The tight grip on the hand rings or pole of a MRT train clearly exposes the separation of muscle, blood vessels, and bones behind a thin layer of skin. As the lighting within the train changes as it moves from Taipei city to the suburbs, the shadows on the back of the hand dance like a vivid shadow play. If one does not pay special attention, the proliferation of shadow makes it difficult for the naked eye to capture the edges. Its sensitive features only need slight changes in light, direction, temperature, and other external factors for its shape to immediately transform. Sometimes they form a horse, a penguin, or a dolphin. If in a bad mood, the shadow may even form a screaming woman, a barking dog, or the reaper’s scythe….
Shadows are hidden in depressed, negative areas of the body. The shapes that materialize, however, are more human than those that appear in lighted areas. Areas not affected by light aren’t necessarily completely covered in darkness, but are a gathering of all colors. If the human body is like a building, we are like shadows living within its structure. Vividly waving limbs communicate a sad song of life. Desiring to reach lighted areas, yet constantly forgetting, the shadows are the driving force that push one to the light.
Hands and feet are the two most peripheral parts of the body. When viewed in respect to area, they have a very complex structure. With blood vessels like elevated mountains, complex joints akin to streets on a map, and the special reflective texture of nails, they are able to form thousands of different positions. When light shines on the top surface, one can clearly see a strong contrast between light and shadow, revealing special hidden gestures.
Holding such a strong contrast between light and shadow, hands and feet can be viewed, perhaps even more so than the face, as individual portraits that express feelings which cannot be hidden by shadow. The brightest point under the light can be said to be the most dazzling moment in one’s life, and the different shapes of light and shadow symbolize the duality of all objects and events.
Peripheral nerves cover the hands and feet. Most of their functions are produced through contact. A two-dimensional art work not only symbolically uses hands and 2 feet as a call to established concepts, but these two body parts are used as symbols to produce a synaptic experience for the viewer and to transmit a message. Three dimensional material elements are added into many of the works, letting viewers see extended neurons within the image without undergoing a visually synaptic experience. During preparation for each of these works, small particles, cloth, or paper materials were added to the canvas to be used as nutrients for the life of the image. This also lets the crayons create a layering effect from within the different accumulating layers. The concept behind Synaptic is in “Can’t Pray” a specific presentation. “Can’t Pray” can also be found in Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam, where God and Adam’s fingertips are almost touching, like Buddha’s hand with the bergamot. The bergamot is formed by collaging together iodine soaked gauze. Bergamots are like bergamots without being bergamots, resulting in numerous scars instead. In the process of communication, there are always misunderstandings which can produce unexpected outcomes. The receiver can always bolster themselves, expanding their vitality because of imperfections. Perhaps art’s transmission has always communicated under a state of misunderstanding, but its ability to spark vitality and enthusiasm has always been only fueled by setback and frustration.
Categorized into black or white themed pieces, thirty works will be featured in this exhibition. Works showcased on the first floor are mostly from the “Finger Print” series which depict magnified contours of finger prints. Utilizing a layering method, the warm and cool colors of crayons are repeatedly drawn over each other to compile and express the dynamic nature of shadows. Stained and printed onto the canvas, fingerprint patterns form the positive space of the image. However, negative spaces merge with the background, almost becoming the focal point of the piece. The work, “The Finger Print Series: Negative,” directly uses the negative space as the main theme by printing fingerprint patterns in white, instead of colors, while filling void spaces with color. When negative and positive spaces are interchanged, it symbolizes a departure from a fixed pattern of thinking, materializing something out of thin air. Gazing at the skyline of Taipei, one realizes that the emptiness between high-rises is the space we reside in. Organic life forms do not dominate the space of the city, thus, we live in the negative spaces of the city.
In the second floor exhibition, white themed works are displayed. A series of drawings of finger tips depict the complexity of “hands” through anatomical deconstruction. Each image represents a physiological component of the hand. An 3 image of a single finger emanates a surprising sense of uniqueness within a solitude presentation. It is like each finger has become flocks of esoteric animals that fly in the sky amongst the clouds.
Hands and feet often symbolize action or movement. As a result, their various gestures are effective communication tools to convey ideas and concepts. The audience is left to interpret intentionally formed gestures that make a play on stereotypes, The symbolic meaning of icons are different, depending on the culture and upbringing of each person. If the icons resonate with a person’s background, then communication is established. Symbols can also mislead because the relationship between viewers and symbols are obscured nowadays, requiring the use of footnotes. The two works, “Too Anxious I & II,” are based on ancient Chinese symbols that hold deep meaning. Together with the motions of hands and feet, “Too Anxious,” which is pronounced as “Tai Ji” in Chinese, can be interpreted as “Tai Chi.” This is a pun, because Tai Chi is performed with very slow motions and cannot be characterized by the word “anxious.” The symbols’ inaccuracies also create misunderstandings and negative spaces in which the audience can expand their imagination. However, once communication is bridged between misunderstandings and reality, a series of exhaustive synapses are fired up in the brain to perform internal communications.
In everyday life, we are in contact with people and objects. We use our eyes, the backs of our hands, gestures, speech, and sense of taste to communicate and gather information. When you forget about the existence of language, then the body will directly communicate with its surroundings….