Fri, Feb 09, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Art exhibition listings

By Sheryl Cheung  /  Contributing reporter

Henk Helmantal, Still Life with Shells (1992).

Photo Courtesy of Chimei Museum

The Beauties of Simplicity is an intimate retrospective of Dutch painter Henk Helmantal, currently on view at Tainan’s Chimei Museum. Dubbed “the most soothing exhibition of the year,” the museum says the show will “bring you back the power of serenity.” Henk Helmantal is a contemporary artist who creates realist still life paintings that follow a tradition of 17th century pictorial art. He is known for his proficiency in traditional and modern painting techniques, and his superb use of lighting has been compared to master artists such as Rembrandt and Vermeer. Born in the Netherlands to a protestant family, Helmental’s life and work have been deeply affected by his religious faith. His paintings are calm and thoughtful and offer classically composed meditations on daily life. The exhibition includes over 100 oil paintings, sketches, manuscripts and documentaries that chronicle his artistic exploration over the last 50 years. Still Life with Shells depicts a line of carefully laid out sea shells on a slightly worn wooden table set against a nondescript somber gray wall. The seashells, posed in different angles, make up a balanced rhythm of forms and pictorial harmony. According to the artist, “the composition is what it’s all about. It transcends the image. Harmony in the work is important, you feel it when it’s right, you see that it isn’t possible in any other way.”

■ Chimei Museum (奇美博物館) 66, Wenhua Rd Sec 2, Tainan City (台南市文華路二段66號), tel: (06) 266-0800. Open Tuesdays to Thursdays from 9:30am to 5:30pm

■ Until Feb. 25

Project Fulfill Art Space teams up with Jakarta gallery ROH Projects to present a solo exhibition, Distorted Alteration, by Indonesian artist Bagus Pandega. Primarily working with kinetic sculptures, sound and lights, Pandega assembles idiosyncratic electronic systems using voice records, cassette and record players, turntables, lamps and other readymade electronic materials. Pandega often challenges the relationship between art and the viewer and many of his works are interactive and solicit active engagement of the audience. Pandega’s solo exhibition follows his residency at Taipei Artist Village last year and continues to expand on his ongoing musings about the concept of future, described as “unpredictable, uncertain, unknown and random,” according to the gallery’s press release. The show includes four new multimedia works, including Bough, a kinetic sculpture composed of LED screens propped up on a cymbal stand; Indecisive Things, a site specific wall assemblage of a photographic print, LED lights and found electronic objects; and What is Tomorrow Project, an ongoing installation of LED text and a sound playback system Pandega has developed since his residency. The piece is concurrently being exhibited as part of Amsterdam Light Festival in Amsterdam.

■ Project Fulfill Art Space (就在藝術空間), 2, Alley 45, Ln 147, Xinyi Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市信義路三段147巷45弄2號), tel: (02) 2707-6942. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 1pm to 6pm

■ Until March 1

Hsu Jui-chien (徐瑞謙) is a Taiwanese sculptor who creates large minimalist installations of iron slates that probe the relationship between objects, viewer and space. He compares his spatial compositions to “dancers of a physical theater,” crafting their every gesture and visual rhythm as one collective performance. Hsu is interested in the suggested movement of inert objects and quotes French philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s theory that static matter embodies innate properties such as obedience and aggression. In Hsu’s solo exhibition, Resonance, he continues to experiment with unleashing the potential of materiality through Interlacing, a dynamic visual circuit of creased iron slates connected by suspended metal springs. According to the artist, “the slates record the process of movement, while the springs accumulate force.” On the floor, a large iron slate is partially cut and bent in different directions, suggesting an initiation towards movement and 3D formation. By contrast, a slender iron strip is bent in the form of a gateway standing upright in the background, while a smaller iron plate bent into multiple folds lies on the floor like an intricate accordion.

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