In this era when human beings are constantly being frightened and anxious by self-invention, the craze of AI and ChatGPT has also brought great disturbance to art creators. Creators in the analog era, who are familiar to humans and full of handmade warmth, seem to be facing the wave of so-called “digital transformation”and the question of “What is a ‘contemporary’ art style?” just like competition in the commercial market. The essence of the artist's creative personality determines whether to go against the wind or with it; the work is the artist's attitude toward the world.
The changing of Hsu-Tung's art style in the past ten years is to use proficient realistic techniques to extend the geometric composition of molecular puzzles, which is the artist's magnificent transition from the analog era to the digital era. In contemporary times, “digital” and “quantum” have long become daily terms or buzzwords, and they have also quietly shaped our worldview. The information we hear and see can be broken down into combinations of “0” and “1”. Our sense of touch will eventually be disintegrated into invisible atoms. The reality of our existence can be reduced to a huge combination of trillions of atoms, people moving in an even larger number of atomic clouds and dark matter.
Hsu-Tung's artworks concretely and subtly use symbols to present the reality and flavor of human existence. This is the truth about our existence in the quantum world, swimming leisurely in a sea of particles inside a super caldron. Among the trillions of chances in the universe, these inexplicable and shapeless atomic compatriots around us happen to collide together, heading toward these so-called destinies of humans.
The human figure which is composed of particle pieces is conscious, but the particle field in which the person is located is unconscious. Sculptures that are visible to the human eye can trigger many meanings, imaginations, and feelings. But in the invisible microspace, can particles communicate with each other and express their concerns? Particles should also be able to chat in groups and communicate spiritually, right?!
These trillions of particles should form a collective ideology, agreeing that they have been collectively shaped by an outstanding artist into a work of art that can be admired, appreciated or reflected upon by the “human” species. As long as this group of particles persists for the next hundred years, their aesthetic mission will be their common destiny. Not every particle is lucky enough to be a small molecule of a work of art.
In addition, while observing and experiencing the work directly, a fleeting thought suddenly came to my mind. Human beings have invented several swimming postures and among them, only backstroke is to move forward in the water, always facing up to the sky. The characteristics of this posture can only identify the direction of progress, but unable to clearly know and identify the destination, it is a swimming style that is less concerned with realistic interests. Compared with life, it has a life posture of floating and forging ahead, laissez-faire and observing the sky, so “backstroke” is a more philosophical way of exercise.
This work not only brings pure aesthetic joy to the eyes, but also brings the viewer reflecting on survival in this era of rapid scientific advancement and microscopic reality. In fact, it is meaningful to both the left and right brains and is worth pondering over and over.
I have a close look at Hsu-Tung's masterpiece “Backstroke” and I remember the above ideas and thoughts. The viewer can also find his or her own perspective on interpreting the work. There should be different particle collisions between many particles!
Art Taipei 2023
Price On Request