The impacts of external events and situations depend crucially on our core values which help justify and make sense of these occurrences that take place inside and around us. Facing these impacts directly or adopting a stance of indifference are two attitudes that we may consciously or unconsciously adopt as a survival mechanism. These impacts, meanings and emotions have been something that I have observed both personally and in people around me, and have influenced my creative ideas. My use of the combination of partial abstraction and surrealism reflects the different levels of consciousness that events impact. The creation process for this series upended my usual stages of creating a photograph, in which the subject determines the subject matter. In contrast, the present work is a type of collage, where visual elements are sought for only after the concept is prepared. After the creation process, the photographed objects' everyday meaning is disintegrated and new meanings are created. This transformation process involves visualizing an idea that's intuitively evocative, making the creation process emotional and personal.
It is especially at highly fraught, impactful moments which challenge our core values that human autonomy is threatened with reduction to simply that of an intervening variable, frail, sensitive and short-lived, which often makes the mental states manifested during such times intense and long lived. "Intervening Variables" is a series that uses these "mental environments" as a vehicle to examine individuals' role as intervening variables and their transitory, temporary or permanent reactions to this environment. Here the subjects’ mental environment is visualized as a tangible place, and then the individuals, which represent human core values, are placed in the picture to express their interactions within it. In this project, people are observed in macro perspective, often not distinguished from each other, and as a result, represented by the same silhouette in most cases. The series comes from the creator's everyday observations and understandings of human nature, and it also serves as a homage to those subject individuals whose actions might have somewhat resembled that of a Greek hero. The artwork itself is an imprint or a record of such observation and explanation of human nature; however any attempt to explain human nature are inevitably incomplete, as the concept of "human nature" itself is in a sense, egoistic, which makes the attempt to explain it paradoxically fall into the trap of our own ego.
Universal emotions, moods, states of mind, and ways to explore them have long been my most important sources of creative inspirations. The theme "Critical Point" presented an entirely new perspective on observing and understanding human emotions, helping to condense elusive and ill-defined intuitions into a coherent set of artistic ideas. The result was the series "Intervening Variables", which is a continuation of a 2014 work, "The Time Has Come to Lose a Son" that is included in this exhibition. In addition to searching for inspirations from within and from people around me, I also try to find them in others’ artistic creations, and in collective memory and as well as collective consciousness in hopes of creating for the spectators cathartic and psychologically resonant experiences.
WU Po–Han CV
2015 Conceptual Photography, OCAD University
2014 Live Photography, Art Gallery of Ontario
2015 Music as Muse, Schloss Laudon, Vienna, Austria
Group Exhibition (Selected)
2015 Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival, OCAD Gallery, Toronto, Canada
2015 International Salon Singidunum Award Exhibition, Belgrade, Serbia
2015 Black Box Gallery, Portland, USA
2014 Art Taipei, Taipei
2014 Art Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung
2014 Nuit Blanche Toronto, Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts, Toronto, Canada
2014 1650 Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
2014 Art Taipei, Taipei
2013 Mob Club Theatre, Toronto, Canada
2015 Green Light, Gold UPI Medal, International Salon Singidunum
2014 As the Rez Turns, Award of Excellence, Abstract Photography, Exhibition Without Walls
2014 Portfolio from "A Lucid Dream", Merit Award, Portfolio Contest, Black & White Magazine
2014 Short List, The Toronto Star Photography Award
2014 Until Kingdom Come, Art Bank/National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
EXHIBITIONS AT CRANE GALLERY