Liang Gallery is pleased to present “Accomplishing a Forest,” a solo exhibition of new work created in Switzerland by Taiwanese artist Una Ursprung. The sceneries she painted in Switzerland do not refer to any particular locations. Some of these forests are near the place she resides, and some of them derive from the memories or impressions of forests seen before.
From France, Taiwan to Switzerland, Ursprung’s frequent travels have enriched her artistic expressions and divided her exploration of the forests into different stages. The artist transforms this journey into a poetic ethnography by naming herself “the flâneur at the end of the earth.” She travels not to make a checklist of tourist attractions, but personally observe and experience the life of the faraway land until she becomes one of the locals. Her travels are hallucinatory and anesthetic Le Bateau Ivre, an expression blending the forms of Romanticism and Symbolism, as in Arthur Rimbaud’s (1854-1891) poems.
The artist enjoys a greater freedom to deal with media and techniques to study the spatial and visual experiences in her painting. Figurative painting techniques allow her to manage the space of landscape, and abstract lines allow her to represent the sense of air produced by the dual spaces more directly. In the Accomplishing a Forest series, abstract lines are combined with oil painting and spray painting. The combination of spray paint and oil paint draws a vivid contrast, creating a diverging visual effect. Spray-painted abstract lines and color blocks resemble secretive texts hovering over the surface of the oil painting, freezing a fleeting moment of floating bugs, leaves, light, and dust in a forest. However, in this case, the landscape in the oil painting and the spray-painted forest intensify and translate the visual tension of the images. We seem to follow the artist to walk into the real forest. The artist enters the forest, blends in with it, and sees the real forest which is energetic, active, and dynamic. The forest is no longer the reverse of civilization or the escape from one’s anxiety, but a natural essence.
The oil-paint strokes followed by the spray paint form a duet. To narrate and to describe, the spray paint uncovers the invisible message of the forest. Ursprung does not recognize spray paint as destructive, but a necessary step for a complete piece of art.