Wu Chien-Yi, born in 1987 in Taichung, Taiwan, specialises in collage art and mixed media installations. Her art is the after product of various approaches regarding keen observations and experiments. Having paper tape as the medium of expression, Wu reintroduces the familiar objects around us in a new light. The artist recaptures the consumption-driven economy and the soaring growth of e-commerce today to reveal a truthful insight of our era through her seemingly unfocused collage art. Her innovative approach continues to bring forth the distance between a truer reality and the world we are in.
For the past several years, Wu Chien-Yi has developed the series works such as Miniature Department Store and The Poem of Grills featuring the use of washi tape in her mixed-media collage, while the latter, created between 2016-2018, is particularly known for its collage of local cultural landscape and traditional window grill designs either found in or for different places in Taiwan. In these works, Wu frames the main perspective and view with various old window grill designs, with which she employs complicated compositional techniques to place each regional cultural landscape in the collage. On such a simple window-grill structure, the culture, arts, and history of various places are integrated together to become something unique to be perceived. What viewers see is much more than a collage painting but the intrinsic cultural landscape and historical context pertaining to each place in Taiwan beneath the decorative surface.
In A Scene like Poetry (2019), we get to see how the artist rearranges the images of “places” via artmaking. We see the difference, the familiarity, but also a touch of strangeness, which allows us to reexamine and realize the world. The geographer Yi-Fu Tuan has once described a specific sentimental connection between people and place, while such a sense of attachment is predicated on the knowledge of “place” as the field of care. Therefore, as we see the familiar window grills, cultural symbols, or the patterns and signs translated from architectures and commercial products, we not only experience the familiar scenery evoked from memories but are also reminded of how a place is shaped by historical and social construction. Through these works where the window view is no longer as microscopic as it seems to be, Wu’s rich and colorful images and patterns help to reconstruct how we vision specific places, while her works also invite us to experience the past and present of history and culture as an alternative way to re-explore the images of place in Taiwan.
*The exhibition is sponsored by National Culture and Arts Foundation
Born in 1987 in Taichung, Taiwan, Wu Chien-Yi received her M.F.A degree from the Graduate Institute of Plastic Arts in Tainan National University of the Arts in year 2014. She participated in “Taipei Artist Village-2017 Season 2 Residency Artists Exhibition” and also exhibited at Taipei Fine Arts Museum. Large installations of “5100 Mini Store” series are created for Shanghai shopping complex and also another window grilles artwork at National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts during 2016 Taiwan Biennial.
Known as the winner of 2012 The Arising Artist Award of New Taipei City for her ‘5100 Mini Store Project’, Wu Chien-Yi is also on the finalist of ‘The 13th Taoyuan Contemporary Art Award’ in 2015, the reputable ‘Taipei Arts Awards’ in 2011 as well as 2010 Kaohsiung Awards. She has also been invited to exhibit in numerous exhibitions, among which are the 2014 MT Expo and the 2012 Taiwan Biennial.