This solo exhibition attempts to establish an “egogram” axis through Chou Yu-cheng’s successive works. During the last few years, Chou Yu-cheng has dealt with several different issues, which have ranged from symbols and political images in the mass media to the widely-discussed topic of resource transformation. Chou uses his distinctive flat, neutral diction to create an image of the “art ecology.” In this abstract concept, he has always wondered how many levels of production relationships are involved by a work (or exhibition). What specific location do artists occupy in this ecology? He has recently focused on the latter question, and increased his reflection on the artist as a person and how he forms his life. For instance, the 2012 work A Working History - Lu Chieh-te—the winner of the Taipei Award—reveals this interest. Chou’s new work Liszt returns his focus to the course of his own life.
While Liszt nominally inherits the straightforward logic of Chou’s works such as TOA Lighting and Rainbow Paint, it also evokes people’s inner impressions of professional artists—or “masters”—through its allusion to classical music. Chou is certainly not intentionally echoing any such views, but instead wishes to underscore the ordinariness that actually exists outside the imagination—when separated from his institutionalized image, an artist is just like any average person. Fragments of this topic appear in such past works as The Motto, Because 64 Crayons and My Country, which all have different themes, but nevertheless reflect the artist’s desire to anecdotalize his life to various degrees. These anecdotes are mostly touched on lightly, or like a street performance, they take the form of a bit-too-honest wit. This wit has always been a subtle part of Chou’s works, and has also given us a means of understanding his graphic diction in the course of selecting works for this exhibition.
In spite of this, I want to emphasize that I am not trying to confine Chou’s works with these brief words. Actually, like the attempt in A Working History, the graphic diction of his works allow them to better express their technical openness toward space and dramatic forms. A question that Chou tosses out is that when we want to discuss a certain kind of manifestation, why not straightforwardly make it exist? When we wish to a kind of life process, why not abandon metaphors and present it openly as it is? For its part, Liszt continues to develop an even more theatrical format on this type of foundation; it separates the scene from the work, and reflects on the function of sound (music). Even more importantly, as in the past, he is unwilling to establish topics for them, and is also unwilling to bring up emotional details. Instead, he relies on a witty honesty to place these elements on the same plane, which is how he discusses his personal artistic evolution. Regardless of whether we approach these displayed works from the perspective of aesthetic forms or from that of artistic subject, we can hope to gain a new understanding of Chou Yu-cheng’s opportunities from this exhibition.（Text: Xu Jian-Yu）