Frolic: Humor and Mischief in New Taiwanese Art, Pt. 2

wen-fu-yu.jpgThe second of three exhibitions collectively titled Frolic: Humor and Mischief in New Taiwanese Art opened at Tenri Cultural Institute of New York on October 18th. The atmosphere at the opening, as it was at 2 X 13 gallery two weeks ago, was energizing. For the second installment, curators Thalia Vrachopoulos and Jane Ingram Allen offer the work of 13 young artists who, this time around, have a bit more of an Eastern focus esthetically.

Inspired by the exhibition’s focus on humor, Wen-fu Yu offers “God Bless You!” (above left), a mixed media installation composed of bird netting and white duck feathers. Organized in an outward and upward spray formation, the work suggests a big allergic sneeze to be a beautifully uplifting expression. Some have thought that when you sneeze, you loose your spirit, hence the work’s title.

Jui-chung Yao’s two photographs with the artist in self-portrait as a celebrated giant reminded me of the self-portraits of Tseng Kwong Chi, who posed in front of the world’s iconic landmarks. With Yao, though, we see a more over-the-top result, if that is possible.

Wan-ling Huang’s large black-and-white ink painting with color accents achieved using colorful screen-printed inks is wonderfully alive and vibrant, as it shows two separate narratives that are somehow united by their very different moods.

Agi-Chen-.jpgAgi Chen’s two digital photographs (right) show Batman and Spiderman reduced to a target inspired by the superheroes’ costume colors. Placing these targets within a cityscape gave the work a noticeable edge, while the style looked cool and crisp.

“Saint Tai-Girls: Angel Series Part 2 (Angel of Betel Nut Little Pong No. 11)” is a painting that has a sort of solarizing effect in the color, while the frame boasts colorful rope lighting. The subject’s elevated look, with its expression of a possessed individual, still seemed quite harmless.

“She Is My Lulubo” is an animation still of a cutesy robot against a kaleidoscopic field, bringing to mind an updated psychedelic set of images, while Ching-yao Chen gets a campy, kitschy effect with pop references and crisp computer work.

Hui-chan Kuo’s “Byniki” is a magical digital photograph that shows the joy of inner peace. Ping-yu Pan creates an intricate multi-media sculpture that looks wild and wind-inspired.

Sheng-nien Yang’s “Eggs,” a video of eggs being dropped onto a back-lit glass panel, reverses halfway through the loop, addressing the fragility of life against the backdrop of an absurd history. – D. Dominick Lombardi

This second part of Frolic is at Tenri Cultural Institute Gallery (43A West 13th St.). The third part opened at Taipei Gallery (Taipei Cultural Center at 1 East 42 St.) on November 6.

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D. Dominick Lombardi is an artist with representation in Kasia Kay Art Projects and in Chicago, Van Brunt Gallery in Beacon, NY, and ADA gallery in Richmond, VA; a writer with Sculpture, Sculpture Review, DART, and NYARTS; and an independent curator.

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