Ｍind Set Art Center is honored to present “‘TANG Jo-Hung: As You Sleep Worry-Free’ From Pandemic to War: About disaster crisis like a celebration in one or two different cook methods”. The exhibition is scheduled to run from November 12 through December 24, 2022. It consists of TANG’s latest paintings since his last two solo shows, “Ballade” at MSAC and “Old Man. Fairy. and a bit of everything” at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. “As You Sleep Worry-Free” is Tang’s response to the ongoing turmoil that the world has seen in the last two years. As he witnesses the impact of a global pandemic, armed conflict, ongoing economic and political crises and the various effects, the artist listens to his inner voice as well as looks to those who are gradually trying to leave behind the shadows of the traumatic events, and tries to interpret the collective life experience. The exhibition is scheduled to open at 3:00 p.m. on November 12. We eagerly await your gracious presence.
TANG Jo-Hung’s works have always been infused with a unique sense of drama. The paintings in this exhibit contain many classic storybook elements such as lakes, seas, rivers, humans and boats, and they are in a state of constant flowing and shifting. A closer look reveals that many of the seemingly peaceful scenes belie the looming crises. TANG has portrayed these potentially upsetting undercurrents with his usual sense of sarcasm and humor. As he puts it, “The worry-free approach is a way of dealing with crises. It consists of a laid-back way of looking at pressure. There is another layer of reflection and irony to this, especially when we treated a potential catastrophe as a blessing, or when we got a sense of stability and happiness during our confinement at home.”
Another painting which also features a boat is “A Big Gondola at Night”. The painting represents TANG’s imagination and response to the ongoing turmoil around the world. The painting portrays a scene in which an elegant gondola sails through the Grand Canal in Venice. An older man is half-drunk and lying on his back and still drinking out of a small container. A naked, graceful woman seems to emerge from his dream, forming a stark contrast to the foreboding climate in the distance. The moment of joy and the surreal atmosphere of a potential doomsday create an unparalleled drama. “‘A Big Gondola at Night’ shows TANG’s fine techniques with his brushes as well as his balanced use of lively colors. The contrast and balance between the luminance and vibrancy of colors in the left and right, higher and lower portions of the painting shows that TANG is pushing for a symmetrical color scheme à la Paul Cézanne. This has allowed him to establish a clear order amid the freehanded brushstrokes and the vibrant color patches.
The experience of working at home and spending more time with his family has inspired the artist and in a profound manner. A number of paintings in the exhibit, such as “The Girls”, “Family Life – Evening Recital”, “Family Trip” and “Blue Convertible”, are closely connected to TANG’s real-life experiences. The lockdown protocol initially brought a lot of misery as TANG could no longer go out like he used to. However, as his wife and daughters gradually settled into studying and working with home, the new domestic order brought a sense of stability, which in turn became an unexpected source of happiness. The changes at home have shifted his focus to the many details of his family life, and he began to paint after the photos on his phone screen. This marks a major departure in TANG’s creative process as he had previously expressed a strong disinterest in painting after existing imagery. When asked what he hopes the viewers to take away from seeing his paintings in the gallery, TANG says, “If possible, I hope people spend more time to see these paintings with their own eyes, to find their own ways of reading them and to understand that a painting is a concoction of spatial and temporal elements that are made coherent by non-linguistic logics. On the other hand, I also hope that the viewers can see beyond the superficial elements of comfort and freedom, and observe the cruel reality of the human catastrophes.”