堆疊快樂—玩具積木藝術展Building Blocks, Building Happiness
名稱 堆疊快樂—玩具積木藝術展Building Blocks, Building Happiness
時間 2021/03/18 10:00 ~ 2021/10/17 21:05
Building Blocks, Building Happiness
Tainan Art Museum BLDG1
───«小王子» 安東尼‧聖艾修伯里 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
All grown-ups were once children... but only few of them remember it.─Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Le Petit Prince
For most of us in the childhood, playing with toys meant happiness, while it also played a key role to help a child physically and mentally, especially in the cognitive and muscle development. However, as we grow up, the toys have either been tossed away or buried at some dusted corner. The haste of everyday life gradually exhausts the simple happiness a child has enjoyed with one’s toys. For children, playing with toys make them happy, but is it possible for the grown-up to find happiness in toys?
To use the themes from popular culture in the artworks was a practice starting in the 1950s and 1960s, when British and American Pop Art became a rapidly-adopted global trend. Pop Art embraced the life of the public to bring back the “low” culture, which used to be discarded by the high arts as derogatory. Its subjects, forms, and materials reflected the pop culture and the familiarity of everyday life at that time, borrowing elements from cartoons, commodities and entertainments, and its influence still remains. Artists of today often use toys in their artistic practices, creating or appropriating derivative works that draw on these roles or their cultural contexts. Among the toy-themed artworks, bricks and blocks provide a special approach not only because most people can easily relate to it, especially when the toy-playing experiences from the past evoke the sense of imagination and achievement, but also share some similar qualities with the arts, including the basic geometric shapes such as cubes, pyramids, and cones, and the different ways of building, which are clearly associated with the basic rules of shape-making and the three-dimensional spatial concept in sculpture.
Centering on bricks and blocks as the main theme, the exhibition Building Blocks, Building Happiness presents the artworks by Kuan-Ying Wu, Chu-Wang Chou, Meng-Shu You, and Yi-Li Yeh. Chou and Yeh artistically visualize the childlike delight and familial love, occasionally with a defiant touch of playfulness, inspired by the experiences with bricks and blocks. Wu challenges the possibility of brick-and-block construction in geometry. You deconstructs the blocks of presumed “simplicity and happiness” to further meditate upon the complication and sadness in life as a reflection on reality. The exhibition also invites brick artist Yen-Chih Huang to adventure beyond existing patterns and models into the themes unexplored, particularly with an emphasis on the Taiwanese folkness, as shown in his Beigang Chaotian Temple, which manifests the beauty of Taiwan’s temple culture, and the historically significant Tongan ship with its depiction of the migration wave and economic trends in the 19-Century Taiwan.
The exhibition Building Blocks, Building Happiness locates in Gallery J & I at Tainan Art Museum’s BLDG1, where visitors are encouraged to visually or physically experience the immense creativity of artists playing with the nature of bricks and blocks, as well as the symbolist expressions immigrated from bricks and blocks to the art forms, or even the reconstructed shape and volume after being broken apart. In either way, the artists are searching for the simple happiness and their signature of creation with the bricks and blocks in their hands to confront the reality of life. When the unexpected arrives, herpas with some spiritual anxiety, arts may lead the way out and help to find one’s place. Through an exhibition of diverse expressions and possibilities, Tainan Art Museum wishes to expand visitors’ imagination of art. The bricks and blocks function as an artistic bridge that connects artists with their own lives, childhood memories, love for the land, and the inspiration from Nature as shown in their artworks, while it also invites viewers to open up a resonant mind with memories and sentiments. We hope all the grown-ups who were once children join us to share the happiness of the exhibition, and find each’s own way to touch their hearts.
吳寬瀛 Kuan-Ying Wu
周珠旺 Chu-Wang Chou
游孟書 Meng-Shu You
黃彥智 Yen-Chih Huang
葉怡利 Yi-Li Yeh
Curator— Tong-Chiao Chuang, Jing-Jung Huang, Chi-Han Chen