The 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 exhibitionâ€™s focus on humor, Wen-fu Yu offers â€œGod Bless You!â€ (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 workâ€™s title.
Jui-chung Yaoâ€™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 worldâ€™s iconic landmarks. With Yao, though, we see a more over-the-top result, if that is possible.
Wan-ling Huangâ€™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 Chenâ€™s two digital photographs (right) show Batman and Spiderman reduced to a target inspired by the superheroesâ€™ costume colors. Placing these targets within a cityscape gave the work a noticeable edge, while the style looked cool and crisp.
â€œSaint Tai-Girls: Angel Series Part 2 (Angel of Betel Nut Little Pong No. 11)â€ is a painting that has a sort of solarizing effect in the color, while the frame boasts colorful rope lighting. The subjectâ€™s elevated look, with its expression of a possessed individual, still seemed quite harmless.
â€œShe Is My Luluboâ€ 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 Kuoâ€™s â€œBynikiâ€ 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 Yangâ€™s â€œEggs,â€ 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. â€“ 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.
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.