Art exhibition listings

By Sheryl Cheung  /  Contributing reporter

Fri, Feb 09, 2018 - Page 14

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.

■ Gaiart (㮣藝術), 9-4, Pucheng St, Taipei City (台北市浦城街9之4號), tel: (02) 2363-2000. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 1:30pm to 7pm

■ Until March 4

Wu Shu-lin (吳淑麟) is a Taiwanese jewelry artist who has spent many years living and working in Europe. Her solo exhibition, Ceramic Journey, features six projects created over the past 10 years, many of which were developed in collaboration with other artists. Wu often uses clay in her jewelry pieces as a material that carries the message of her native culture and history. Through her work she seeks to mediate cross-cultural dialogue between the Orient and Occident. The exhibition includes past projects that “communicate her personal traveling experiences and private life stories to the viewers.” The series Seasonal Memory is inspired by Wu’s vivid experiences of the four seasons while living in different countries. Summer conjures memories of “the green leaves under the scorching sun in South Europe, or the elegant bamboo forest waving with the breeze in Asia.” The series includes Bamboo #2, two conjoined ceramic spheres imprinted with graphic bamboo patterns and secured together with red thread. Also on view is a 2 year project in collaboration with Dutch artist Peter Hoogeboom entitled Greenware, Crockery, Chinawear. The project is a cultural exchange between the two artists, in which the artists create works that speak to their imaginations and impressions of each other’s native country.

■ Yingge Ceramics Museum (鶯歌陶瓷博物館), 200 Wenhua Rd, New Taipei City (新北市文化路200號), tel: (02) 8677-4104. Open weekdays from 9:30am to 5pm, weekends from 9:30am to 6pm

■ Until March 11

My Zine (誌世代) is a joint showcase of independent publications from Taiwan and Holland organized by The General Association of Chinese Culture (中華文化總會). Jiang Chun-nan (江春男), the association’s vice chairman, says the nation’s vibrant independent media culture attests to the general freedom of speech, diversity and creativity demonstrated by Taiwanese society today. For this exhibition, over 50 Dutch and Taiwanese publishers are invited to display their books, magazines, zines and other forms of publication. Holland is known for its excellent design culture; it is particularly recognized in the field of publication design, and holds the highest record of winning publications in the annual international contest of Best Book Design held in Leipzig, Germany since 1963. The exhibition aims to foster greater cultural exchange and spark discussion about publication trends within Europe and Asia. Accompanying the show is a promising program of workshops, talks and symposiums that offer insight into the culture of independent publishing today. The debut issue of the association’s new magazine, which focuses on the Taiwanese zine culture, will also be available at the exhibition.

■ General Association of Chinese Culture (中華文化總會) 15, Chongqing S Rd, Sec 2, Taipei City (台北市重慶南路二段15號), tel: (02) 2396-4256. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 5pm

■ Until March 4