CHIU Chen-Hung

  • 〈Shattered Romance〉, 2019, sail (teak, metal, crane, polyester, nephrite, meteorite mineral), marble sculpture.
    Sail: 300×100×700 cm, 250×100×600 cm, 200×50×350 cm, 200×50×250 cm; marble sculpture: 120×100×210 cm
    Courtesy of the artist

Shattered Romance

Inspired by the 1819 voyage of the explorer Dumont d’Urville, this work ties together the themes of oceanic explorations and currents, as well as cultural politics, through its assemblage of disparate objects and events. These tales of colonial seafaring are further overlaid with memory traces of the sculpture Venus de Milo and the Space Race of the 1960s. Shattered Romance is imagined by the artist as an adventure into the unknown: but it is also an embodiment of a form of history where the human no longer occupies the privileged center. Instead, this work proceeds by pursuing the inner energy and creative potential of substances, and seeks to embody them through the logic of its internal design. This interweaving of the history of human exploration and the activity of ocean currents is manifested through the strange coupling of a borrowed sculpture (Wind from the Sea, 2006) and a carrack (a three- or four-masted ocean-going sailing ship) made of jade stones and meteorite minerals, paired together with a sculpture made of thermo-modified wood and metal. Restlessly oscillating between historical and natural activities, the work is a silent dialogue between different times and spaces.

Wind from the Sea (2006) by Kan Tan (Kan Chao-Yang) and courtesy of artist

About the Artist

Born in Hualien, Taiwan, in 1983, Chiu Chen-Hung graduated from the Graduate School of Plastic Arts at National Taiwan University of Arts in 2008 and is currently based in Hualien. Chiu’s works are mostly installations and sculptures that seem to be archeological explorations; the artist is an expert at unveiling the states and trajectories of existences and redefines the rationalized and designed rules of logic through abstract methods, presenting them in new ways in the attempt of vast memory restoration. Chiu’s notable solo exhibitions include Phototaxis at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin, 2019), The Dust of Time at YIRI ARTS (Taipei, 2017), and A Deer of Nine Colors at Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts (Taipei, 2015). Group exhibitions include The Hidden South at DaWu Waterfront Park (Taitung, 2018), Shattered Sanctity at Museum of Contemporary Art (Taipei, 2017), Taiwan Biennial: The Possibility of an Island at National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (Taichung, 2016), Greater Taipei Biennial of Contemporary Arts: De-coincidence at National Taiwan University of Arts (Taipei, 2016), Rencontres Internationales at La Gaîté Lyrique, France, Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin, and Reina Sofia National Museum (Madrid, 2015), Liverpool Biennial City-States at LJMU Copperas Hills (Liverpool, 2012), THAITAI: A measure of Understanding (Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, 2012).