July 1, 2017 - Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei - Li Chen: Being: In / Voluntary Drift
July 1, 2017

Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei

Li Chen, Being: In / Voluntary Drift.

Li Chen
Being: In / Voluntary Drift
July 1–August 27, 2017

Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei
No. 39 ChangAn West Road
Taipei City
Taiwan

www.mocataipei.org.tw
Twitter / Instagram / YouTube / Weibo / Artsy / Facebook

Li Chen
Being: In / Voluntary Drift
July 1–August 27, 2017

Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei
No. 39 ChangAn West Road
Taipei City
Taiwan

www.mocataipei.org.tw
Twitter / Instagram / YouTube / Weibo / Artsy / Facebook

Li Chen, who was born in 1963 in Yunlin, Taiwan, is one of the most prominent figures throughout international contemporary art. Li’s works are combinations of Buddhist and Daoist philosophy, which he engaged in his early years, and creative elements from western sculpture infused with the gaze and disclosure of various phenomena in modern society. Since his works first appeared to the public in 1999, Li Chen has been an active figure both domestic and abroad. In 2007, Li participated in the 52nd Venice Biennale, the first artist of Chinese descent to be invited as an individual to arrange a solo exhibition in the event. Li Chen has also organized large solo exhibitions in locations, such as Beijing, Singapore, Seattle, and Paris.

By combing and promoting the context of Li Chen’s works, this exhibition is centered around “being.” The Chinese title of the exhibition includes the character "shih," which has a variety of meanings including time, such as the Chinese term for century ("shih chi"), and generations ("shih shih tai tai"); the word can also refer to space, such as world ("shih chieh") and can extend to meanings, such as engaging in ("chu shih") and distancing from ("ju shih") society. The English title Being, on the other hand, induces the concept of existence, life, essence, and character. With origins in eastern consciousness and Buddhist philosophy, the works of Li Chen include the vast linear character of history while containing acute contemplations of modern intuition, forming the temperament of multiplicity and pioneering quality of Li’s works. The subheading In / Voluntary Drift is inspired by Li Chen’s own words: “Life is as it’s always been.” Just like the exploration between the objective and subjective, the collision between the history and reality, and drift between the voluntary and involuntary, each is a journey of exile and wandering. This exhibition is separated into four sections: Arriving, Leaving, Entering, and Exiting, each allowing the viewer to experience the realm of drifting constructed by a variety of different elements.

The Arriving section arranged in the outdoor plaza displays an 8-meter-tall work Upright Soul and Pliant Man. These works reveal Li Chen’s explorations. Leaving section presents the most popular and classic works of Li, such as Peony and Pure Land. The difference in dimension and material in the sections of Arriving and Leaving creates a state of multiple interpretations while being consistent throughout the outdoor exhibition space. The scenery within the museum, however, is entirely different. The theme on the first floor is Entering, which starts with Butterfly Kingdom, and displays the process of the artist’s observations of the world from distant analysis to intimate gazes, finally merging and combining. The revelation of humanity is pushed forward gradually, guiding the viewer to surprises and doubts. On entering the realm of Exiting on the second floor, the viewer comes face to face with the storm and glittering light of Holy Light and is encouraged to ponder the state of collective entanglement and the solitude of death. Li Chen constructed the 24-meter InnerveArtificial Heavens within the largest display space, the deepest and most exhilarating statement of the entire curation. The erect and confronting obelisk and pagoda are placed sideways, forming a shocking Emergency Exit that is not only an interpretation of the action of cycle and rebirth, but also the core concept of this exhibition: The cycle of Leaving, Arriving, Entering, and Exiting of Being are fully expressed in the realm of space and emotions. The sketches displayed at the end of this exhibition and early work Spirited lead the viewer back to the artist’s starting point, creating a life passage of realization.

Related
Share
More
Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei
Share - Li Chen
Being: In / Voluntary Drift
  • Share
Close
Next