Raymond Williams, a significant British thinker and sociologist, stated in his book Keywords: Culture and Society (1983) that the term media originated from the old general sense of an intervening or intermediate agency or substance. In the artistic category, the term could be extended as an intermediate of creation. Today, the term medium, however, is surpassing its meaning of being the means to achieve artistic purpose only and has the intension to define the work itself. The expansion of media’s personality is an issue without a stop.
After years of working as an architect, Stijn Ank decided to turn to be an artist, which enable him to be more independent. He chose plaster as his main medium and mixed with a variety of pigments before he poured the mixture into a pre-made mold layer upon layer. The appearance of every solidified work cannot be completely controlled by the artist in advance, which means that the medium(plaster) is offered an opportunity to demonstrate it’s characteristic. Ank would rather regard his own works as a “subject” surrounded by discussion than as only an object to be viewed. The artist attempted to bring out the issue of how we relate to the space and create the void by forming solids.
Peter Zimmermann, another artist using building materials as painting medium, continued the dialogue between epoxy and computer software. An image that had taken down the reality experienced a digital transformation and then was painted again upon the canvas in real world. With different interpretations and conversions continuously, the medium itself became the main voice that told us the context and the concept of the work.
Northern Irish artist Rodney Dickson specializes in viewing individual experiences from a more macroscopic aspect. Accompanied his early life with wars, Dickson did not allow himself to dig a self-pity tunnel filled with tragedies, neither miss in a labyrinth of national identity. The use of intertwined strokes with detailed lava-like texture suggests the indelible scars left by wars, also the useless and the fruitless of wars.
Certainly, the expansion of media’s personality is not limited in abstract paintings. The exhibition shows Maya Hewitt(U.K.), Marcel Eichner(Germany), and six young artists from Philippines who are quite well-known by local collectors as well. Hewitt is good at overlapping imaginations, life fragments, and cultural symbols in a magical and surreal way. Eichner always makes the audience be addicted to the twisted and mysterious figures in his paintings. Philippine artists show their unique vitality and tension from Southeast Asia and depict the society landscape followed by each artist.