The supernatural tales we are familiar with
For the crowds who have gotten accustomed to the routine life, they are gradually losing their sensitivity to the environment. Sometimes they take a glance without paying any attention or identifying the things they perceive. People seldom discover the monsters occupying the spaces around, who are gazing at the scene of ignorance that “no one is actually seeing.” It is why I create the series – Hiding Book for Monsters and Magic Props to Elsewhere, in which I intend to explore the transformation of daily objects and my observation on daily life.
Hiding Book for Monsters consists of five artworks featuring common objects in supernatural tales such as lamp, mirror, water pool, body, or baggage, based on which the series reinterprets the supernatural scene and the appearance of the monsters in a contemporary situation. The inspiration of the works originated from the Chinese classic text Shan-hai Ching (Classics of Mountains and Seas), the Japanese supernatural tales Illustrated Book of Monsters by Toriyama Sekien and One Hundred Stories (Hyaku Monogatar) by Katsushika Hokusai. The traditional Chinese supernatural tales never end the stories without a moral, while the monsters in the Japanese tales are relatively funnier and more interesting in terms of their appearances and the scenes of the stories (see image 1: Lamp Monster in Katsushika Hokusai’s One Hundred Stories). Based on the objects I have selected in the works, I create an inner world of imagination and put the monsters within the situations. “Lamp Monster” is about the monster hiding in the shadow of the lamp who scares people with flickering light. “Mirror Monster” is the monster hiding in the mirror, while it is usually seen in the mirror behind one’s back (see image 2: SekienAo-nyobo in Toriyama Sekien’s Illustrated Book of Monsters). In the third work “Pool Linked with the Other World,” water becomes the liminal medium connecting us to the supernatural world for that traditional supernatural tales often take place in oceans. The fourth work “The Monster Inside” depicts the spirit living in one’s body. No matter it is one’s real spirit or not, it has the supernatural power indeed. “Baggage Monster” is about the monster who will shrink itself to be carried around in the traveling bag.
The “elsewhere” in the series Magic Props to Elsewhere is a Utopia for me. Every time when I want to go to the “elsewhere,” all I need is a ladder – a ladder without direction. I am adept at creating a microscopic world within the one single object in my works. However, these worlds are not completely shut down from the external world. Sometimes prop-like equipment can be seen in these worlds. The room of my props is full of ladders, stairs, A-shaped ladders, or escape ladders for me to escape from “here” to the “elsewhere.”
Focusing on the props – ladder – as the theme of the works is a reflection on my life experiences. Every time when I climb up the stairs to my home on the fifth floor or when I walk down the stairs to the street, I am always amazed by how the thin floor and the thin stairs connect people/families living on different floors. Therefore I create these three works – The Stairs-shaped, The Baggage-shaped, and The Hallway-shaped –, to describe my observation on the function and the shape of stairs.
Meanwhile, another work “Jump Bon!” follows my previous artistic exploration. I often describe the organic water pool as an island, so I will use various props to connect all these islands. I also jump inside the pool to imagine the fun of the continuous actions. Jump! I jump from the diving platform high above into the water. Bon! There I am in one breath!
All the exhibits are wood-carved water print. The carving marks and the layers of the wooden texture demonstrate the variation of ink which is different from the ink-wash painting.
Image 1：Lamp Monster in Katsushika Hokusai’s One Hundred Stories (Hyaku Monogatari)
Image 2：SekienAo-nyobo in Toriyama Sekien’s Illustrated Book of Monsters
Image 3：Illustration of Katsushika Hokusai’s Work
EXHIBITIONS AT CRANE GALLERY
Somewhere is there on string
CHANG Ting-Ya CV
2010 M.F.A., National Taiwan University of Arts, Graduate school of Printmaking,Tiapei, Taiwan.
2007 B.A., National Kaohsiung Normal University Department of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
2014 Sansui test, 435 ART ZONE, Banqiao, New Taipei City, Taiwan
2013 Secret hiding space, piaopiao gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
2010 The Joy Study, BF Gallery, Taipei,Taiwan
2014 「FINE ART／UNIVERSITY SELECTION 2013-2014」,tsukuba,Japan
2012 The Museum of Gourd, Taipei Biennial, Taipei Fine Arts Museum,Taipei,Taiwan
2012 Time Games:Contemporary Appropriations of the Past,Taipei Fine Arts Museum,Taipei,Taiwan
2010 Honorable Mention, 2010 Taipei Arts Awards,Taipei Fine Arts Museum,Taipei,Taiwan