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The 7th Taishin Arts Award Visual Art Winner: Jun-Jieh WANG "Project David III: David's Paradise-A Solo Exhibition by Jun-Jieh WANG"

Artist Jun-Jieh WANG's solo exhibition "Project David III : David's Paradise" at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum  from September 27 to November 16, 2008 is nominated for a 2008 Taishin Arts Award. In this interview, Wang discusses his work and the importance of contemporary art.                      

Contemporary art is closely related to our living environment and experience, especially in the present digital age with its free flow of information, but it also makes our understanding of information more complicated. I get my ideas from my experience in and exposure to different fields, whether it is of an academic, informative or recreational nature; however, the important thing is how I translate it into the language of visual art.

My creative concept is generally based on structured research, which only yields a result after lengthy consideration and planning.  It does not come from a single experience, whether visual or aural. I'm not influenced by any particular artist. What influences me is the accumulation of experience and knowledge, that is, a context, especially a historical context. For instance, each period and stage in the history of art or the development of contemporary philosophy and ideas is important. Naturally they also affect my thinking.

Each of my works takes about one to two years to complete, and includes the process of planning, finding the funds and the actual production. Sometimes the execution of a work and its exhibition are two different processes. In the case of the work nominated for the Taishin Arts Award, the film production took more than a year and additional time and money were spent on the preparations for the exhibition. 

My nominated work Project David III: David's Paradise is a five-screen synchronous projection with sound. The work uses a precise exhibition format to correspond to the ideas that it tries to express, such as the arrangement of the screens on different planes, the time lag between the projection on each screen, the control of the sound in space, the relationship between the wall color and space etc. The aim is to create a close and yet open relationship between viewer and work, in order to generate a new experience of visual communication.

During the two years of its making, there were numerous technical problems of shooting with high-definition digital video to overcome. The surrealistic scenes in the video were shot in a constructed set in a studio following a meticulous shot breakdown, and altered with digital special effects in lengthy post-production work.

These technical tasks are not just the basis of the piece, they are also key to the conversion of experience into artwork, to the question of "conversion" and "vocabulary." Apart from responding to the contemporariness of video language with precise conceptual expression, there is a quest for the essence of art, in addition to resolving questions of medium, form and technique.

Rather than telling a story, my work seeks to reveal the indescribable, abstract and subtle feelings at the bottom of people's hearts. By using the rhythm of images and symbols to create a new visual perception, as well as interact with viewers' experiences, my work attempts to convey the ambiguity and uncertainty of the co-existence of spirit, soul and body, while exploring themes of  memory, fear, desire, time and space.           

----As told to Susan Kendzulak

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