Experience a Journey of Exile and Wandering at MOCA
The subheading “In / Voluntary Drift” is inspired by Li Chen’s own words: “Life is as it’s always been.” Just like the exploration between the objective and subjective, the collision between the history and reality, and drift between the voluntary and involuntary, each is a journey of exile and wandering. This exhibition is separated into four sections: Arriving, Leaving, Entering, and Exiting, each allowing the viewer to experience the realm of drifting constructed by a variety of different elements.
Cycle of Leaving, Arriving, Entering, and Exiting of Being
The curation of ‘Being’ has four themes, Leaving, Arriving, Entering and Exiting. Each section guides visitors to the next one; however, they do not form a linear direction. The four sections compose a cycle conveying life is repeating, as Li Chen said, “Life is as it’s always been.”
The “Arriving” section arranged in the outdoor plaza displays an 8-meter tall work Upright Soul and Pliant Man. These works reveal Li Chen’s explorations for human beings. The media he uses for figures’ textures represent either noble spirits or incomprehensible characters.
“Leaving” section presents the most popular and classic works of Li, such as Peony and Pure Land. The ink black bronze sculptures look tender and mild with their simple and smooth contours. As for the proportion and gesture of sculptures, Li Chen often adopts the binary concept of lightness and heaviness, life and emptiness.
The theme on the first floor is “Entering,” which starts with Butterfly Kingdom, and displays the process of the artist’s observations of the world from distant analysis to intimate gazes, finally merging and combining. The revelation of humanity is pushed forward gradually, guiding the viewer to surprises and doubts.
On entering the realm of “Exiting” on the second floor, the viewer comes face to face with the storm and glittering light of Holy Light and is encouraged to ponder the state of collective entanglement and the solitude of death.
Climax/Back to the Beginning of the Journey
Li Chen constructed a 24-meter Innerve‧Artificial Heavens within the largest display space, the deepest and most exhilarating statement of the entire curation. The erect and confronting obelisk and pagoda are placed sideways, and a shocking Emergency Exit are not only an interpretation of the action of cycle and rebirth, but also the core concept of this exhibition: The cycle of Leaving, Arriving, Entering, and Exiting of Being are fully expressed in the realm of space and emotions.
About the Artist
Li Chen, who was born in 1963 Yunlin, Taiwan, is one of the most prominent figures throughout international contemporary art. Li’s works are combinations of Buddhist and Daoist philosophy, which he engaged in his early years, and creative elements from western sculpture infused with the gaze and disclosure of various phenomena in modern society. Since his works first appeared to the public in 1999, Li Chen has been an active figure both domestic and abroad. In 2007, Li participated in the 52nd Venice Biennale, the first artist of Chinese descent to be invited as an individual to arrange a solo exhibition in the event. Li Chen has also organized large solo exhibitions in locations, such as Beijing, Singapore, Seattle, and Paris.