SU Wong-shen

Working slowly and deliberately, SU Wong-shen has been preparing for his latest solo exhibition at ESLITE GALLERY. “Boiling” down four years of work into 13 paintings, he mostly depicts scenes that he has observed of surrounding lives and changes in society, while others are from his travels.

  • Exhibition Period:15 Dec 2012 – 13 Jan 2013
  • Address:ESLITE GALLERY∣5F, No. 11, Songgao Rd., Taipei 11073, Taiwan
  • Opening Hours:2pm-3pm, Sat, 15 December 2012

Working slowly and deliberately, SU Wong-shen has been preparing for his latest solo exhibition at ESLITE GALLERY. “Boiling” down four years of work into 13 paintings, he mostly depicts scenes that he has observed of surrounding lives and changes in society, while others are from his travels. Every painting is like the sound of the artist’s sigh. SU has always earnestly wanted to capture his feelings and the uncertainty towards life with his brush, a practice that has pre-occupied his work in recent years. Although inspired by the reality, his world is not depicted realistically under his brush, but through an arena in which symbolic objects and animals represent interpretations of his feelings and thoughts. Jason Chia Chi WANG observed that SU’s portrays a gloomy attitude towards alienation, with a rich spirit of nostalgia and emotional remembrance at the core of his works.

In contrast to his earlier political undertones, SU now feels apathy towards politics and his current works focus on his observations and understandings of the present situations. Tour Group and Travel Together show his experiences when traveling in difference countries and interactions with locals, for instance his observation of the phenomenon of China opening itself up to tourism. Arbor Day and Relocation shows his feelings towards the military village where he currently resides in Zuoying, Kaohsiung. In recent years, the second and third generations of residents have been forced to move out, similar to the surrounding trees being uprooted to be sold. Open Space and Temporary Parking Lot are daily scenes, while Walking Path harks back to Danshui where he lived a previous decade ago. In Danshui, he often encountered small creeks, villages and old houses while strolling at dusk. These were the typical northern countryside scenery before the new city of Danshui started developing tremendously. He also depicts the decline of the fish farms in Chiayi in his work Pond.

SU Wong-shen

From Tamsui in New Taipei to Zuoying in Kaohsiung, the world of images of Taiwanese artist SU Wong-shen (b. 1956) is essentially centered on his home.  Beyond the trends of shock-value aesthetics and grand narratives, SU’s works illustrate that an understated humorous tone and quirky artistic expression evolved from regularity is a desirable approach for stirring local identity and establishing a set of local aesthetics.

His distinct bird’s-eye view technique gives an extraordinary visual imagery to his panoramic scenes or narratives. The settings of his work creates a trans-conceptual space, where the various visual variations experienced in flying or soaring impart movement within stillness, and where the center is in all places at all times and any single subject can be the subject of interest.

SU makes frequent use of iconographic symbols, such as animals and trees, while the center of his interest has always been playing with textures. These elements form a habitable and playable perceptual space balanced by a rational allegory and calm tones. Via the actions and composition of the animals, the artist brings the relationship between human beings and their environment to a metaphoric and poetic level.

His artistic accomplishments are ultimately not manifested in the application of trendy concepts or strategic manipulations, but are determined by the employment of alternative thinking and distinctly independent artistic language.