Stream of Forms: LIANG Jen-hung Solo Exhibition

2024.03.30 - 2024.07.28 KMFA Galleries 104-105

The stream of consciousness flows in a spiritual form while the stream of energy flows in a physical form. The two streams converge in a moment of the future that will soon become a moment of the past!
LIANG Jen-hung                                

The term, “stream”, in the title of this exhibition draws reference from “stream of consciousness”, which is a psychological term used to represent the characteristic fluidity of consciousness. In other words, even though the consciousness of an individual is an integral whole, the contents of consciousness itself are constantly moving and changing like water in a stream, never static or unchanged. The thoughts and non-thoughts in Liang’s consciousness as an artist are all represented in the forms and shapes of his works that meet the viewers’ eyes.
Huang Ming-chuan, a documentary director, spent six years recording Liang’s artistic creation and completed the documentary titled A Moving Legend in the South—Liang Jen-hung in 2006. This documentary is the Huang’s first biographical documentary, capturing not only a section of Liang’s life and artistic creation as an outstanding contemporary artist in southern Taiwan from 1999 to 2006 but also his life experiences of growing up in a rural village and his beliefs and ideals in artistic creation. According to Huang, Liang was selected as the only avant-garde artist representative of southern Taiwan in this documentary series for “His life can bring forth a universal sense of value identification among the general public.”
Liang was born in Tainan in 1957. He graduated from the Department of Arts and Crafts, Private Tung Fang Junior College of Industry and Arts in 1997 and later from the Graduate Institute of Plastic Art, Tainan National University of the Arts (TNNUA) in 2002. With his background in arts and crafts, Liang first worked in the advertisement and marketing industry and then in the architectural design industry. It was when he encountered a bottleneck in life that he returned to contemporary art, what he had been always passionate about, by studying for his MFA degree at TNNUA (1999~2002). These four years marked the turning point in which he switched from painting to power mechanical installation. In particular, he won the Taipei Arts Award and the Kaohsiung Awards with his Ritual of Being Existent in 2001, demonstrating his eye-opening potential in new media art.
Liang’s post-graduate studying at TNNUA seemed to press a button in Liang and fully unleash his potential of artistic creation. If the year 1999 is considered the beginning year of Liang’s art, 25 years have passed from then to the present (2024). The development of Liang’s art and works over this quarter of a century can be divided into four phases based on how the objects in his works move: mechanical movement phase, wind-powered movement phase, interactive movement phase, and flowing movement phase. His works in the first three phases are 3D works while his works in the most recent phase are paintings composed of lines, colors, and designs rich in a sense of dynamic fluidity and organicity. These paintings are in essence a summation of the artist’s consciousness behind all his 3D works.
This exhibition is like a milestone review of Liang’s life as an artist, mainly focusing on the development of his works over the past ten years including both his paintings and 3D work series such as With regards to the reflection and Transevolution. In this exhibition, we can appreciate how Liang’s 3D works and paintings resonate and merge with one another as if they collectively turn the whole gallery room into a new work by Liang.
Since Liang obtained his MFA degree and became a full-time artist, he has received constant invitations to participate in group exhibitions and public art programs. He is also frequently invited to create large-sized outdoor installation works for different kinds of festivals, demonstrating the diverse facets of his art. In addition, Liang has been invited to create large-sized works for Taiwan Lantern Festival almost every year since 2003. These invitations provide an opportunity for Liang to evolve from indoor mechanical installation works to large-sized outdoor ones such as Ark of City Light in 2003, Candlelight Night of Phoenix in 2005, Simulated Landscape of Fire in 2006, and Palace on the Ocean in 2007. In these works where “light” serves as an indispensable visual element, we can see how Liang uses technology to not only deconstruct the tradition but also construct the future. Therefore, in this exhibition, a review of Liang’s public art/outdoor installation works is included to have a comprehensive representation of the art of this artist who has been passionately dedicated to artistic creation over these years.
Liang once said, “If there is one permanent existence that remain unchanged, it is the change itself. As life and time are constantly changing, we create sparks amidst our interactions with the external world.” Change is also the exact symbol that Liang uses in his works to interpret the characteristics of our time.
(Sophia Hui-fang WuCurator of this exhibition)