Micro Nature｜Chen Wan-Ling solo exhibition
2014 / 10 / 11 ~ 2014 / 11 / 09
What is “nature”? Water, air, rocks, mountains, rivers, oceans, plants, animals, microorganisms,the Earth and the universe…etc. Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural, physical, or material world or universe. Nowadays, nature for most of the time refers to natural environment, the wilderness, and those untouched world. The concept of nature thus distinguishes itself from the artefacts.
In modern life, the general conception of nature is sometimes a bit distant from daily life although there are fragments of nature created by human beings everywhere. If we somewhat get away from the city centre, we can get closer to see the real nature. However, the most unnatural border lies in between the nature and the city due to the urban planning. Sometimes we have the illusion of being surrounded by the nature while we try to convert the urban city into nature with elements of nature. So when life is accessible to cultivated lawn and trees in the park, the designed tree shadow, greening products, plants placed as roadblocks, garden landscapes…etc, how do we see and portray the nature? How do we respond to the certain kind of experiences of the nature?
I came up with childhood memories. I was alone in the grass, waving the net in the air to catch the dragonflies, butterflies and grasshoppers. Sometimes, I couched down in the mud, searching for crickets and larva of beetles, picking up fallen nutshells and seeds. After appreciating these insects and plants like my collection in my hands for some time, I would either put them in my toy box or lock them in between the screen window and glass window. They might accidentally die and become one of my specimen collections. Or when my parents found it out and scolded at me, I would quickly set them free. It was a beautiful encounter with them in the field. No matter they died or when they stopped in my hand, flying in the box and in between the windows, a unique appeal was delivered and preserved in the dead shells as well.
How to sample those originally intangible? How to make those invisible and indescribable be visible? In what form should they become? How to get closer to those inaccessible and make the mystery of those incomprehensible prominent? Works in the solo exhibition are drawn from the fragments of the nature in daily life, such as residential surrounding around the artist’s house, the Internet, satellite images of Google map and imagined natural landscape. The artist firstly sculptures those pieces of material into prototypes. Afterwards, instead of sketching the physical body of nature and landscape, taking the prototypes as the subject, the artist observes and depicts the prototypes. The methodology of portraying transformed and reshaped objects, which embodies the incomprehensibility of matters, indicates the relationship between subjective experiences and the world.