the chiayi art museum presents the exhibition “beneath the surface”

exhibition “below the surface” at the art museum of chiayi

the cultural platform taiwan designers’ web recently collaborated with the chiayi art museum to organize ‘below the surface’, a exposure inviting six local design teams to reimagine chiayi city’s public spaces, landmarks and landscapes. it presents five installations and a digital multimedia work, scattered throughout the museum and its courtyard. Based on a series of discussions and field studies coordinated by TDW Executive Director Ben Chiu, each project provided unique perspectives and used specific skills to raise issues for advocacy and for the future.

‘ghost fountain’ by shikai tseng

between past, present and future: celebrating the city of chiayi

‘below the surface’ starts with the ‘ghost fountain’ installation by shikai tseng (see more here) first floor. here, the designer nods to the iconic chiayi fountain circle which — after multiple renovations — has gone from a walkable public space to a disused token barracked with cement and chains. in light of this, tseng wondered: ‘if we cannot physically feel a space, is it still a “space”? who has the right of use? the resulting work reveals a virtual fountain circle constructed with transparent tubes, and suspended upside down at an inaccessible height. ‘it changes our perspective when looking at the landmark. looking up, the fountain becomes a beautiful object that can only be appreciated, not approached’ reflects tseng.

another work, ‘the fountain as a historical process’ in chialing chang (see works here), takes the same fountain as inspiration. for this project, chang arranges pebbles and green gemstones in a seven-meter circle that echoes the shape of the monument and creates a contrast between past and present — demonstrating the changing power relations in public spaces . ‘can we cross the line of force marked by pebbles? she asks.

the exhibition
‘ghost fountain’ by shikai tseng

move on to the third project, ‘the pond of the object’ by paul gong (see more here) nods to Chiayi’s wooden pond where children play and adults go fishing. the idea here is to ‘consider the old wooden pond as a site that connects the past and the future, as well as fact and fiction. it is a place that transports objects, collective memories and imaginary relationships, and that speaks of the common world in our minds”, explains Gong.

meanwhile, designers wuber and hsiao-lin chi, the youngest duo in the exhibition, present ‘folklore’. inspired by street wisdom in chiayi, they used concrete blocks, metal components and other off-the-shelf objects to come up with five furniture concepts that subvert and reinvent conventional product design processes. ‘we set aside fixed rules and values ​​in product design and explore straightforward yet sophisticated interactions between objects and everyday life. with design interpretations, these objects are placed back into everyday life,’ share the duet.

the exhibition
‘fountain as historical process’ by chialing chang

get into mixed media, ‘MISLEAD’ by iF+ delves into waterscapes and celebrates the oldest heritage site to date in chiayi called the red-haired well. Using deep-sensing devices, the installation invites users to learn more about the well through interactive mappings and the recitation of traditional poems that can be enjoyed from different angles.

the show ends with gina hsu ‘nervous system of the earth’ which highlights the richness of the chiayi park in species of mosses and fungi. it also nods to the experimental and educational programs set up by the chiayi botanical garden where neuroscientists and environmental scientists study moss and lichen – in hopes of finding solutions related to the neurotransmission and the “cleansing” of terrestrial biota. thus, for his work, hsu uses different types of foam to imagine all kinds of applications, highlighting the delicate relationship between man and nature.

the exhibition
‘the pond of the object’ by paul gong

‘Under the Surface’ Exhibition by Taiwanese Designers Web at Chiayi Art Museum is organized in collaboration with Taiwan Design Expo 2021, and runs from December 18, 2021 to February 27, 2022.

the exhibition
‘the pond of the object’ by paul gong

the exhibition
‘MISPLACE’ by iF+

the exhibition
‘nervous system of the earth’ by gina hsu

the exhibition
‘folklore’ by wuber and hsiao-lin chi,

project info:

Last name: beneath the surface

site: chiayi art museum, taiwan

Appointment: 18.12.2021 – 27.02-2022
organizer: web of Taiwanese creators | @taiwandesignersweb

designers: chialing chang, paul gong, shikai tseng, gina hsu, wuber and hsiao-lin chi, iF+

About Carlos V. Mitchell

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