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Jia Art Gallery
1f-1, No. 30, Sec. 3,
Chung-shan N. Road,
Taipei, Taiwan   map * 
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Appearance and Immanence
by Jia Art Gallery
Location: Jia Art Gallery
Artist(s): WANG Chi Sui
Date: 4 Apr - 1 Jun 2014

“By using snapshot photography as a basic point of departure, and by re-enacting some of the typical lens-image features in her paintings, like the out of focus and the motion blur, Chi-Sui Wang highlights the difference that exists between a snapshot, and a painting. The snapshot, how realistic it might look, has little to do with the human visual experience. “  - Maarten Vanvolsem

In looking at and responding to this latest set of works by Chi-Sui Wang, one cannot help being confronted with a certain paradox- a paradox relating to the nature of painting itself. On the one hand, the works contained in this exhibition can be seen as representative of the ‘autonomy’ of the art-work- they are finished, polished, permanent- ready to withstand the passage of time. All the more so given that they engage, or a least flirt with, that style of painting known as ‘photo-realism’. They can, on one hand, appear to be an act of preservation, a ‘freezing’; like a snapshot of a particular memory or reminiscence. And this painted snapshot can be seen to preserve or even reproduce in time the photographic source that gave rise to it.

But this would be to misunderstand the true import and nature of these works. Like all of Chi- Sui Wang’s paintings, the ones presented here actively engage the viewer with not a singular, but a dual conception of the relation between past and present. Implicit here is a notion of time and memory that is not merely circular, habitual, a repetition or reproduction like the sun rising every morning, but also a sense of time subjectively constructed, as a process of the synthesis of different layers of the past, and arising from the virtual layers coexisting in the original that are awaiting ‘actualisation’. What the works on show here aim at is, in the true sense of Proust, a ‘time regained’.

So the series of works entitled The Body Beyond Self Consciousness are more than just a sequence of travel paintings. They refer to moments, immanent experiences, often in strange and unfamiliar settings, that are only retroactively construed with meaning via the active synthesis of the subject’s memory.

Again, the beautifully painted Rainscape series refers to a kind of ‘perception of perception’. But this time perhaps, instead of reality occurring as the source of a subjective remembering or reminiscing, it becomes instead the object of its action. The paintings seem to aim at a depiction of reality itself warped through an imposed and perhaps unconscious lens of personal affect, emotion or sensation. Each shows a rainy landscape hidden ‘behind’ a kind of perceptive barrier.
- By Jonathan Owen Clark

*image (left)
courtesy of the artist and Jia Art Gallery 

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