THE ROAD NOT TAKEN: ARCHAEOLOGY WITH LAI CHIH-SHENG
The Road Not Taken: Archaeology with Lai Chih-Sheng - Art Collector
|Lai Chih-Sheng, Beyond Untitled, 2015. Installation, 240 x 680cm. Courtesy: the artist and Eslite Gallery, Taiwan|
By Jason Chung Tang Yen
“Reality is the basis of creativity, but when we feel reality is heading to a certain direction, an artist’s goal may include something other than going forward toward the same path,” says Taiwanese artist Lai Chih-Sheng. He is extremely methodized in his practice. With a clear concept and somewhat ambiguous statement, he is not necessarily leading the audience, however he opens doors to different paths concerning various possibilities.
His solo exhibition Scene exhibits at one of Taiwan’s most respected galleries, Eslite Gallery, and features some of Chih-Sheng’s research from his residency in Paris from 2014. In playing with the concept of time and space and human interaction, the artist successfully plays with emotion and perception of reality. In Beyond Untitled (2015), a site specific installation excavates the past wall colors of the gallery through layers of paint, revealing the physical documentary of the space since Eslite’s relocation in 2009. The ashes from the wall remain on the floor – the resulting scene akin to a miniature beach. Chih-Sheng inadvertently uses time and the history of the gallery as medium. Reminiscent of contemporary masters in abstraction such as Mark Bradford, the piece is quite literally beyond untitled.