Art Statement of Back to Nature Series

Text written by Pey-Chwen Lin

Pey-Chwen Lin’s Art Statement of “Back to Nature” Series

While the world anxiously looked forward to the arrival of a new century, the people of Taiwan experienced the worst of all disasters—“921 Earthquake”. It was something that was the worst of its kind in Taiwan. September 21, 1999, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 on the Richter Scale shook Taiwan at 1.47 a.m. In just 20 seconds or so, Taiwan was badly shaken, and in fact a large part of Central Taiwan was almost devastated. Buildings collapsed, mountains and highlands moved, the earth cracked and the landscape was changed. Even an entire village was removed from its original place. Fatalities and casualties reached more than ten thousand. The book “Memories of 921” has depicted the horror and ravages on the people in Taiwan. Some excerpts portrayed how helpless mankind is.

How we hope to see those tall majestic towers, but they have collapsed before your eyes. Those homes filled with laughter and joy yesterday had now been buried in the depth. It is loneliness now because those you loved all your lives can only be seen in your dreams ….. The homebound way is likened to an umbilical cord, linking the ideals of a grown-up to the memories of childhood; connecting the emotions of the wayfarer to his home; joining the eternal longing for home. But the quake broke the road and turned it into a crooked path. It is really hard to believe that this is the way that I once took to get home. Down the road, will I still see the pair of arms to welcome me home? …. Because of the great power emitted, we now see the alternative side of nature ~ cracks, distortions, collapse and ravages. Is this a kind of counter-attack on man? Or is it equilibrium between nature and life? That night, many people were aroused from their sleep by shock and terror, and dashed straight out of the door.. How we hope the things that now stand before our eyes are just parts of an extended nightmare. Allow us to sleep for a while longer. Let everything be like the day before when we wake up at daybreak.

“921 Earthquake” shook me back to my senses. If I had not personally witnessed this ravaging, I would not be able to comprehend the truth of “coming out of the civilization and returning to Eden; back to the beginning to arrive and the destination.” In 1997, Prophet Elijah Hong brought out the contemporary message of “Eden Homestead”, calling on the children of God to depart from the oppression of civilization and to return to the realm of Eden that God wanted men to live in originally. As an artist, for years my works were based on the issue of feminism, culture, society. However, after understanding the relationship between man and nature, I become aware of all the problems of mankind such as the inequality between men and women, wars and miseries, social disorders, natural disasters and calamities …. These are all caused by man’s selfishness, pride, and conceit, failing to revere God, to the extent of violating the law of nature, and thinking that man’s determination conquers heaven. If only human beings could revere the Lord Creator and live according to the law of nature, problems such as divisions and disputes, prejudice, and oppression would not arise. Man would then be able to live harmoniously with nature to attain to the realm of Eden in which man and heaven become “one”.

In Professor Tang’s preliminary proposal of “Global Ethics”, he feels that mankind’s selfishness is the cause of the breakdown of the mental and physical state of man. In his words, “Look back at the 20th century. It was said to be a time of speeding progress. It enabled man to amass wealth, and at the same time it caused man to suffer extreme distress and hardship. The improvement in science and technology was a great benefit to mankind, but it also ruined nature and the balance between man and nature. Due to the struggle for benefits and power, the conflicts among nations and people increased, resulting in warfare. The pursuit of money and wealth boosted materialism in man. The end result is that the relationship among people becomes tense, and so damaging the cordiality. Therefore, in my works of art, I begin to ponder over the relationship between man and the great Lord creator, as well as the link between civilization and nature. Now, I understand that man and nature are inseparable, and the theme of my works should not exclude my love for nature.

The messages of Prophet Elijah Hong, the servant of God, have inspired me. He said, “What mankind thought is development is not real development. It’s actually a kind of destruction! The extent of man’s development means the extent of the destruction on God’s creation. It implies the extent of the destruction on the beautiful nature. The footprints of the civilized man only bring filthiness. When we went up to Mt. Zion more than thirty years ago, there were lots of fish in the Nantze Stream due to little pollution of the river. Now we can scarcely see any fish. Due to the opening of the Highway 21 and the abolition of the post controlling the mountain areas, the Twelfth Bridge at the foot of Mt Zion is practically a dumpsite. The civilized people bring trash and dump them wherever they go. It goes to say that the civilized human race is also the producer of trash. This is now a serious problem which is too difficult to solve. Today, by the mercy of God, we have seen His salvation, and know the appointed will of God for the degenerated man. Through the gospel we are preaching, He’s going to deliver mankind from the corruption of degeneration.”

At the same, many of the Church hymnals inspired me greatly. One of them goes in this way “We belong to Eden. We should live in Eden according to God’s appointed will in order to become indomitable. In Eden, there is no construction of the civilized man, but only God’s creation. Here, we become united with nature. ….. We merge with nature. In the bosom of God, we are so joyful. There is nothing to worry about ~ a carefree Edenite. Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns, and yet the heavenly Father feeds them. Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin, but God clothes them. We are more precious than the birds of the air, and the lilies. As long as we merge ourselves with nature, we will have all we need. Away from civilization, merge with nature and revert to the origin. Mother Nature is a wonder with its healing power. Our spirits souls and bodies become strong, personalities are healthy and matured. All things will be fine once we live according to God’s law. The heavens and earth were all created by God. God is in nature. To live in Mother Nature is living in God’s bosom. We praise God by the sea and on mountain tops. We praise Him all the time. All created beings praise God. ….. The birds fly freely in the air. The fish swim gaily in the seas. Flowers bloom beautifully under the sun. The whole creation is singing praises to our God……” In this connection, the skies, flowers and grass, seas and oceans are used in my pictures which symbolize nature. “Civilization” which is contrary to “nature” is what I purport to contend against.

With the advance in civilization, science and technology and business activities, mankind is taken further away from nature. “The city” is the sign of the improvement of the society and civilization. It is also the focal point of economy, politics, science and technology. There are so much benefits, comfort and enjoyment from them. People like to drown themselves in city life. In those cubicles decorated with neon lights on the outside are trading of sex and violence, the concentration of entertainment and business activities. The “sign” is a board equivalent to the busy city. It is a representation of the metropolis. In this context, I endeavored to use the colorful and attractive acrylic signs as a mean to replicate such a by-product of the city and civilization. This is ironical of the essence of civilization. The use of scientific symbols, pictures and materials (such IC chips, three-dimensional animation, LED lights, DVD players, etc.…) through constructive models of science and civilization rebutted the vanity and crisis brought by science and technology to mankind. Following is the art statement for each of my art piece.

The aim of “Substantial Life” artwork, exhibited at the Taoyuan Cultural Center at the end of 1999, was to send my longing and respect for Mother Nature. Since Mother Nature provides human beings with a never-ending supply of resources, I link the image with the concept of substantial life when I see a river-like winding footpath in the park of Taoyuan Cultural Center. In this installation work, I applied the printed-out images of the sky, flower, and ocean into 20 awl-shaped acrylic light boxes placing alongside the footpath. This combination created a unique effect, in that the audience was able to walk through the artworks while admiring from three different angles rows. People praised highly the mirage effect created by these light boxes at day and night. This piece was not only a “representation” on how much metropolitan environments place emphasis on artificial landscapes, it also mocked the lack of awareness about environmental crises because our naked eyes have been deceived by un-natural appearances, false landscapes, and artificial light.

In “Viewing Views” solo exhibition in 2000, I constructed, again, the sets of the artificial sky, garden, and ocean for the audience to sit on and enjoy the beauty of the landscape. I used a cubic acrylic light box as the basic units to make up three scenery sets an indoor garden represented by two cubic boxes with printed-out flower images, an indoor ocean by four cubic boxes with seascape images, and indoor sky by three boxes hung on the wall. Different chairs were placed in front of all three formatted artificial scenery sets as part of the artworks in order to create a peculiar and even absurd visionÐa very funny scene when you see audience seemed quite enjoy the artificial landscapes inside a darkroom without awareness because there is so much similar manmade scenery ‘dumped’ into our lives all the time.

I was invited by the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts to make a piece of work placed by the Love River for Kaohsiung Lantern Festival in 2001. Again, I used the same mediums, images, and concepts to present the idea of a city illuminated at night “Light of Earth” to echo the theme of the Lantern Festival. In fact, Lantern Festival represents civilization and metropolitan culture drives human beings to create what does not exist in Nature, and the audience also enjoy themselves in such an atmosphere full of manmade light, fireworks, and laser beams bring the distinguishing features of modern technology into full play. “Light of Earth” was constructed with huge and differently shaped geometric pillars, which became dazzling just like upright metropolitan buildings when lights shone out of them. As soon as the effects were activated, many children were playing within the piece making it look like another “City That Never Sleeps”.

In 2001, I was invited to make another installation for the Chin-Gin Ranch. I chose a site planted with tall trees and tried to blend the artwork with the site. The concept of Mother Nature, again, popped into of my head along with the image of a bird’s nest this time. I named this piece “Treasure” to represent my idea of cherishing Mother Nature. I made about 20 shell-like light boxes with screen-printed flower patterns. These “Treasure” pieces were hung amongst the tree branches. Looking at these pieces in the daytime gave one a surprisingly inadequate feeling but at night they looked like glittering diamonds or like some mountain spirits with their eyes wide open sending their love to human beings. The “Treasure” was later exhibited in 2002 and 2003 at different places, such as amongst the rigid beams in the ceiling of the Hua-Shan Art District, inside the remains of the Taiwan Sugar Factory, and even on the floor of an art gallery (the Galerie Pierre), which gave the audience different aesthetic perceptions accordingly.

In my 2004 solo exhibition “Artificial Nature” at the Art Center of National Taiwan University of Arts, in addition to re-arrange the piece “Treasure” on reflecting acrylic board to make an uniform and standardized installation, I strongly emphasized the technical symbols such as computer 3D animations, and social phenomena in digital era such as internet games and cloning technology. Those images were combined with printed-out flower patterns to make the contrast between Mother Nature and human beings’ technical civilization.

This is a piece composed of 5 pillar-shaped acrylic light boxes. I applied the printed-out images of computer IC boards and flower patterns onto geometric and pillar-shaped acrylic light boxes to symbolize the shapes of industrial machinery or buildings. Also, I introduced one 3D image of butterfly in the middle piece to construct a manmade “Technical Garden”, in which was the flower and butterfly “manufactured” by IC boards and communicating with each other via “messages” (laser beams). In fact, such coldly detached relationship states a reflection of our interpersonal relationships in this digital era.
This series consists of 4 pieces of artwork based on the themes of ‘Space Capsule’, ‘Germfree Greenhouses’, and ‘Technical Space’ respectively. By applying 3D animated virtual images and the implication of artificial incubation, I attempted to link human beings with the process of breeding, experimenting on, transforming, and cloning flowers. My point was to mock the infinite development of technical civilization which is in fact a process of transformation using human beings themselves as the guinea pigs. Therefore, there was an animation of a 3D female image inside each acrylic flower board; each animation showed the gradual forming of the body through lines, and the formation process was repeated endlessly. Also, each acrylic flower board was rotated 360 degrees by powered turntables to echo the rotation of the animated 3D female figure and to present a certain experimental process, a factory’s automation, mechanization, circulation, or computerization. Finally I covered the entire set of flower board and female figures with an acrylic lid (half ball shaped) to symbolize a clean greenhouse with a touch of LED light to give the whole piece a more electronic sense.

This exhibition is a continuation of my “Back to Nature Series” with a rather bold attempt by using the entire darkroom to present a new concept in Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei. Together, three related installations in the darkroom are: (1) On the wall opposite the entrance is shown the “Virtual Reality” image of a group of butterflies in 3D Polarized Projection System. By wearing 3D glasses the audience can experience the pleasure of catching butterflies. (2) One artificial garden with images of butterflies projected has been created to satisfy human beings’ desire to touch and catch butterflies on hands with white gloves. It interacts with the audience to achieve a certain degree of interest, but what they can see and touch is in fact an illusion. (3) 15 specimens of “Virtual Butterflies” are hanged and displayed between other two installations. It was the common human behavior after one catches a butterfly will turn it into specimen. I therefore used Lenpicular Lens, Electroluminescent and acrylic boards to make 15 pieces of “Virtual Butterfly Specimens”. It is to bring up the question of when “Butterflies” and “Specimens” become a sort of illusion one day, what happens to the environment we actually live in? This series, again, emphasizes the previously existing “Reality” that eventually will only be able to be admired, captured, and mourned one day if human beings don’t start to cherish Mother Nature. What will they have in the end? An illusion and virtual images I have created to make the point that those beautiful and lifelike butterflies are only the technological products after all. Although the 3D butterflies appear to be as real as life through a pair of glasses, they are nothing but a trick of the senses (Virtual Reality) produced by means of so-called ‘Hi-Tech’ including 3D animations, Polarized Projection System, Polarized glasses, etc. The entire process is quite alluring and leads the audience into some visionary wonderland but the audience will get hit by a situation of feeling lost as soon as walking out of the space because nothing they can catch.

“Chrysalis”, highlighting the features of local culture, was created by the invitation from the 2nd Taipei Public Art Festival to recover the energy of the old community through more attention from the public. Therefore, I inlaid 15 white chrysalis-like objects made by acrylic, which symbolize chrysalises sleeping at daytime and undergoing metamorphosis into beautiful butterflies at night, shining in the bushes. This is the effect created by Electroluminescent which was placed in front of chrysalises to highlight the image of butterflies. The wonderful process from white chrysalises to colorful butterflies at night is a metaphor of the bright future of the community.

“City Matrix” exhibited in three art centers: Tainan University of the Arts, National Hsinchu University of Education, and Kao Yuan University. I uses symbols of technology (i.e. neon, LED and digital video of signage, etc) to represent the image of a city full of shiny lights, colors and noises to attract people to lost in its unconscious illusion. I create this piece as a metaphor for a city that breeds artificial and digital lives. The viewer can peep through the lens on the top of Matrix to see the moving image of LED signage and butterflies. The tentacles extend from the Matrix toward digital butterflies made of 3-D graphics and lenpicular lens. These tentacles and butterflies symbolize the lives “bred” by Matrix. Matrix is a clone of beauty, waiting to trick people’s eyes into believing it came from desire. Moreover, I use web-cam to catch the image of audience and combine it with the projected image from the lens on the top of Matrix to present the interactive effect. It is to criticize that human can never escape from the Matrix made by them because they are part of the Matrix when they are peeping the Matrix outside in the same time.

“Virtual Creation” interactive installation satirizes mankind’s constant desire, through all manner of scientific and technological means, such as computer software, biotechnology, virtual reality, genetic modification, cloning technology and man-made life, etc., to play the role of lord of creation, thinking that, once he has science and technology developed, he can use it to replace Mother Nature. This is why I created an installation work that would enable the audience to imitate a creator. Immediate and interactive images produced by means of computer applications, such as the computer touch screen and interactive systems, enable the audience to take part in the process of creating butterflies and convey man’s creative desires.
When visitors enter the exhibition space, they discover there are butterfly images on the screen on the platform, and by taking part in drawing these images with their own fingers and completing the whole creative process, especially seeing the butterflies that they have drawn fluttering onto the screen, they experience a virtual but sincere feeling of being a creator. This is a metaphor for me as an artist using the latest in technology (interactive systems, computer applications, animated imagery, and so on) to mock the virtual desires and sense of satisfaction that science and technology bring to mankind.

Summary

It is those beautiful light boxes, digital pictures and virtual images I used to create the “Back to Nature” Series to alarm and criticize the development of civilization. By different means, advertising signs for criticizing metropolitan civilization, 3D animated images for warning against the crises caused by artificial lives, or VR darkrooms for self-examining the “Unrealistic” future world, and so on, I wanted to convey a single message: Do not destroy Mother Nature, whom we rely on for our daily lives, do not blindly develop diversified civilizations against the will of God, and do not cast yourself on the resource-consuming and benefit-driven journey with no return. Therefore, through my artworks, I state strongly: “walk out on civilization and return to Eden is the only way for human beings’ existence to continue.”

Human beings seem to feel that computer technology can help them realize their dreams (some dreams about conquering outer space, creating life, traveling through time and mastering one’s own destiny, etc.), and such desire has driven them to blindly and proudly develop a technological civilization. They challenge God without knowing that human beings cannot exist without Mother Nature because no matter how many computers, machines, weapons, laboratories, VR facilities they have invented, the nutrition offered by Mother Nature can never be replaced. Can “Technological Civilizations” really benefit human beings or help them control their own destinies? From where I am standing, although technology has sated human beings’ senses and desires, that very self-righteous and complacent sense of achievement might be followed by the biggest catastrophe ever if human beings keep challenging Mother Nature and her creations with arrogant and self-conceited attitudes. When Armageddon eventually falls upon the entire human race, we might not be able to keep even a tiny creature like a butterfly. Technology is indeed capable of creating vivid images inside a darkroom, and the images can even be saved in digital files; that achievement however just skims the surface because when we walk out of that darkroom or turn off our computers, what can we really “catch” for good? While we are enjoying those rather short-term delights and indulging ourselves in technological temptations, are we aware that catastrophic scenarios are highly likely to happen (some already have) in the near future in our everyday lives? Artificial Nature is a fictitious image, all the creatures come from laboratories and have been genetically modified, and computer technology has controlled our lives.

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Back to Nature Series
<i>Back to Nature Series</i>

Back to Nature Series Download

Dews (2016)
Dews (2016)

公共藝術

Poly, Silica Gel, Oil-based Dyes, Fiberglass, Poly, LED, LED Lighting Timer, LED Lighting Controller

National Taipei University

2016

Continuing the series of Back to Nature”, Pey-Chwen Lin imitates the natural dews to create nine pieces of “Drews” which made of silicone, oil coloring agents, glass fiber and poly foam. They are installed on the park in front of the central square of the National Taipei University Administration building.

“Dews” are placed on the lawn sporadically throughout the park, as if they are beads of giant beings. The sense of surreal beauty is beyond imagination and stunning. They are especially captivating when the LED lights glow slowly, as if breathing and performing, from within the dews during the night. Whether it’s during the day or night, they continuously exude living beings that converse with nature. Pey-Chwen Lin’s creation simulates forms, images, or artificial lives in nature by using materials not found in nat

Flowers but not Flowers(2004, 2005)
<i>Flowers but not Flowers(2004, 2005)</i>

數位圖像輸出, 壓克力箱, LED

189 x 60 x 30 cm (each) x 6

2004,2005

Exhibition

“Un-Natural “, National Taiwan University of Arts, Taipei, Taiwan, 2004.

“Fantasy and Things”, Taiwan Avant-Garde Documenta, Huashan1914, Creative Park, Taipei, Taiwan , 2004

“Fascination & Frustration”. HCTC Artist Space of National Hsinchu University of Education, Art Center of Kao Yuan Unviersity, Taiwan, 2005.

This piece consists of 6 acrylic light boxes. Each box presents one large rose image as the major picture combining different image of social element on the background. The elements of background in each box are (1) World Currencies, (2) Logos, (3) Internet Pornographies, (4) Internet Games, (5) Metropolitan Buildings, and (6) Newspapers. I used digital techniques to compose the images of the roses and the six background images, and then deliberately enlarged these images to show the Pixel. As we know, “Pixel” is the fundamental point of images; what look like indiv

Viewing Views(2000)
<i>Viewing Views(2000)</i>

數位圖像輸出, 現成椅子, 壓克力燈箱

90 x 90 x 30 cm (each) x 11

2000

“Viewing View—Back to Nature Series”, Taoyuan Cultural Art Center, Taoyuan, Taiwan,2000

In “Viewing Views” solo exhibition in 2000, I constructed, again, the sets of the artificial sky, garden, and ocean for the audience to sit on and enjoy the beauty of the landscape. I used a cubic acrylic light box as the basic units to make up three scenery sets an indoor garden represented by two cubic boxes with printed-out flower images, an indoor ocean by four cubic boxes with seascape images, and indoor sky by three boxes hung on the wall. Different chairs were placed in front of all three formatted artificial scenery sets as part of the artworks in order to create a peculiar and even absurd visionÐa very funny scene when you see audience seemed quite enjoy the artificial landscapes inside a darkroom without awareness because there is so much similar manmade scenery ‘dumped’ into our lives all the time.

Catching II (2014)
<i>Catching II (2014)</i>

Inflatable plastic sheets, interactive video projection, sensors, speakers

According to the space

2014

National Taiwan Science Education Center (NTSEC)

Three strangely shaped insect eggs are comprised of inflatable plastic. Combining interactive audio and moving images, a computer program is used to generate images of pupae and the metamorphosis of butterflies among a surreal, biological state. When the audience attempts to catch the images of the pupae, sensors detect their hand movements, causing the pupae to gradually change into a colorful butterfly. However, these are virtual images that the audience is unable to catch. Through this approach, the artist prompts the audience to reflect on the crisis in which virtual nature is gradually replacing real nature through technology.

Interactive mode:

When a hand is waved around the upper area of the sphere, higher frequencies of the wave will result in a higher intensity of change in colors and images.

Listening to Cloud-light #2 (2008)
Listening to Cloud-light #2 (2008)

Website Link

公共藝術

長1018cm X 寬202cm

三菱鏡玻璃、強化玻璃、金屬固定架

高雄捷運青埔站二樓西側欄杆

2008

The installation provides the insight into the historical transformation of Qiao Tou. Via the cleverly-designed curved shapes and paintings on them, these two-sided works are meant to recall collective memory of the Township.On the way leading to the KRTC platform, people are presented with an array of artworks

representing Mother Nature. When leaving the station, a set of distinctive images with their culturally specific content are shown on the other side, aiming to impress people with the uniqueness of the locality.

Albums

Morning Dew (2006)
Morning Dew (2006)

Mixed Media (Plastic, water, air, and day-glo materials)

30*30cm 60*30cm 90*60cm

2008

Continuing her series entitled Return to Nature,. Lin Peychwen imitates the form of morning dew in a piece by that name. She uses soft inflatable object into which she injects high-tech day-glo liquid. She forms in this way shapes like a giant water balloon. Under reflection, the dew creates contact with the surrounding environment. “Morning Dew” has been displayed both indoors and outdoor. It is like an alien piece from another planet, or like a vital entity in a dream. An extra surreal beauty has been created and bright nightscapes are made evident. Thus, she surprises the audience.

Lin Peychwen use artificial material to create natural objects, images, or artificial life. We always try to make a virtual image or a form that surpasses nature in order to satisfy human desires. This virtual realistic environment can stir viewers’ emotions. Therefore, this “Morning Dew” pi

Rain Forest (2006)
Rain Forest (2006)

螢光壓克力圓柱長條、壓克力板、螢光燈、風鈴

3×2×2公尺區域

2006年台北燈會藝術特區,台北中正紀念堂

“Rain Forest”public art is placed in the sidewalk constructed by trees from two sides, the artwork is placed within it. Therefore when the audiences pass through and interact with the artwork, it is as if going through a wonder of another space-time. The piece is a combination of fluorescent acrylic transparent long bars, hanging from top to bottom, like a curtain that can be moved and opened. When the fluorescent lights installed within the upper side of the acrylic bar model (acrylic sheet) shine upon the floor, the acrylic bar will glow. In addition, the lower end of the acrylic bars gather light and create starlight effects, increasing the physical astonishment of the light composed by acrylic bars.

Video

Albums

Chrysalis (2005)
Chrysalis (2005)

Medical Glass Jar, Poly Sculpture

50 x 30 cm (each) x 15

哈密公園,第二屆台北公共藝術節

台北市政府文化局

2005

“Chrysalis”, highlighting the features of local culture, was created by the invitation from the Taipei Public Art Festival to recover the energy of the old community through more attention from the public. Therefore, I inlaid 15 white chrysalis-like objects made by acrylic, which symbolize chrysalises sleeping at daytime and undergoing metamorphosis into beautiful butterflies at night, shining in the bushes. This is the effect created by Electroluminesent which was placed in front of chrysalises to highlight the image of butterflies. The wonderful process from white chrysalises to colorful butterflies at night is a metaphor of the bright future of the community.

Video

Albums

Treasure (2001)
Treasure (2001)

數位圖像絹印,壓克力燈箱

60 x 50 x 40 cm (each) x 20

清境農場、台灣藝術大學藝文中心、

台中臻品藝術中心、國立新竹教育大學藝術空間、高苑科技大學藝術中心

2001, 2004, 2005

In 2001, I was invited to make another installation for the Chin-Gin Ranch. I chose a site planted with tall trees and tried to blend the artwork with the site. The concept of Mother Nature, again, popped into of my head along with the image of a bird’s nest this time. I named this piece “Treasure” to represent my idea of cherishing Mother Nature. I made about 20 shell-like light boxes with screen-printed flower patterns. These “Treasure” pieces were hung amongst the tree branches. Looking at these pieces in the daytime gave one a surprisingly inadequate feeling but at night they looked like glittering diamonds or like some mountain spirits with their eyes wide open sending their love to human beings. The “Treasure” was later exhibited in 2002 and 2003 at different places, such as amongst the rigid beams in the ceiling of the Wha-Shan Art District,

Substantial Life (1999)
Substantial Life (1999)

數位圖像輸出,壓克力燈箱

123 x 80 x 80 cm (each) x 20

桃園文化中心

高雄市立美術館

1999, 2000-2001

贊助單位:桃園文化中心

The aim of “Substantial Life” artwork, exhibited at the Taoyuan Cultural Center at the end of 1999, was to send my longing and respect for Mother Nature. Since Mother Nature provides human beings with a never-ending supply of resources, I link the image with the concept of substantial life when I see a river-like winding footpath in the park of Taoyuan Cultural Center. In this installation work, I applied the printed-out images of the sky, flower, and ocean into 20 awl-shaped acrylic light boxes placing alongside the footpath. This combination created a unique effect, in that the audience was able to walk through the artworks while admiring from three different angles rows. This piece was not only a “representation” on how much metropolitan environments place emphasis on artificial landscapes, it also mocked the lack of awareness about environmental crises because our

Catching (2004)
<i>Catching (2004)</i>

Images of Butterfly Project in a Darkroom, 15 pieces of Digital Butterfly Specimens,

Computers, Electroluminescent, White Gloves

According to the space

2004

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei (MOCA)

Sponsored by Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government, Golden will Technology Corp., i-Art Corporation

This exhibition is a continuation of my ‘Back to Nature’ Series with a rather bold attempt by using the entire darkroom to present a new concept. Together, three related installations in the darkroom are: (1) On the wall opposite the entrance is shown the “Virtual Reality” image of a group of butterflies in 3D Polarized Projection System. By wearing 3D glasses the audience can experience the pleasure of catching butterflies. (2) One artificial garden with images of butterflies projected has been created to satisfy human beings’ desire to touch and catch butterflies on hands with white gloves. It interacts with the audience to achieve a certain degree of interest, but what they can see and touch is in fact an illusion. (3) 15 specimens of “Virtual Butterflies” are hanged and displayed between other two installations. It was the common human behavior after one catches a butterfly will turn it into specimen. I therefore used Lenpicular Lens, Electroluminescent and acrylic boards to make 15 pieces of “Virtual Butterfly Specimens”. It is to bring up the question of when “Butterflies” and “Specimens” become a sort of illusion one day, what happens to the environment we actually live in?

This series, again, emphasizes the previously existing “Reality” that eventually will only be able to be admired, captured, and mourned one day if human beings don’t start to cherish Mother Nature. What will they have in the end? An illusion and virtual images I have created to make the point that those beautiful and lifelike butterflies are only the technological products after all. Although the 3D butterflies appear to be as real as life through a pair of glasses, they are nothing but a trick of the senses (Virtual Reality) produced by means of so-called ‘Hi-Tech’ including 3D animations, Polarized Projection System, Polarized glasses, etc. The entire process is quite alluring and leads the audience into some visionary wonderland but the audience will get hit by a situation of feeling lost as soon as walking out of the space because nothing they can catch.

Cultivation (2004)
<i> Cultivation (2004)</i>

Acrylic Board, Digital Prints, 3D Animation, Motor Turntable, LED light, DVD

Player80 x 80 x 70 cm (each) x 42004Art Center of National Taiwan University of Arts

Wha-Shan Art District, Taipei

Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art, China

The development of 3D computer animation has revolutionized our understanding of images; it has also changed the human experience and ability to identify real and fake images. Computer generated audio and special effects can create highly realistic images, and has even been able to imitate the forms of real people.

The main objective of “Cultivation” is to criticize the research and development of genetic engineering, which grows human beings as some sort of object. This clean, sterile, and inorganic process is actually highly similar to the composition of 3D animation (use wireframes to create form, add texture and light, and it becomes a “life-like” 3D image)! Therefore, I decided to use 3D animation to visualize the formation of a female body. This was done to represent genetic engineering’s electronic and inorganic form of nurturing and to criticize the rigidness and absurdity of this form of technology. In addition, “Hothouse flower” is a term used to describe someone (usually a woman) who is high-maintenance and needs to be protected and pampered in a safe environment. Therefore, I used transparent acrylic to make something that looked like a space capsule to cover the flower boards. Each acrylic flower board was rotated 360 degrees by powered turntables to echo the rotation of the animated 3D female figure. This represents the life of a “species” that can only exist in the greenhouse (an experimental space that’s clean, sterile, and isolated), as well as its process of production and nurturing.

City Matrix (2005)
<i>City Matrix (2005)</i>

Acrylic board, electric wire, lenpicular lens, digital video, LED, DVD player, TFT screen, specula reflector, concave and convex lens

Main object: 65 cm x 75 cm

Butterfly Shapes: 25 cm x 20 cm x 11 cm

Space: 600 cm x 300 cm2005

Arts Center, Tainan University of the Arts

National Hsinchu University of Education: HCTC Artist Space

Kao Yuan University Art Center

“City Matrix” uses symbols of technology in the city, such as neon lights, LED lamps, signage, to mock the digital world that humans have created. This world is constantly being constructed and embellished with dazzling lights and sounds. It may be mesmerizing like a butterfly; however, it’s actually luring people away from nature to unconsciously enter into a psychedelic illusion.

Therefore, the author uses mutations as a metaphor for the city we live in, like a strange Matrix producing more mutations. The viewer can peep through the convex mirrors to see the flashy advertising signs and fluttering silhouettes of dancing butterflies. This kaleidoscope-like city also makes traffic noises. Several tentacles extend from the Matrix toward digital butterflies with LED lamps that create artificial movements and dancing that produce a clone waiting to mesmerize and trick human eyes.

Virtual Creation (2006)
<i>Virtual Creation (2006)</i>

Large Projection Installation, Computer Touch Screen, Interactive System, Computer,

3D Animation

According to the space

2006

798 Art Zone, Dimension Art Center

New York Crossing Art Center, USA

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan

Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan

Taidon Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan

National Central University, Taiwan

This work satirizes mankind’s obsession to use technology, such as computer software, biotechnology, virtual reality, genetic modification, cloning technology, and artificial life, etc., to play the role of the creator, thinking that they can use technology to replace nature.

Therefore, the author has created an installation for the audience to play as the creator. Using computer programs, a computer touch screen, and interactive systems to generate real-time and interactive images, the audience can participate in the process of creating butterflies. When the audience walks into the exhibition space, they immediately notice an image of a massive aquarium. There are all kinds of butterflies and sounds in the deep ocean. The audience will feel as if they’ve entered a virtual world. Right in front of the surreal ocean scene, there is a touch screen podium for the audience to interact with the piece. They can draw butterflies and watch their creation flutter in the screen above. It allows them to experience the grandeur of being a creator, even if it’s only virtually. The author uses virtual technology (interactive systems, computer programs, animated images) to mock the desire to create and the sense of satisfaction that technology brings to mankind.

Specimens II (2006)
<i>Specimens II (2006)</i>

3D Animation, Lenpicular Lens, LED

According to the space

2006

798 Art Zone, Dimension Art Center

After catching butterflies, people want to preserve these beautiful creatures as screens and used cold light lamps to create digital butterfly specimens. The butterflies aren’t real; instead, they are dynamic 3D images combined with lenticular sheets.

In addition, each specimen is numbered as if it were an experimental subject.

It can be copied and stored, or even become an object of nostalgia for people to mourn and appreciate.

This series of work re-emphasizes the importance of cherishing nature right now, or suffer the consequences when it will only be possible to admire and mourn for the reality we once had, and accept that any replacement, no matter how vivid or beautiful, is merely an illusion and product of technology.

Flower Pillars (2004)
<i>Flower Pillars (2004) </i>

塑膠、水、空氣、螢光劑

30x30cm 60x30cm 90x60cm

2004

Exhibition

“Un-Natural “, National Taiwan University of Arts, Taipei, Taiwan, 2004.

This is a piece composed of 5 pillar-shaped acrylic light boxes. I applied the printed-out images of computer IC boards and flower patterns onto geometric and pillar-shaped acrylic light boxes to symbolize the shapes of industrial machinery or buildings. Also, I introduced one 3D images of butterfly in the middle piece to construct a manmade “Technical Garden”, in which were the flower and butterfly “manufactured” by IC boards and communicating with each other via “messages” (laser beams). In fact, such coldly detached relationship states a reflection of our interpersonal relationships in this digital era.

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