Tania TSONG

2015.08.08 - 2015.09.20

In terms of aesthetics, authentic life ought to be elsewhere. When one lives elsewhere, there are dreams, arts, poetry. When elsewhere becomes here, sublimity turns immediatey into the other side of life: cruelty.  

— Jing Kaixuan (景凱旋) on Milan Kundera's Life is Elsewhere

It is doubtless that people recognize the cruelty of life in history or from their own experience. To imagine a better life elsewhere is like a placebo shot, yet the cruelty of life that foster pessimism could also incite will of resistance. Our life is so much entangled, weaved with trivialities it becomes an ever-enlarging web that is burdened with morals, social hierarchies, identities and fame, etc. As such, time presses us to chase a life whose only objective and hope lies in a volatile sense of “recognition”. As Kundera says, “Death becomes real as it creeps into the heart through the cracks of age”. The substance of our life is thus timed, that there will be a time for sadness and happiness, a time for consciousness and doubts, a time for lightness and heaviness.

Crush Syndrome showcases the installation works of Tania TSONG(莊昀) and LU Chih-Yun (盧之筠), who treat materials light and heavy as paper, iron and concrete, in painting (reproduction), collage (transplant), weaving (criss-cross), casting (imitation). Their works do not depict merely an everyday aesthetics, rather, various media are utilized as records of history and trifling emotions and thoughts. The exhibition is weighty in terms of bodily senses, but the curatorial aim is not to explore the grave meaning of the proverb ''light as a goose feather, heavy as Mount Tai''. For the post-80s generation of Tania and LU, their pragmatism concerns more with the quality of life than lofty ideals. If ''to govern a country is like cooking a small fish'', the same may apply in creative endeavors: that having learnt the basics one can invent new dishes with different food ingredients’ properties. The taste may please some and not others, but the difference lies only in presentation and the philosophy of cooking.

How do we demarcate what is real and what is not in things we see every day? The Buddhists believe that phenomena exist only in our mind. Our cognition comes from accumulated experiences, and reality is thus interpreted. Time becomes the container in which trivialities of everyday life are stacked, it resets itself to zero every 24 hours and the accumulation will start anew. There may be more than one answer to the question whether it is grave to consider the substance of life, but if time could be reset to zero our fear of its heavy significance is ungrounded.

text/Lee Mei-Cheng​

Crush Syndrome