IN ARCHIVIO

THE QUESTION OF BEINGS - YAHON CHANG @ ROMA

June 24 > August 28, 2016
curated by Paolo De Grandis e Claudio Crescentini

MACRO Testaccio
La Pelanda - Centro di produzione culturale, Teatro Studio Uno
 
Organized by MOCA Taipei

In collaboration with Contemporary Art Foundation e MDCA Foundation

From La Biennale di Venezia to MACRO. International Perspectives is a new exhibition project conceived and curated by Paolo De Grandis and Claudio Crescentini. The project is devoted to the presentation of three selected international exhibitions from La Biennale di Venezia - International Art Exhibition at MACRO’s spaces, as site-specific, reconstructed, and remodelled artworks.

Promoted by Roma Capitale – Superintendent Capitolina of Cultural Heritage and organised in collaboration with PDG Arte Communications, the project seeks to converge the art prospects of two cities that are working together to circulate the experience of international art throughout the country. Venice and the Capital, two cities that are linked by immense historical and artistic traditions, have been able to further enrich their heritage so as to give voice and life to
contemporary art. Moreover, they are also discovering and emphasising this cultural resource by documenting existing assets and promoting both initiatives and international connections. The research for this project was initiated in 1995 by Paolo De Grandis, whose efforts helped introduce new countries to La Biennale di Venezia and prompted the establishment of additional outdoor pavilions. Therefore, the works will follow a path of innovation and travel from one city to the next, from one space to the other, enriching themselves with meanings and nurturing a new audience. All the while, the works will be evolving in a new context, specifically created for MACRO by the various international artists who were invited to participate.

Yahon Chang will recreate the conceptual exploration of his site-specific ink painting installations, which were exhibited at The 56th International Art Exhibition at the MOCA Taipei Pavilion for the Collateral Events of la Biennale di Venezia. Chang’s new works, to be exhibited at La Pelanda, will correspond with the conceptual framework suggested by its past title The Question of Beings. Furthermore, Chang will also create new works that resonate with the historical site of La Pelanda, an ex-slaughter house. Additionally, there will be three large-scale iron sculptures shipped especially from the OPEN (2015) exhibition in Venice, which will be presented along with the “ink painting” installation. The form of Chang’s sculpture stems from his ink brushstrokes, together, the ink paintings and the sculptures express the transformation and representation on how a two dimensional plane transforms into a three dimensional form, and finally to the concept of a space.

In last year’s Collateral Event at the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, Yahon Chang investigated the theme of “The Question of Beings” at the Istituto Santa Maria Della Pietà, where he created a site-specific exhibition featuring a series of new ink on paper paintings and mixed media installations that explored the conscious and subconscious natures of individuals. With this site-specific ink painting installation that filled the entirety of the exhibition space — windows, doors, ceiling, walls and floor, Chang questioned the diversity and complexity of living beings in an effort to delve into the likenesses and differences between the recesses of human and animal instinct. Chang also reflected upon his life experiences by painting meditative portraitures that resonated with his feelings of rejection, struggle, acceptance and love he had experienced in this world. These portraits of sentient beings, while offering a variety of subject matter, presented cohesion through the singularity of their compositional style. Implying a spiritual connection to the Santa Maria della Pietà church that was situated in front of the exhibition site of Istituto Santa Maria della Pietà, the paintings evoked a feeling of commemorating the past, present, and future, while simultaneously encompassing all the world’s greatness and mediocrity, achievements and failures.

In the past few years Chang has exhibited at different venues, often creating site-specific works for them. As the scale of his exhibition expands, the challenges he must face also become greater. Since The 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, Chang has started to create more large-scale, site-specific works for each exhibition in effort to resonate with the space, to connect with its historical setting, and to have more interaction and conversation with the viewers. As he ages he faces more challenges when creating site-specific works for exhibitions. This exhibition at MACRO Testaccio - La Pelanda presents him with new levels of challenges, both physically and mentally. He will create works on site for a period of 5 days, producing a body of ink on canvas painting. Each canvas will measure between 10 to 20 meters long and they will drape down from the ceiling in varying length, allowing the viewers to meander through a labyrinth of ink paintings that confront them with a multitude of countenances. These drapes of long linen canvas echo with the traditional Chinese landscape painting and evoke the likeness of cascading waterfalls. Yet, the fluidity of his brushstrokes portrays the different countenances of sentient beings in a both abstract and expressive manner, which brings to mind the metaphor of the stream of life. The multiplicity of faces will fill the centre of the exhibition space, long linen canvas will drape to the floor, creating an interactive environment that will allow the audience to enter a world akin to an “alternative Facebook.” This interactive environment will invite the viewer to contemplate the nature of sentient beings, while questioning the meaning of their own identity and the meaning of life.

The site for MACRO Testaccio – La Pelanda was once a slaughterhouse that has been transformed into a contemporary art museum space that it is now. Yahon Chang’s paintings will serve as a commemoration of the past and also propose questions concerning the meaning of life. He will paint on site to create an ink painting installation for the La Pelanda space that corresponds to the horrors and impermanence of life at the slaughterhouse. His work will also lament the holocaust and wars from the last century, bringing one to recall the painful process of human civilisation, and eminent these pain into an artistic expressions. Amongst the ink painting installation, Chang will install rust treated iron sculptures, the rust will represent its humble nature, serving as a reminder that all will decay and return to nature. It is precisely for this eroding nature that Chang chose to create his sculpture in this manner to emphasis on the transient ephemerality of life.

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MACRO is in Rome, in the Salario-Nomentano area, on via Nizza 138.
The museum can also be accessed from via Reggio Emilia 54.
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