【Talk】 Artificial Landscape - City as Installation Art



2022/01/09 (Sun) 14:00-16:00


2F, Yu-Hsiu Museum of Art



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Man-made landscapes are overflowing in our daily life. The landscapes are never natural and pure. They may be too fragmented to make us not aware of them, or we may start from our line of sight and frame the pictures one by one, with special meanings. landscape.

The abstraction of place and the metaphor of time, the artists use their unique styles such as calmness, stability, weirdness and absurdity to expose those inner city memories and tell the city's past.

If you make an appointment to visit on 01/09, you can attend the lecture for free. Seats are limited, so please sit in early.







Curator/Chen Kuang-Yi

Chen Kuang-Yi graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, National Normal University, and then earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degrees in art history and archeology, as well as a doctorate in contemporary art history (19th and 20th century) from the Université Paris Nanterre. An art historian, curator and art critic, she is Professor of the PhD Program in Contemporary Visual Culture at the Department of Fine Arts, National Taiwan University of Arts (NTUA) and Dean of the NTUA Fine Arts College. She is also a member of the Intru laboratory, a French interdisciplinary research group.

Chen was a researcher at the National History Museum, an exchange professor at the Ecole des Beaux-arts de Bourges, and a visiting scholar at the Department of Art History, the Université François‐Rabelais de Tours. She was also the curatorial and academic consultant to various major international art exhibitions in Taiwan, including the exhibitions of Millet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Miro and Monet presented respectively at the National History Museum, the exhibitions of Gauguin and Monet at Taipei Fine Arts Museum, as well as Masterpieces of French Landscape Paintings from The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow at the National Palace Museum. She has curated Millet, Corot and Pleiades of Barbizon School from JIN (Nakamura) Collection (2004), Le livre d’artiste: de Matisse a l'art contemporain (2007), Balzac vu d’ailleurs (2012), Time-Space Loops: Southeast Asia-Taiwan Contemporary Art Interchange Exhibition (2016), Lifetime Colon: Chiu Ya-Tsai Retrospective Exhibition (2019), Chrono Contemporary (2021), and many more.

She has been invited to serve as a jury committee member by the National Palace Museum, the National History Museum, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and other public art and cultural institutions in Taiwan. She has served as a review board member of the Taiwan Art Gallery Association, a consultant to the Quanta Culture and Education Foundation, a recommendation juror of the Neuvieme triennale mondiale de l'estampe, as well as a juror in various international and Taiwanese art awards, including the National Award for Arts, the Kaohsiung Award, the Taishin Arts Award, the Chung Shan Youth Art Awards, the Union Culture & Art Foundation Young Artists Award, and the Grand View Emerging Artists Award. Her articles and reviews featuring art history and art criticism can be found in various monographs, journals, magazines, and exhibition catalogues.

Lin Yen-Wei
Lin Yen-Wei (b. 1987) was born in Pingtung, Taiwan. He received his MFA from the National Hsinchu University of Education in 2012. He now lives and works in Hsinchu, Taiwan. He has exhibited in various places, including Australia and China. At first glance, Lin’s work does not look like landscape. However, the theme of his work is indeed closely related to urban landscape. Often carrying his camera and traveling throughout Taiwan, Lin would visit parks, school campuses, amusement parks or scenic areas to photograph animal sculptures that serve as sceneries or amusement equipment. Like the artist proclaims, his “ethnographic exploration of public aesthetics,” on the one hand, is his revisiting and restoration of childhood memory, and on the other hand, a field survey of a certain “peripheral landscape” in cities. Not only have these “public sculptures” gradually weathered away, they also demonstrate somewhat coarse, grotesque, absurd and comical characteristics. Utilizing the mechanical language of photography, Lin focuses on the expression of these animals, especially their eyes, to introduce the “grotesque aesthetics” emblematic of Taiwan’s urban landscape. Such aesthetics is vividly shown through his two recent series, respectively titled See You Again and Just Like the Way You Art. The former depicts the Hsinchu Zoo before its renovation and some dated animal taxidermies displayed in the windows at Gujifong Park. The subjects in Just Like the Way You Art series include a kangaroo with a broken ear in Hualien’s Meilun Mountain Park, the carousel in a closed roadside parking lot in Puli, and a bird perching on a nearby pavilion roof. In different ways, they metaphorically speak the past of the cities as well as their impending fate of becoming obsolete. Recently, Lin has expanded the scope of his field survey to decorations of temples, mascots placed for blessings in front of shops, as well as landmark objects installed at tourist attractions for visitors to make check-in posts on social media, all of which represent his attempt to provide the audience an uncanny portrayal of the urban space.


Kao Kuan-Chun

Kao Kuan-Chun (b. 1993) was born in Taipei, Taiwan. He received his MFA from the Department of Arts and Design, National Tsing Hua University in 2018. He now lives and works in Hsinchu, Taiwan. He has exhibited in various places, including Japan. Kao’s work primarily features potted plants commonly found in cities. By changing the proportion, he blends plant imageries and post-industrial artificial landscapes, turning enormous succulents into tiny planets, meadows, mountains or cliffs combined with micro utility poles, traffic signs, construction signs, fences, factories and chimneys symbolizing urban development. Viewing his work, the audience feel like being transported into the world of the Lilliputians. Through a perspective dialectically shifting between the macrocosmic and the microcosmic, the question of whether the artificial or the natural is more important becomes paradoxical yet intriguing. Furthermore, in terms of the question of whether humanity or nature is the subject, the “God’s perspective” arranged by the artist has highlighted the existence of the “absolute subject” that human beings can never surpass. The “new paradise” filled with Kao’s fantasies is also a metaphorical one because the succulents are not a random choice: These plants could supposedly endure the extremely dry weather and develop their own mechanisms to survive in extreme natural environment. However, they often rot in cities due to human’s negligence or excessive watering. Kao’s the other series on view in the exhibition – Landscape – features fragmented green vacant space fenced in by metal sheets. Such “green space” as a distinctive landscape in Taiwan could disappear anytime due to development. Kao delineates these landscapes on fiber cement boards and breaks the edges to render them irregular and reveal the materiality of the painting’s base. By doing so, the paintings that are originally landscape representations seem to embody a certain architectural quality because of the cement boards and become the walls of concrete cities, positing his paintings between real landscapes and their representations.


Tsai Meng-Chang

Tsai Meng-Chang (b. 1984) was born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. He received his MFA from the Department of Fine Arts, National Kaohsiung Normal University. He now lives and works in Chiayi, Taiwan. He has exhibited in various places, among which are Japan and China. Now living in Chiayi and having conducted art residency at the Art Site of Chiayi Railway Warehouse, Tsai’s work concentrates on the disappearing urban railways. Prepared for two years, the series The City Without Railways was officially launched in 2021. It features the landscape of Taiwan’s railway and the various forms of life along the railway that have undergone drastic changes due to the railway grade separation construction. At first sight, his painting reveals a rather exact composition that always emphasizes on vertical and horizontal line as well as a stable frontality enforced by his consistent choice of the landscape format with customized canvas sizes. The windows, doors, paper scraps, compartments and floor ruins are like paintings within paintings, collectively repeating urban architectural frames. Nevertheless, underneath such strict delineation of landscape lies Tsai’s expression of his personal sorrow. Having left home to study in Chiayi since high school, Tsai’s feelings for trains are inevitably associated with his imagination of “home”—the disappearance of railways does not simply denote a disappearing “sense of place” but the disappearance of “a sense of happiness.” As a result, he has begun documenting places that feel familiar to him and make him feel at ease as if he were racing with time. These places include the Chiayi Train Station and the settlement known as “Little Penghu” formed during the period of Japanese rule, the demolition and eastward relocation of the Tainan railway, the Art Site of Chiayi Railway Warehouse, and the stores of “OBUYING Market” that were converted from timber factories along the railways and are part of the history now. However, the The City Without Railways series does not include railways, at least not a lot. In his conversion of landscape into painting, only a metaphor of time is preserved. Through combining photography and painting, the artist successfully freezes time in the coagulation of the air and the exactness expression of light, creating a timeless quality.

Artificial Landscape - City as Installation Art Past

Artificial Landscape - City as Installation Art

2022.01.08 - 2022.05.29 | 1F-3F, Yu-Hsiu Museum of Art

Artificial Landscape - City as Installation Art