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The 7th Taishin Arts Award Visual Art Nominee

Yu-Cheng CHOU "Superb Superficialness - A Solo Exhibition by Yu-Cheng CHOU"

Yu-Cheng CHOU's solo exhibition "Superb Superficialness" was organized by Galerie Grand Siècle and co-organized by Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture. Chou presented his non-narrative video installations, video works and images produced since 2005. Here, he discusses his art and his influences.

My art focuses on the criticism of images in mass media. We're bombarded with digital imagery everywhere we look: the subway, the newsstand, just about any public space. In fact, digital imagery plays such a dominant role in our life that we barely even question it. It is this unwavering acceptance to such imagery that I explore in my work.

I would even venture to say that today's digital imagery that surrounds us has become a modern landscape. Of course, it is different from the natural landscape of sky and trees, but this imagery alters the way we perceive the world. I'll give you an example of this. My recent video Woods III shows a broad expanse of woods, with the trees swaying gently in the breeze. When you watch it, it looks like I filmed a real forest somewhere. However, this is not a film of a real forest; it is a computer-generated 3D animation. The work shows us how unreliable our sense of sight is, and also shows us the complexity of our sensory experience.

For my Taishin-nominated work Superb Superficialness there were a number of issues I tried to get across to the viewers, to let them think about the issues connected between different works, while also thinking of the issue of a single piece. I only showed works made after 2005.

Before the year 2004, I paid more attention to marketing and advertising of consumer products, plus the intention behind overall consumerism structure. The way consumerism works in our society is fascinating and gave me lots of ideas for my work. When I walk past a shop window, glance at a TV commercial, look as a supermarket flyer, many ideas will start to generate in my mind. My art is mainly based on commercial icons and my ideas are easily spawned from everyday lives and daily current events.

Then after 2005, I looked into a wide range of sources that included fashion, advertising, traditional paintings, animation, manga, and politics. I used media such as film, animation, photography, installation and painting for my post 2005 works. The compositions and installations of these works are usually connected by transformations between all these various issues, and this is what I regard as the main content and style of my work.

My typical process of working, from start to finish, is that I first try to find the appropriate media and its potential originality (comparing to my existing work). After the initial completion of the work, I will consider how to transform those digitalized works to the exhibition venue, usually about issues and style between the space and work.   

One of my artistic influences is contemporary artist Guillaume Paris who is also a professor at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris, where I received my Post-Dîploma. He had been guest artist at National Taiwan University in 2007. He uses a wide range of media and his work talks about all the things that touch us on a daily basis.

Artist Yu-Cheng CHOU's website: www.yuchengchou.com

----As told to Susan Kendzulak




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