TKG+ is pleased to present We Came Whirling Out of Nothingness, a solo project by Charwei TSAI (b. 1980, Taiwan) specially created for the Insights section of Art Basel in Hong Kong 2015. Echoing the status quo in Hong Kong, the project also perpends sociopolitical ripples in a volatile society.
The project includes a new piece Water Piercing Stone (2015) specifically made for Art Basel HK this year. The work is inspired by the proverb “Dripping water piercing through stone,” which illustrates how the collective force of something as gentle as water could penetrate a stone through perseverance. Also included are drawings where various forms of spiral were created with watercolor or ink on rice paper, and inscribed with the Buddhist scripture Heart Sutra. The texts gradually disperse in the outer sphere into the void pondering from the Buddhist concepts of emptiness and interdependence to an omnipresent awareness of the environment.
Drawing parallels between Buddhism and Sufism, Tsai discovers the spirals and circles produced by the spinning of the dervishes during the ritual dance of the Mevlevi Sema Ceremony. The dancing dervishes, immersed in their microcosms, create new worlds and make contact with eternity. From this microcosmic perspective, Tsai examines how human perception of time and space depends on nature’s revolving and repeating circular and spiral forms, from the simplicity of water ripples to the spectacle of the galaxy.
Highly personal yet universal concerns spur Tsai’s multi-medium practice. Geographical, social, and spiritual motifs inform her body of work, which encourages viewer participation outside the confines of complacent reflection, as she meditates on the complexities among cultural beliefs, metaphysical truths, and transience.
Tsai has exhibited internationally, including solo shows in Paris, Bogotá, Sydney, Tokyo, Mumbai, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taipei, and in group exhibitions and biennials, such as Simple Shapes, Pompidou Center, Metz, France (2015); Fiac, Paris, France (2014); Sharjah Biennial and Dojima River Biennale (both in 2013); Phantoms of Asia, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (2012); Yokohama Triennale and Ruhrtriennale (both in 2011); the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial (2009); Thermocline of Art: New Asian Waves, ZKM Center of Art and Media, Karlsruhe (2007); and the inaugural Singapore Biennale (2006).