Where is my work, and what have I been creating?
If an act could be used as an example, it should be analogous to the moment of
ESLITE GALLERY is delighted to present "Scene," a solo exhibition by LAI Chih-Sheng prior to his departure for this fall's Biennale de Lyon. Running from 13 June to 26 July, 2015, "Scene" exhibits a series of site-specific installations, sculpture and drawings based on LAI's experience as an artist-in-residence in Paris, 2014 and displays his longstanding investigation of space, time, and corporeality that often evokes reflective thinking and self-reference to the status quo.
LAI's minimalist work has always been the artist's consistent attempt to turn over our stereotypes of order, norms and reality. For instance, Scene, entitled the same as the exhibition, is a large installation/sculpture featuring a "ceiling" designed by LAI that's almost the same size as the showroom's with a mere 25cm gap from the wall around it. Topped with innumerable light bulbs and hung as low as 183cm above the floor, Scene gives out an enormously oppressive feel to participants walking under it. While darkness pervades the space, light flowing through the gap accentuates the lining of the surrounding walls as well as the rim of Scene, highlighting the dimension of the space and, more significantly, magnifying audience's corporeality and sense of presence.
In another showroom, the audience encounters Beyond Untitled, an installation in which the paint in a 240x680 cm section on the wall has been scrubbed off to reveal different layers of paint from past exhibitions all the way up to the first one held in the gallery (then a Michael Lin solo exhibition). Grey, white, pink, green, checkers, with each layer of paint exposed, LAI unearths six years of ESLITE GALLERY's exhibition history since its relocation to the current location in 2009. All the remnants from LAI's archaeological endeavor are also kept as part of this installation for representing the passage of time.
LAI's work concerns the return of the creative process to a quiet, simple and spiritual hint, as well as represents the artist's response to "how the world is a poem." By constantly drawing our attention to common or daily objects, from a simple hook, paint can, drawing paper to construction residues from making a work, LAI offers a unique point of view with which we could reinterpret current social norm thus discover more new possibilities. "Artistic practices are always based on reality. However, when we realize that the real world is heading in a certain direction, perhaps what an artist should do is anything but following the same course." Rebellious as it may sound, "Scene" in fact doesn't only confront the reality or is a mere interaction with space, as it could be as well interesting to just highlight and therefore becomes a hard look at the encounters (of everyday life), however minute, as they are.