The series of works Promise began during the transitioning from the state of unmarried to married. At that time I was thinking about the things that could become a cornerstone agreed to give to each other. Slowly I discovered tolerance and acceptance in the course of life, honesty and true love became much more important than a diamond ring. Therefore, an ordinary stone picked up at the seaside replaced the diamonds. I re-assigned every stone with a different story and commitment, and began sequentially interpreting the things around us.
In addition to the vow in a marriage, various kinds of commitments exist in community and life. The work replaces precious jewels on a ring with an ordinary stone. By enlarging, in the microcosmic view, a door and a window are embedded in the stone, which indicates someone living there. The one living in the stone shapes the appearance of the house, which suggests different commitments made by all sorts of groups. Some stones with lovely appearance remind me of beloved ones and friends. I want to build a house on the stone and use it as the place where we could gather together. It accommodates commitments that we strive to realize together. Some stones with unique shapes make me think of certain things. They also remind me of human beings frequently violating commitments that they have made with the nature and sometimes even destroying them. As the result, I can only use pictures of plants and animals in the background as a memento.
Flower in the Wild Forest
When a child, I thought that all of the beautiful Formosan Sika deer pictured in the books have already died out. It was only later I learned that they are not extinct in Taiwan. Due to the massacre, since 1969 it has been hard to find Formosan Sika deer in the wild forests of Taiwan, and only because of the repopulation plan they nowadays can be found in the Kenting National Park. For me, it is difficult to apprehend that Formosan Sika deer have survived only because of artificial, but not natural breeding, and that flowers in the forests of Taiwan have already disappeared.
Theoretically, a child before being born is pure. But the good and bad qualities accumulated by his/hers previous, even the third or fourth, generations of ancestors, more or less influence the physical and mental development of a child. There is no need to say that he/she needs to shoulder the persecution arising from consumption in the environment we live in. In the painting, a coral, seemingly white, yet with dirt stuck in the pores, symbolizes a baby in the womb. Before being born, he/she is already burdened with the problems left by our generation.
Hidden Sound in Arctic
The reason why many lives on Earth fade away is not only based on the evolution of natural selection; the biggest regret perhaps is the birth of human kind. But because of compassion, we have a chance of repentance, yet, after all, only a minority of us. Morality and goodness hold us back every moment during the day and night. We are always anxious about the force, some kind of feeling of facing threat for the first time, which we can see with our own eyes. Often this force seemingly far away is unable to threaten life itself. But the fact is that nuclear disaster in not just Japan’s nuclear disaster, and global warming is not just polar warming. It is even more naïve to think that all of this is a matter of next generation, after all no one knows when a thief in the night might come. Due to the fast pace of today’s life, we need even more empathy in order to treat things that seemingly are not related with us.
Promise Series – Aspiration
The concept of this work is based on the allusion to “the blind leads the blind” mentioned in the Book of Matthew. In the painting, it does not matter whether the leftmost giraffe knows the direction or not, the other three giraffes behind are blindly following it. Only the middle giraffe, looking straight at the viewer, is focused on finding its own direction. It looks like it is having a dialogue with the viewer, or, it is also likely that, the viewer is casting one’s plight on the giraffe.
This work metaphorically addresses education issues in Taiwan: a high education level but a low employment rate. Influenced by Confucianism, most Taiwanese parents still hold on the idea that “learning is the noblest of human pursuit.” They are not willing to let their children to choose technical and vocational schools and to progress freely. They put extremely high pressure on their kids thus killing their interests. Most of the kids in Taiwan only know how to follow blindly, they do not have their own way of thinking, they are lost in the realistic society.
Falling and slowly drifting leaves in the background symbolizes constantly oncoming social values and the influence it has on people in the current of time.
The true faith is very introverted. It is not revealed to others, yet it peacefully and persistently exists as a cornerstone.
“Jesus replied: Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)
Faith is like a grain of mustard seed. A small just sawn seed grows up to be a plant bigger than any vegetable with big branches providing a shadow for the birds.
Faith is trust that arises from the internalization of conviction. Little by little it builds up with experience, step by step it reveals our limits, stage after stage we are willing to put aside modesty, time after time with the help of faith we overcome every situation. It allows us to constantly improve. With faith young branches and leaves gradually turn into a big forest spreading over the ridge of the mountain.
Faith is hope, even if it is faint as a light in the darkness of difficulties, but after all darkness recedes in a bright place and there certainly is space for breathing and recovery in a bright corner. At the time when one is strong enough to adhere good things, he/she successively experiences the unexpected rain after a long drought and receives grace, and they thrive again.