Picking up Garbage through Lenses: an Artist and his Still Life Analysis | 5.10-5.22

2014/05/10 - 2014/05/22  10:00 - 18:00

I-Hsuen Chen is an artist recently returned to Taiwan from New York City. His solo exhibition <Still Life Analysis> opens in May at Bamboo Curtain Studio. Investigations on garbage and everyday objects make up the core of the exhibition, in which Chen attempts to represent the cultural and societal development in different cities as well as reveal the relationships between land and collective memories through photography and installation.

<Still Life Analysis> is part of Chen’s on-site project during his residency at Bamboo Curtain Studio (Mar-May, 2014). The concept for the exhibition came from the artist’s ongoing curiosity in “garbage-like” objects. “I have always been interested in garbage,” Chen mentioned in his artist statement, “I always pay attention to objects left on the street- things once used but cast away at the end. What is being thrown out? And why is it left on the street?” He looks for trash on the street everyday, investigating, documenting, and reflecting on all sorts of “garbage still lives” left outside. <Still Life Analysis> is merely the tip of an iceberg from the accumulation of Chen’s documentation everyday.

Chen believes that these garbage still lives are readymade sculptures of societal development. Through documenting and presenting these objects, Chen attempts to organize the relationships between culture, land, and collective memories within Taiwanese society. In addition to the “ordinary” garbage we see everyday, the exhibition includes still lives that appear to be garbage but are not, as well as still lives that are even more extraneous and useless than garbage. The meaning of garbage is reexamined this way.

Chen was selected as the Emerging Artist of Bamboo Curtain Studio this year. His on-site project <Still Life Analysis> is an extension of the <Nowhere in Taiwan> series. Through documenting garbage, he investigates and reflects on the cultural and societal development in Taiwan.

I-Hsuen Chen earned his BA degree in Advertising & Public Relations from Fu Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan, and received his MFA in Photography from Pratt Institute, New York, USA. He is a Taipei and New York-based artist working primarily with images. He was the only Taiwanese artist invited to participate in the New York Photo Festival in 2012, and was selected as the Emerging Photographer for Photo Taipei the same year. His solo exhibition <I am Leaving this City> at hpgrp Gallery New York in July, 2013 explores the sense of belonging lost traveling in between two cities. In February, 2014, another solo exhibition <Nessun Dorma> was held at the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, in which the main video piece showed Chen performing the opera classic <Nessun Dorma> with transliterated Chinese subtitles. The meaningless subtitles became meaningful with playful and misplaced content, creating a type of fetishizing/worship relationship between the performer and the audience.

Chen’s <Nowhere in Taiwan> series seeks to locate identification between the self and the land. It was shown first in New York in 2012, and is now in the Permanent Collections of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. It will furthermore be showcased in Taipei Fine Arts Museum in 2015.

Still Life Analysis
Date: 2014/5/10- 2014/5/22
Opening: 2014/5/10 Sat. 14:30pm
Venue: Bamboo Curtain Stidio, The Coop

Panelists: I-Hsuen Chen, Chih Fu Yang
Date: 2014/5/10 Sat. 15:00pm–16:00pm
Venue: Bamboo Curtain Stidio, The Coop

I-Hsuen Chen


For a better experience using this site, please upgrade to a modern web browser.