Period: Dec. 15, 2016– Mar. 19, 2017
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday and national holiday, from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
Location: Taipei Branch,National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute (No. 41, NanhaiRd., 10066 Taipei, Taiwan (R.O.C.))
Lightenables our eyes to appreciate the beauty in the world. Lights create shadows,and coexist to shape the world we see.
In Western art history, artists have been challenging themselves to representsophisticated lights and shadows in their paintings. From Michelangelo Merisida Caravaggio to impressionist Claude Monet, their artworks expand our visualworld. Photography in the 20th Century captures time in tiny films.While photography records natural lights and shadows in pictures, artistsduring reconstruction periods after World War II attempted to build theirutopia with lighting technologies. As social life gradually recovered afterwar, designers put their hands on lighting design. Light is special due to itsubiquity. Many artists and designers have all used lights to guide us throughart and life experiences. As iconic lighting artist James Turrell said, “Lightis not so much something that reveals, as it is itself revelation.”
The Light in Between responds to ourdesire to lights and shadows based on art and design history contexts. Itscratches off boundaries between materials or objects, and overturns ourstereotypes on luminaries. Local and international designers and artists areinvited to exhibit 70 works about light and shadow. Architectural features inNational Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute, Taipei Branch,highlight four seemingly independent but closely connected themes: time &space, color, awareness and life, to discuss our imaginations on light acrossthe spectrum.
Earliest time concepts in human kinds were connected to nature. People before medieval times saw day and night or season as a permanent cycle, rather than a linear experience. Sundial was the most common timer before the 17th Century. People felt the flow of time through the movements of the sun. In the 20thCentury, Albert Einstein questioned the speed of light by asking what we wouldsee if people run as fast as light. He later proposed special relativity, whichbecame a major breakthrough in science, and inspired us to imagine time travel.
The exhibition opens with “Space and Time of Light” section. Current Light by artist Yao Chunghan reports time with blinking circularfluorescent lights to convey poetic elements in space. Timeand space converge in light at this moment. Compared to strong visual effectsto impact physical experiences by Yao, PhotoGraphy by Tseng Shikaiutilizes pinhole imaging to project time and space on white ceramics. Invisibleconcepts are therefore visible. Designer Tseng Yenwen and FormUs With Love opt to create spatial volumes with elegant lighting design andenrich our understanding to space.
In“Colors of Light” section, our physical awareness to time and space zoom in onsenses. Multiple exhibits present the relationship between light and colors. Whilelight stimulations create visuals, objects generate sophisticated and changingcolors with lights from different intensities and directions. When peopleobserve objects, optic nerves identify colors before shapes. In Western arthistory, artists have been trying to capture intangible lights in theirpaintings. Evolving technologies enable artists and their explorations on lightto touch upon essential optical theories. CMYK Bulb by Dutch designerDennis Parren is a case in point. Basedon the concept “light is everything,” he uses light as the medium for dailyawareness and thought, and combines childhood shadow game. Color printingtechniques with primary colors are applied on ordinary bulbs to produce uniquecolored shadow bulbs. Eclipse of Rainbowby Greek designer Eugenia Antoniou challenges the impossible in nature withmodern lighting technologies. By combining eclipses and rainbows, beautiful andcolorful halo expand our visual and imagination horizon.
In“Light and Enlightenment” section, artists and designers use photography, mixedmedia and innovative technologies to search for lingering marks that lightcreates in our awareness. Artist Lee Chiayu leaves shadows on films withdarkroom technologies and lighting. WangLiang, or shadow of shadow, by Zhuang Zhou, revealsitself to contemplate on existence with non-existence. Front Design combinesbubbles with lighting structures. Fascinating bubble installation challengesthe limits of surface tension under light, provoking us to reimagine lightingdesign.
Lightand shadow exist in our lives, and inspire our physical awareness and mentalfeelings in multiple ways. It is explored by scientists, pursued by artists,applied by designers, and praised by writers. Light and shadow construct ourimaginations in life. In the last section “Light in the Moment”, we revisit howpeople create atmosphere with lights in daily life. MOT is invited to curate aseries of classic lighting and vessel designs to present how art and design areintegrated in life aesthetics.
Inthis exhibition, artists create works with light as medium or inspiration toidentify extraordinary aspects in ordinary lights. Designers propose multiplelighting applications to extend our physical awareness. As Russian writer LeoTolstoy once wrote, “Changes, charms and beauty in life are all created withlight and shadow.” These ordinary components not only expand our visions, butalso cultivate charming and fascinating atmospheres in daily life.