper knowledge could yield more insight, but on the other hand it may also cloud your ability to experience things in a natural way.
The artist I was impressed by was Leigh Wen – http://www.leighwen.com. In her own words:
“I am often awestruck by the power of the creator, and am influenced by Eastern philosophies that pay respect to nature. I feel that human are small in the face of nature, and one must learn to be selfless, compassionate, and giving.”
“Earth, air, water and fire are the center subjects of my art. I live in New York City – it is close to the ocean, and I’ve developed a deep affinity for the sea, which has also evoked sentiments in me for what has across on the other side of the ocean. Majestic mountains in Europe and the U.S. those I’ve seen with spectacular ridgelines or forms are what I want to pay homage to. The sky’s ever changing atmosphere, fire’s brilliance, and all the energies embodied in nature are the most things that I am in awe of.”
Let’s take a look at some of her work that was on display. Apologies for the less than perfect mobile phone photography; take a look at her website, for much better images of her work.
When you see her work in real life, I think it shows a masterful range of tones and the ability to capture a deeper sense of the emotion we associate with the environments she depicts.
MoCA has one huge room on the second floor. They had 4 massive peices on display here. I love the way she represents nature. Her work is somewhat cleaner, simplified, and more perfect than real nature, but it still holds a strong feeling of what she is trying to represent. The white and blue mountain ranges below were so fresh; it really took me back to alpine snowboarding in the Alps.
And opposite that a much more moody work with striking colours and tones.
And a strong feeling of fire from the work in the distance.
In terms of the other artists in the exhibit there was an exhibit by Ronald Ventura a filipino artist. I understand it was “finding home” and about the number of filipino’s working abroad. Ronald’s work is really not to my taste. The images were a little disturbing to me; including gas masks and horse with heads at both ends, this kind of contemporary art is a real turn off for me and I can’t see the meaning in it.
But then I think art should divide the audience, if it doesn’t foster strong opinions either way I am not sure it is really art? thoughts?
The third exhibit was Endless Ritual by Chen I-Chun and Luo He-Lin Dual Exhibition. I didn’t really connect to the artwork, but the idea was very interesting. The focus was on the rituals of modern life. And specifically those rituals driven by technology.
My take on that idea. We have certain ways of behaving these days which are kind of like ‘automated rituals’ and they are caused by technology. You know from something as simple as waking up and checking your phone, to the ubiquity of CCTV cameras, paying by cards etc. Perhaps technology already is the new god and we are the ones automated in our day to day ways of following technologies rules.
For the machines to take over we didn’t need the terminator, we needed something much more subtle, that would enslave us through addiction in our daily rituals.