Double Square Gallery is pleased to present Unfettered Encompassment—Hsu Yunghsu Solo Exhibition on November 2, 2018. Hsu has been awarded the Grand Prix of the 8th International Ceramics Competition Mino, Japan. In 2018, he received an honorary member status from the International Academy of Ceramics of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Hsu has been invited for exhibitions by innumerous biennials and prestigious art institutions worldwide. Throughout three decades of steadfast endeavors, Hsu has steadfastly nurtured a symbiotic union between himself and clay as well as the depth of their dialogue to create his unique sculptural style. He persistently challenges himself with extremely large and thin ceramic creations. This exhibition features twenty-five artworks by the artist, and can be viewed as a comprehensive review of Hsu’s artistic efforts and achievement in the past four years. Curated by Liao Jen-I, the director of the Graduate Institute of Museum Studies at Taipei National University of the Arts, the exhibition opens until December 8.
When creating his works, Hsu constantly and repeatedly presses, compresses, squeezes, tears, pinches, pokes, rubs, piles and pushes to create desired shapes before layering them up to form his sculptures. Therefore, each work is covered with his finger and palm prints, and represents his extreme exploration into his perception, tactility and sense of pain through his body while emphasizing the dialogue between himself and his works. Hsu never signs his works as the finger and palm prints already serve as a distinctive physical signature. In his work, the artist mainly employs two sculptural elements: seashells and ribbons. The seashell-like sculptural elements sometimes look like peanut shells, oyster shells or rice husks. These oval-shaped elements are not symbolic of physical things but basic units that form the overall structures. In addition to creating a sense of volume on the physical level, they also produce a contrast between the concrete and the void, brightness and darkness as well as a dynamic visuality from the uneven surface. On the other hand, the ribbon-like elements that remind people of handmade noodles or large sheets of seaweed are the lineal element that enlivens the stillness and introduces a sense of temporality into the works.
“Unfettered encompassment” denotes the artistic depth and height of Hsu’s art. His works embody the art of sculpture, the art of thinking as well as the realization of life. The formal and structural change revealed in the works on view in this exhibition not only beckons at a change in visual and aesthetic representation, but also signals a change in aesthetic concept that has taken place on a philosophical level. His art is shifting from his previous exploration of the physical boundaries toward the spiritual aesthetics emblematic of Eastern metaphysics. This aesthetic achievement can be described by the coined phrase, “unfettered encompassment.” It conveys the profoundness of Hsu’s realization of life and the loftiness of his creative thinking. At the same time, it indicates that his works have surpassed mundane points of view. Through his works, the artist has used humble clay from this world and built a magnificent poetic cosmos, which materializes his longing for the spiritual realm. Unfettered Encompassment demonstrates Hsu’s art practice that is moving towards the aesthetic exploration of spirituality; it also manifests what he has achieved through his realization of life. Not only has the artist expanded the vision and form of sculptural art, he has broadened the spiritual aspect of contemporary art.
Hsu Yunghsu was born in Kaohsiung in 1955. He received his MFA from the Graduate Institute of Applied Arts, Tainan National University of the Arts in 2007. His works have been extensively exhibited in the US, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Korea, Australia, etc. In recent years, his works have been featured in various major exhibitions, among which are the 60th Premio Faenza in Italy (2018), the 15th Swell Sculpture Festival in Australia’s Gold Coast (2017), The Possibility of an Island—2016 Taiwan Biennial at National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (2016), the 6th International Sculpture at Racconigi: The Present and the Experience of the Past in Italy (2010). He has also held solo exhibitions at Select Group’s headquarter in Singapore and California State University Long Beach in California, USA.
Liao Jen-I holds an MA in Philosophy from National Taiwan University and a PhD in Aesthetics from Paris Nanterre University (Paris X-Nanterre). He is currently the director of the Graduate Institute of Museum Studies at Taipei National University of the Arts. Prior to his teaching position, he was the director of Centre Culturel de Taïwan à Paris, the director of Lanyang Museum, the director of Juming Museum and a board member of Jut Foundation for Arts and Architecture. Liao is a highly experienced curator, and has curated numerous exhibitions, including Magnetic Writing at IT Park, Waves Striking: One Hundred Years of Taiwanese Arts at Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Life, Illusion of Bodies: A Retrospective of Sculptures by LEE Kuang-Yu, and A Hidden Gem: Works of Shü Pao Lin at National Museum of History.