Review: Walking the Crack (在夾縫中行走)

by Brian Hioe

Photo Credit: Brian Hioe

“WALKING THE CRACK” sets out to be a “walk-able” exhibition in some form, citing Michel de Certeau in its abstract.

The exhibition gathers a number of abstract works, many of which are defined by their minimalism. Most of these are paintings.

Huang Chih-peng’s “Migration”, however, ends up framing much of the exhibition as a large installation work in the center of the exhibition featuring toy frogs. Though the work has a serene atmosphere, it evokes something Sisyphean, with the frogs continually swimming up against the edges of the large metal frame that encloses them.

Photo credit: Brian Hioe

Other works are quite reflective. Mona Hatoum’s “Cappello per due” features two straw hats on a bench. Though simple, the work creates a sense of subtle uncanniness, not unlike, say, Magritte.

Tai-Chun Chou’s “Meditation Section I” is another evocative work, featuring several slices of camphor wood stacked on top of each other. Though as a sculpture, this is quite simple, the work has an oddly harmonious symmetry to it.

Jiro Takamatsu’s “Shadow No. 1438” depicts a slanted shadow of a figure, upside down and slanted. A careful look reveals that some details of the figure may not exactly be human. This, too, is a work that delights with its subtle sense of being off-balance.

Photo credit: Brian Hioe

Ni Hao’s “Structure Study I” may be the highlight of the exhibition. Consisting of a series of tubes that two performers use for an instrumental performance, the modulation of the sound changes. The work is shown as the video documentation of a previous performance, with a reenactment having been held during the exhibition.

The works that comprise “Walking the Crack” fit together well, with much thought having clearly gone into the curatorial process. These are works that may look simple on the surface, but demonstrate a sense of distortedness upon further examination.

The spatial arrangement of the works makes “Walking the Crack” an exhibition in which the works are meant to be taken in through slow exploration and this, too, is carefully executed between the installation works, paintings, and etc. The use of light and ambience is well-accomplished, though the attempt is less to transport the viewer to another sense of place, but to create a space of critical reflection through a leisurely stroll.