Beyond the Tree: Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts Solo Exhibition
Beyond the Tree and Clouds
Text by Jo Hsiao
A cloud, a sphere, a bird and the sea, encompassing both sound and form…I am the space where I am. — Chen Hui-Chiao
In an interview, Chen Hui-Chiao said that “dreams are the starting point of all my work”. Undoubtedly, Chen wants to explore the creative value of subjective ideas by using dreams as a motivation, and create a unique world of her own by combining imagination, creativity and psycho-logical truth. She imagines the world and the universe by going into a sort of meditation. Dreams are her medium for contemplating, reﬂecting on and questioning the world. They reveal her subconscious and summon her inner soul in search of the state of her existence.
Sigmund Freud believed that to understand someone, you have to understand his dreams ﬁrst. It is through dreams that peopleʼs real thoughts and true face are revealed. Man always responds to his subconscious through his dreams.
In “Beyond the Tree”, Chen becomes a poet. Poets use imagery to conjure up a world that transcends the appearances and that is divorced from reality. Creating a world that is different from our own, she evokes images of a cloud, a sphere, a bird and the sea, while the illusions of the universe and stars are suggested by simple industrial materials. These images disguise the real world. Rather than being rational represen-tations of the external world, they allow great room for the imagination and visualize the dreams of the author ‒ her private clouds.
However, contradiction and tension are always present in Chenʼs work ‒ she uses systematic analysis to convey her sensibility. The installation Beyond the Tree is a concrete example. In the statement “A cloud, a sphere, a bird and the sea, encompassing both sound and form”, every image stems from the authorʼs imagination. However, they are images familiar to us in everyday life. Here, these images suggest tenderness, silence and vastness. Combining natural and artiﬁcial elements, they evoke a sense of space of sky meeting earth. Integrating the private interior and the public exterior, the artist manifests the desire for an aestheticized world and tries to escape into a setting of her choice.
I am the space where I am. This sentence appeared in an artist statement by Chen Hui-chiao, and was quoted from The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard.