Fou Gallery is pleased to announce that the new exhibition Liu Chang: The Light of Small Things will be on view from July 14, 2018, to September 23, 2018. The exhibition will present Liu’s latest series “The Flow of Nature”, which displays archival prints, temperature-and-humidity-sensitive prints on paper, and computer-generated animation series based on the 24 Solar Terms (二十四节气). The exhibition also features an audiovisual installation Cabinets: Chinese Medicine created by Liu Chang, in collaboration with visual artist Miao Jing, and musician Jason Hou; as well as three artist books recently made by Liu Chang.
The 24 Solar Terms (二十四节气), knowledge in traditional East Asian lunisolar calendars, are developed through observation of the sun’s annual circular motion. Originated in China, solar terms respond to the needs of seasonal rules and weather and disaster forecast in the traditional agricultural society. Liu’s series “The Flow of Nature” uses computer-generated images to represent each solar term. By substituting the historical extremum values of weather parameters such as temperature, humidity, and wind speed of each solar term, the 24 solar terms are abstracted into many interconnected weaving patterns, akin to fragments extracted from time. Applying data-visualization method, the work thus encompasses phenological information, cultural elements, and real meteorological data. The artist plans to collect more weather data in the future, therefore we will be able to see the clues and traces of climate changes from the changes in the work in the following years. “The Flow of Nature” series features computer-generated animations in series and 24 prints. In each animation, digitized solar terms appear in turns and circulate endlessly; by contrast, in the prints produced by Chengdu-based apartment silkscreen studio “Happy Town,” each solar term is frozen into a frame of a still image. Among them, there are four interactive prints titled Lichun (the Beginning of Spring), Lixia (the Beginning of Summer), Liqiu (the Beginning of Autumn) and Lidong (the Beginning of Winter). When the humidity and temperature changes, patterns on the four prints will change accordingly. Liu has always been interested in the interaction between people, machinery, and nature, and “The Flow of Nature” series further brings into her interest the temporal dimension. The entire group of interactive prints can only be fully appreciated upon the completion of a full cycle in each year. As Liu suggests: “I hope there is a kind of interaction that is subtle, silent, circuit-free, and even touchless. Temperature, humidity, tactile sensations are exactly the elements that occur naturally throughout our body and interact with us all the time.”
Audiovisual installation Cabinets: Chinese Medicine looks like a traditional Chinese medicine cabinet. In the video, different drawers will open to reveal the traditional Chinese medicine contained. The work creates an immersive space where viewers’ eyes linger over the locker, looking for clues to decipher. Liu believes that Chinese medicine reflects the profound differences between the eastern and western culture, and is also an epitome of her living experience in both China and the United States.
The three artist’s books are based on her research conducted during her stay at the Catwalk Art Residency. Geometry Book: I, II is a reflection of the relationship between the two-dimensional and three-dimensional world, Liu drew on the two books based on the extraction of computer-generated graphics and research on impossible objects, with the homage to the artist’ book pioneers Sol Lewitt and Lygia Pape. The structure of the accordion book itself also brings about the possibility of reconfiguring geometric patterns. River Book I&II is a study of geographical boundaries represented as two bar-shaped books. Liu researches on the Yellow River in China, where her hometown is located, as well as other rivers where she used to live alongside, including Chongqing, Shanghai, New York. The outcome of her research maps out a territory of both reality and imagination. WIP: We Are in Progress showcases her thinking on the evolution of human history and civilization. Inspired by the two Ethiopian mothers mentioned in A Brief History of Humankind, this book also symbolizes the mother of human beings.
From phenology in nature, handmade artist books, to computer-generated patterns, Liu’s works continuously blur the boundaries of objects. With the advent of the trend of artificial intelligence, Liu is inspired by traditional wisdom inherited from the era of agricultural civilization and uses modern technology as a tool to present her thinking process without persisting in an ultimate answer. Those thoughts are inappreciable as the glimmering of small things, whereas vast as the universe. Just as what William Blake said in the poem: “To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower. Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.”
During the exhibition, the gallery will also arrange special events such as chef-curated afternoon tea inspired by the exhibition, urban farming workshop, and plant identification trip to enhance the viewing experience. A digital catalogue with an essay by Echo He will accompany the exhibition, available on Fou Gallery’s website.
About the exhibition
Dates: July 14—September 23, 2018
Opening Reception: July 14, 2018, 5—8 pm
Artist’s Talk: July 14, 2018, 6:30 pm
Courtesy of the artist and Fou Gallery, for further information please visit www.fougallery.com or contact Yuan Fang via firstname.lastname@example.org/ 1.718.404.8401.