A Separate Reality / Solo Exhibition
Venue: IT Park
My Views on Art 1995
Art is the motion of life to its extremities. It is a complicated and harsh human knowledge, as well as being one's personal feelings and understanding. However, as for the various perplexing problems and complexities of the mind, external manifestations have no way of truly expressing one's internal experiences. Behind all of one's experiences lies the minds battling with specious problems as to whether or not one personally exists, habits difficult to be done away with and personal reflection. I will attempt to probe into the reality of the world of appearances from the perspective of the creative act.
Everything is relative, such as the mutual correspondence of action and stillness and the succession of strong and soft. It is only this relativity that produces the possibility for change. This is just like a pendulum which, having reached the limit of the path it is describing, naturally goes back in the opposite direction. "Reversal is the motive force of Tao." In the process of change from one direction to its reversal a type of force is produced. This is unity, and is that which I desire to express in my works, making life's direct interaction between appearance and the mind the ultimate truth of my knowledge. Casting away the prisons created by historical outlooks, purifying my inner self and thereby coming into contact with the truth. At the same time I try to convince myself that negation and affirmation have no meaning at all, negation because it is merely the strengthening of past closed-mindedness and poisons of the mind; affirmation because it is the unknown without any model to follow. The only way that can establish mutual relations and influence is the conflict between the two, in the same way that the sun rises every day in the east and sets in the west, it is a world that is forever incomplete. Even though fantasy can reflect woman/man's place in the universe, it still has no way of resisting the natural existence outside of the natural world - death. Art is the process of personally seeing my own nature opening up from inside, and is part of the record of my sharp and shining way of life. Dreaming is the parallel between my inner state and deep recollection, which, in all naturalness creates resonance and energy-transmitted images from the mind. By way of an extremely pure activity of perception by the mind, I can, at anytime, become conscious of the strong conflicts and doubts I have with regard to the relationships between life and art. Artistic form can reflect the individual's personal experiences.
If one says that the essence of the artistic act is a form of personal organization and preservation and that one is dependent on the fermentation and use of external knowledge, then how is the individual artist to effectively and reliably store, interpret, reproduce and pass on? Besides the art work ideals and words able to adapt to or influence one's environment and be reconciled to real situations are a very important vehicle. I am adamant in believing that "although an ordinary man might see but in comparison, the wise one is sure to come to an understanding." If one is to be conscious of or reverberate with the vital thinking of any work of art, then the only true reality possible is when a work is perceived by the eye, directly passing on knowledge to the mind. The emptiness and obscurity of the written word are not able to express the true thoughts of the artist, either going too far or not being up to the mark. Unless experience is able to obtain realization in it, by way of a concrete explanation of this experience, then the reliance on old formulae and use of amassed knowledge to keep up a constant flow of argument are unable to add understanding to the written word or convince others of its true meaning. More often than not, it limits the origins of artistic creativity, creating a closed and rigid way of thinking.
The work of art is the world of experience of mind and matter individually formed by the artist. It is also the bridge connecting two extremes. Appearance does not result from the object. There is no difference between appearance and object, they constitute oneness and not plurality, containing a force of absolute potentiality, there being no distinction between large and small, and represent different levels of a fluctuating world. Works of art are nothing more than the unity of mind and matter by the creative artist, the phenomenon produced during the process of mutual alternation between spirit, matter and force. It is also the balancing factor in the intermingling of mind and matter. Hence, a vital object of artistic creation should be even more sensitive towards external information and stimuli. It should even, at all levels, have a feeling of and reaction to realms beyond our reason, and more often than not, follow changes in thought, moods and ideas, thereby manifesting different images. In the process of alternation between mind and matter, the leading role played by the mind is nothing more than an attitude of self-respect on the part of a vital creating entity.
What is this so-called spirit? Is it not energy from a higher level? As a result of this, it is abstract. More often than not, things that are real and profound are also pure. All of the mind's activities come from the motive force of origin of spirit. Once in contact with reality, the mind pierces through the metaphysical and physical, producing a reaction, whether residing in the energy of life or amidst matter. This is nothing more than the realization of the particular conduct formed when one rides the energy of life with the mind, creating forms with this energy, enabling the creation of the new forms, bringing about movement or attaining a style of one's own. Seeing that mind, matter and force have differences regarding essence and purity, a particular type of spirit's wavelength or frequency will find resonance with that of some particular force or matter. There is no limit in time or space to the activities and alternations of the mind's energy sources. This is the so-called "clear becoming unclear in the perpetual movement of things." Hence, there is no difference between large and small, lasting and ephemeral, oneself and others. Mind and body, through different, rely on each other for their existence.
Even though confined to a consciousness created by culture and tradition, I still esteem civilization even more. Everyone has an intellect rising above and beyond this world, never being satisfied with its present situation, let alone the fact that one's body declines with the passing of time. Factors of Taiwanese fine arts and history, as well as our astonishing growth in materialistic knowledge and power, do not constitute a civilization's essence. Rather, one has lost a balanced development of matter and spirit. The foundations of civilization are decided by the directions taken by the government and the people. Civilization's continual existence and development are to be founded only on a true humanist consciousness and intellect, thereby forming an identical consensus. Only by giving the fine arts: knowledge and material existence the guarantees they require, can civilization manifest its integral, true influence. If there is no space for this and no secure environment, how can such a situation be brought about? We live amidst worries and misgivings, lacking a free, independent and concentrated creative force that might enable us to create an intense, clear and everlasting belief that is neither obstinately the same as always nor isolated. A difficulty affirmed attitude, a result of one's declining world outlook, when faced with the drive to develop the modern arts, lacks vitality and character, and is unable to produce any creative action. This seems to be the question of the life and death of modern art.
The structures of power in political and economic domains that seek only proximate advantage, are but a cry in dogmatic confines limited to parochial chaos, a state of impulsive force with no direction. Art in Taiwan is only able to roam between different extremes, restricted to doubts as to what one's domestic characteristics actually are, is without clearly marked-out domains and objectives and depends on primitive battling instincts, seeking development in applied domains of instrumental thought patterns. I have doubts as to how much initiative and originality art can maintain in this type of political environment and organization. Indolent powers of observation are directed towards accustomed patterns of action, resulting in the continued existence of past phenomena repeatedly re-used, having no way of composing our future in this present day environment, thus art loses its role of observation, its progress and exaltation and establishment of sound and perfect foundations, what will our future be like? What can we do or change?
progress is a conscious process and exertion. It's a continual and related elevation. It's one's personal progress in consciousness, freedom of mind, knowledge, a state of spiritual awareness and not a mechanical activity. If our consciousness can start to progress, other things will also be able to start growing. If our consciousness remains at its present level, then everything else will also be restricted to present confines. How can we intelligently respond to the awareness arising from our every day lives and experiences, not be caught up in any external pressure or practical considerations and accurately be aware of everything around us? This is what I attempt to approach and this is also my greatest challenge.