Born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1981, Huang Yi-Sheng graduated from the Department of Fine Arts at National Taiwan Normal University with a specialization in Western Painting. Having worked on realistic painting for many years, Huang is best known for his delicate expression as well as a gentle metaphoric narrative style. Throughout his artistic practice, Huang has expected that his works can provide a spiritual consolation. It is not his intention to demonstrate the skillful technique in his paintings or to create the comfortable atmosphere through the images painted with various pinks. Instead, he believes that art-making should stir the space of imagination which used to be motionless but yet extensive, encouraging viewers to realize that they can either meditate or take a break in this peaceful and undisturbed land.
In 2016 and 2012, he held solo exhibitions named “Wrapping Absurdity” and “When the Door Opens” at Liang Gallery. Huang’s works have been exhibited in Osaka, Hong Kong, London, Shanghai, and Taiwan. His paintings have been collected by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, the Bureau of Cultural Affairs of Kaohsiung City Government, Bamboo Curtain Studio, the Taiwan National Exhibition Committee of Arts. He currently lives and works in Taoyuan, Taiwan.
In my imagination, I think of a sparrow as a cell in the body or a person in the society. Together sparrows can form any personage or anything we know of in our society. When alone sparrow might seem very small, but when there is a group of them, they suddenly become infinitely big. I want to create a story about sparrows. For me, they are fascinating beings, so no matter what I say, I package it with humor. This is a playful world, which from the first sight might look like a game. People are made to think that this world, full of cuteness, serenity and quietness, is not real and that it is only a projection of life. There are always joys and sorrows in life. Sometimes even a happy life might be filled with injustice. It might seem that there is a lot of freedom, but it actually is filled with social restrictions, it might look harmonious, but it is full of social unrest and disturbance. Although there is no loud shouting and screaming, but there are many questions that certainly need to be opposed to criticism.
Chapter Five of “Lao Tzu” refers: “It is like a bellows between Heaven and Earth. It is empty but not void. The more it moves, the more it produces.” I create a seemingly playful world which is full of pure colors and simple lines sketched in a modest space, sometimes it can also be empty. The shades of black and white interchange, just as lines of ink show, resulting in an abstract extension of space and time, and providing a vast field for imagination. The surface is neither three-dimensional nor flat. All sketched objects, although look insignificant, but are full of inexhaustible life and are replete with various possibilities. This is an animal theater for sparrows.
Sparrows appear to be a species that can survive in the human society. It is not difficult to see them from very close in many cities. Although easily approachable, they desperately long for freedom. Even when sowing rice, they appear in the field right in front of you. The slightest movement and they immediately flee away. If you want to feed them, they might give you a “maybe I need you, but I do not trust you” feeling. Sparrows migrate in flocks, thus making others to consider them as “people”. I think of them as ordinary individuals who live in our society. Sometimes we do not pay any particular attention to others, even though they are self-confident and full of self-assurance. These groups of sparrows undoubtedly are a microcosm of the community. I give them a stage where I let them unite and cooperate in order to survive. I allow them to keep each other warm and to experience danger. I unite them together, thus they could defend and protect each other.
I look at every happening from the standpoint of spectator. If you open that big package, perhaps you will see that all this is a theatre you and I have been familiar to for so long – it is a replica of our life experiences. You might even discover the person in the print media or your friend to actually be you and it will bring you déjà vu feeling. All what is mentioned in the story not necessarily should be recognized as absolute. In fact, these are only metaphorical events which I want to share with others. There is no absolute answer, there is only a short story, which I wish to tell.