Huang Yi-Sheng is more like a bystander who keeps a distance from the event with perfect calmness and concentration. Therefore, his artworks intend not to excite us with life-threatening fights between predators and prey or territory battles among species but accentuate the hidden risk and implicit tension like a skyfall or a ready-to-explode color balloon.
In this solo exhibition, the artistic technique of “wrapping” – which we may understand as the creation of the fictitious world in Herbert Marcuse’s (1898-1979) words – fights back against the omnipresent dominance, tangible or intangible, with its visual mockery to stoplight the autonomy of personal aesthetics. By inverting the existing aesthetic values and system, Huang reconstructs the visual “truth” of contemporary realism and fulfills his “aesthetic transformation” which is equipped with a social dialogue. We may assume that the ready-to-explode “surface tension” is how he footnotes the thin and diluted humanity one feels in our contemporary society. His art becomes a metaphorical play or literary story based on “life experiences,” creating a sense of cold-blooded realism.
In the artworks, the artist wants to make up a story about sparrows. For him, they are fascinating beings, so no matter what he says, he wraps it with humor. Wrapping is a common practice in a modern society. He has a feeling that anything humans do is about wrapping. Because of wrapping, the fierce predators can hide their inner greed, desire, and violent intention with a serene and elegant appearance, while the weak prey can be exaggerated into the size as large as their predators. Individually or collectively, they are empowered to fight back from the side of the unprivileged. It can be said that Huang intentionally takes advantage of such an alienation – a perfect balance of contradiction and a harmony between the self and the others – to visualize what he has experienced when growing up, particularly the absurdity of the battle for survival. Consequently, the visual discourse and dialogue mechanism established by the artist not only “become” a part of the society but are given a possibility to be fulfilled through social practices as they avoid the dilemma between the risk of kitsch and the ivory-tower inaccessibility.
Born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1981, Huang Yi-Sheng graduated from the Department of Fine Arts at National Taiwan Normal University with a specialization in Western Painting. Having worked on realistic painting for many years, Huang is best known for his delicate expression as well as a gentle metaphoric narrative style. He believes that art-making should stir the space of imagination which used to be motionless but yet extensive, encouraging viewers to realize that they can either meditate or take a break in this peaceful and undisturbed land. In 2012, he held his first solo exhibition named “When the Door Opens” at Liang Gallery. Huang’s works have been exhibited in Osaka, Hong Kong, London, Shanghai, and Taiwan.