UP Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition Inconspicuous---Yichia Liao’s perspective from 1978-1990. Following the artist’s various exhibitions such as Art Central, Photofairs Shanghai and National Chao Tung University Arts Center, since 2009, he is known for his excessive details and extravagantly beautiful works. In each series his ultimate fascination with time and its relationship with the universe is interlocked with a specific chosen theme. Inconspicuous, however transports us back in time to encounter both a physically and mentally younger version of the artist himself. In an elusive presentation, photographs taken with either Mamiya RZ67 or M645 Super from 1978- 1990 are carefully dispersed in the gallery space. Each image entails a specific storyline, a spark that Liao perceives in the subjects that he photographs. These photographs holds loose links but is connected by Liao through his journey of self-exploration and a perceptual angle. Accompanying these photographs is a moving image work, “1978-1986” which merges clips shot by 8mm film and VHS by the artist. “1978-1986” appears like reminisces of nostalgia for younger generations but is in fact a linear progression of moments in his past. Particular sounds and selected music occupy these faded memories and is the first moving image work by the artist that is presented to the public.
“I often felt invisible when I was young, so I searched for resonance and seek to unveil the distinct side of things that were left unnoticed”---Yichia Liao
Before the diligently researched themes and the excessively depicted images which has become a signature style of his recent works, a lively and curious young mind was exploring photography and his vision of the world bluntly and freely. Like many, Liao believes maturing represents a series of intriguing changes and by revisiting these changes he constructs an intricate flow of subjects and objects that embodies certain stories, memories and beauty in the exhibition space. Revealing the beginnings of his artistic career through this exhibition audiences may delve into his world of the inconspicuous and discover the idiosyncratic appearance amongst all things.
Yichia Liao’s fascination with time since the age of four has been the main reason for becoming an artist and embracing photography, a medium that has the ability to capture, dissect and manipulate time. His artistic practice surrounds the relationship between time and the universe. Each series he extracts a certain element of the world and probes its relationship with time. His early embracement of digital photography has enabled him to expand this ideology through digital manipulation. Known for his strikingly detailed and excessively high resolution images he is often viewed as a contemporary pictorialist upon first encounter. Having a vigorous background in analogue photography and experiences in the darkroom he is highly influenced by modernist values. Yet he adopts issues and conveys his works with conceptual and critical manner, resulting in an inevitable tension of conceptual and (extravagantly beautiful) subjectivity that coexists in his works which has become his signature style.