When all that’s been taken for granted is not so natural, unexpected astonishment often disturbs our accustomed ways and creates unpredicted outcomes.
In the hottest of the summertime, unsettled souls need to be freed, and Metaphysical Art Gallery opens a window of unexpectedness. We give our stage to Jang Tarng Kuh, Cynthia Ma, and Jacob Jung; they together undergo a visual adventure through time and space, creating space beyond the four walls of the gallery. They aspire to set themselves free from their comfort zones so they weave the possible out of the impossible. This is collaboration across painting, photography, and design, and they make the two-dimensional presentation of graphic arts into three-dimensional. Be it regrouping or deconstruction, what the frame frames is not merely a dream but a deconstructed—then reassembled—collective image. It arranges and filters the broken pieces of thought, civilization, desire, fascination, even life experience, that it presents the raw, innocent, true self. Time moves backward, yet it thrusts forward at the same time; sky upon sky, and time within time, as it seems. Mixed materials are conflated into a fantastic space of real and unreal, yet filled with human feel.
Contemporary art has mostly been about wild imagination; however, rebelliousness and innovation is but the release of emotions. The emotions may be ambiguous, exaggerating, indirect, nostalgic, or avant-garde; regardless, they always surprise you, when you discover the most unexpected thoughts out of the most ordinary things, like the moment when your heart beats when your eyes meet those of another. It’s as if you walk into the gallery to come across a vivid red “Summer Heart” fiery floating at the entrance, no matter if its shadow rests upon the blank. On the other hand, Cynthia Ma’s photography is reborn in its constant deconstruction and self-deconstruction. “To me, death is extravagant,” says Ma. In this way, the grand withered sunflower is planted in the golden vase, swaying its decay and waving goodbye to people afar; in the house, the window that has seen so much in life still glows golden, splendid light in the sunset, foretelling the rebirth after catastrophe. Or, in Jang Tarng Kuh’s painting, we see the reflection of Taipei 101 in the lotus pond, the magnificent tower in the water creating layer upon layer of ripples; all those are framed in the royal blue, olden window. It’s as if you lift the screen window you see the sky in the water, and suddenly you realize the childhood wild dream of leaping into the beyond.
Jacob Jung has traveled many countries, visited many cities and walked so many roads; the little things he’s collected represent the rich memories he’s gathered. Jung is a sensitive, appreciating and talented artist; as he opens his treasure box and considers stories of time, it’s as if the spirits of his every piece of work channel through the gallery of time filled with tales and feelings. “Many of my works are made of monochrome negatives. Those black and white images, somewhat clear but also vague figures, reflect just all that we have been through, so distinct yet so obscure in our minds. The twigs, the cicada shells, and the dead leaves; all eventually will slowly wither away and vanish like memories.” Monochrome negatives or odd-shaped twigs and roots, they are all visual tricks of time.
The past and the future are but half step from one another, and the present breaks out of the crack between them. The real looks like the fake, time and space are confused, the indoor is actually out in the open. This is more than graphic arts; through the collective artwork crossing boundaries, Jang Tarng Kuh, Cynthia Ma, and Jacob Jung find themselves in each other’s works. The conflicting turns and beauties they excite and make are magic for the eyes; they’re also a subversive experience. Imaginations always fly before the steps, in the water yet touching the beyond; they chase fantasies and dreams, one after another, as they also chase the ever changing and thus peculiar self…
Change is absolute; in the same way this exhibition is about free-flowing ideas and various expressive forms going far and wide. It deconstructs your imagination, ascending toward the sun like lively gourd vines.
So, do not always trust your eyes. But now that it’s Visual Tricks, you have to see for yourself.