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Taiwan Panorama / Editors' Choices / Article:The Aesthetics of Between-ness: Contemporary Artist Wu Tien-chang
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Editors' Choices
 
 
2011/10/p.094
The Aesthetics of Between-ness: Contemporary Artist Wu Tien-chang
Eric Lin/photos courtesy of Wu Tien-chang/tr. by Josh Aguiar
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Photo explanation: A born iconoclast, artist Wu Tien-chang has taken his artistic expression through myriad incarnations with nary a creative lull in over 30 years of activity.   (photo by Jimmy Lin)
A born iconoclast, artist Wu Tien-chang has taken his artistic expression through myriad incarnations with nary a creative lull in over 30 years of activity. (photo by Jimmy Lin)

Wu Tien-chang is a member of the "first wave" of Taiwanese contemporary artists.

When during the martial law era he participated in the establishment of the 101 Painting Society, his unbridled style sounded a clarion challenge to the era's predominant minimalism, and also helped throw open the gates to the unfettered diversity of today.

From his earliest days, Wu has waged constant aesthetic revolution. Never has he contented himself for long with any single creative vocabulary. His path has interconnected points as disparate as oil painting, photography, installation art, and video. His oeuvre is richly imbued with Taiwanese local custom and character, and like a conjurer's tricks, his works all stretch the boundary between reality and fancy.

His latest work, Luan, confronts the taboo subject of pederasty, presenting to the senses mankind's immoral primal desires. Through absorbing images, Wu points again and again to the possibilities of an "in-between aesthetic," in which viewers are forced to recognize that man is a combination of darkness and light. Moreover, this duality is preordained by God, and therefore perfect.

Luan created a stir in Taiwan's artistic circles from the moment it premiered, an astonishing achievement considering that it was Wu's first creation in the video medium!

All of this summer the artistic community has been abuzz with talk of Luan.

This entire calendar year, the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts is hosting an ongoing series entitled One Piece Room that showcases different artists on a revolving basis. The featured artist faces the challenge of exhibiting only one piece within the confines of one room. The setup of the gallery offers additional difficulties with its two floors, eight-meter-high ceiling, and semicircular shape.

Wu Tien-chang's showcase arrived in July. He turned the first floor into an ad-hoc theater with curtains serving as an entrance that were securely closed behind visitors for the broadcast of a video 15 minutes and 20 seconds long. In the video, a lace-clad inflatable figure appears in front of a floral wallpaper background.

 
 
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