I went to the Art Future at Hotel Grand Hyatt Taipei earlier this month. I quickly learned that all the curated artworks were from different galleries. Each room was a small, independent exhibition. There were some artworks on the bed, at the corner, and on the floor of the unused restrooms. Some rooms were too crowded for the number of works the art agents brought. I overheard that it was expensive to remove the beds from the hotel rooms, so some galleries chose not to do it. As an artist myself, I believe in the presentation of art itself. It was difficult for each visitor to enjoy the artwork and to give an equal amount of attention to the details in this specific setting.
Over the past few years, I had my artwork up on the gallery wall in Seattle. I remember working with the art exhibitor on measuring the distance between the wall and the work. My art curator taught me to hang my art at eye-level, with the center at 57–60 inches from the floor. She gave me different rulers, measurement bars, and papers to do the math. The art curator also gave other artists the same standard height requirement, creating continuity throughout the entire gallery and giving everything a professional look.
I also have shown my monoprints in a community space outside of a traditional gallery. For that specific show, I asked for triangular plastic stands where I could make my work stand without mounting or sticking it on the wall. As an artist, I want to protect my work and talk about it. Therefore, the distance between the viewer and the artwork is the key. Looking back to this show, I was afraid to see children running around in the hotel restrooms, almost touching the unprotected, precious artwork.
Despite the presentation at ART FUTURE 2021, I saw memorable works that I’d like to share. The carving work named Endless Love by Ching Chang in 2016 showed crooked lines, textures, and patterns. Every detail added up to match the theme of God’s grace behind the work. The other work Rotation of Soul 靈魂的羅盤 by Ran Hill in 2021 also caught my attention. The medium was acrylic on a 72.5 x 60.5 cm canvas. The deer, clean lines, gradients, and color transitions made the painting almost magical. The white feather at the center of the see-through moon brought viewers to a different land, creating a unison for the work.
I also saw four oil paintings by Kent Keong, 2020. The theme was roses and petals. One of the four paintings on the wall was blushed pink; the other work in closer look was in a warmer tone. The titles were abstract such as 絢麗 and 有些話, translating to Magnificently Gorgeous and Some Phrases.
If I ever get a chance to connect with the artist, I’d mention Georgia O’Keeffe. I also like to include petals and floral themes in my artwork. I created something similar when it comes to carving, monoprints, and watercolor paintings. I want to talk about Georgia O’Keeffe’s White Iris from 1930. I believe the work is currently at Tate Modern, London, for those who are interested. I remember learning about different perspectives and conversations wrapped around this specific work, including gender roles and discussions on the sexual metaphors which O’Keeffe rejected.
How do you use a detailed floral part to convey an abstract idea? Do you believe floral-themed works cannot escape from gender discussion? What is the difference between abstract floral work and a realistic painting of a floral vase?
I appreciate the opportunity to see all the works in person. I overheard many conversations in different rooms discussing each artwork. For those who are not from a traditional art background or institution, I want to throw these questions out for us to think about:
What does art mean to you? Do you think art education is necessary? How do Taiwanese talk about art? Is there anything we could do to emphasize the meaning of art in society today?
To me, I believe in art and I will teach my children about art. Like my ending thought on my podcast MIDNIGHTO2 S3E2, art is a reflection on a generation, a specific society, and a necessity for human beings to grow.
*Other than the Endless Love, the art titles were translated from Mandarin to English by me.
More about Amy Hsuan Chiu (Aeimee):
Poetry Writing: https://linktr.ee/ahcpoetry