與其貧乏的真實，我更愛華麗的虛偽。 ～ 羅傑．瓦迪姆
I prefer a beautiful fantasy to an incomplete truth. ～ Roger Vadim
TSAI Shih-Hung Solo Exhibition 2014
榮獲2013年文化部《Art Taipei MIT 新人特區》，蔡士弘擅長擷取不同形式的影像元素在平面畫布上進行影像佈署，素材包括攝影、電影、動漫，日常影像中製造差異縫隙，創造游走在典型與相似之間的異類性影像，並透過自身的觀察與反思，映照當代奇觀社會的現實處境。「The One」為藝術家首次個展及新作發表，除了隱含著救世主寓意和權力象徵的隱喻之外，也進一步確立其藝術的主體性。
Recipient of the Ministry of Culture’s 2013 ‘Art Taipei MIT New Artist Area’, Tsai Shih-Hung is an expert at choosing different images and elements and arranging them on the canvas. Utilizing media including photography, film, and cartoons, he inserts something unusual images of daily life, leaving the viewer with the impression of coming across something strange and wonderful while wandering through the old and familiar. Through observation and reflection, he also depicts some of the difficulties and problems to be found in contemporary society. ‘The One’ is his first personal exhibition consisting of new works. As well as being symbolic of the meaning and power of the ‘savior’, this exhibition is another step in establishing the artist’s subjectivity.
「The One」題材包涵古典文學、神話故事、宗教象徵等，回歸寫實主義仿古風格，勾起對歷史的浪漫懷想。例如《美人魚》即取材於羅馬詩人奧維德 (Publius Ovidius Naso) 的《變形記》（Metamorphoses）中利用美妙歌聲魅人的海妖賽倫。而在《變形記》裡，梅杜莎原是一位美麗的少女，因為與海神波塞頓私自約會，雅典娜一怒之下將美杜莎的頭髮變成毒蛇，任何直望美杜莎雙眼的人都會變成石像，因此成了面目醜陋的怪物。藝術家在此將她翻轉為一個先知，被她雕像化的人暫時凍住了有限的年齡，並賦予其任務，在未來的某個時間點，將以一種救世主的姿態，解除封印拯救那個世界—那是遠超過假想與預演的日子，拆裝引信與幻影運轉的零件扮成海市蜃樓入侵真實世界。
The Lure of Fatalism
“…The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth—it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.” – Baudrillard
The concept of ‘simulacra’ can seemingly be traced back to Plato’s idea of ‘representation’. In today’s neo-liberalist, globalized society, where the boundaries between the true and the false are ever more vague, one could posit that artistic creativity and action are another possibility for self-realization. In the face of the rapid spread of digital technology and the internet, Tsai Shih-Hung’s work hints at the lure of fatalism in the age of the image. The character of Neo in the film ‘The Matrix’ was a reference for ‘The One’. Neo was initially an ordinary internet hacker, but he guides the audience through an exploration of the real and false, to a consideration of what is true and untrue in a world of virtual reality. The artist possesses the consciousness to turn and reflect upon himself, and thus the work was born.
The Mythology of Transcending Reality
The subject matter of ‘The One’ incorporates elements such as classical literature, mythology and religious imagery. The artists revisits classical style from a position of realism, and therefore evokes a romantic nostalgia for times past. For example, ‘The Mermaid’ takes its inspiration from the beautiful singing figures in ‘Metamorphoses’ by Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso. In ‘Metamorphoses’, Medusa was once a beautiful maiden, but due to her private affair with Poseidon, she incurred the wrath of Athena, who turned Medusa’s hair poisonous snakes; anyone who looked directly at Medusa would turn to stone – thus she became a hideous monster. The artist instead subverts the story, and turns Medusa a prophet – those who were petrified are frozen in limited age, and given a mission to break the seal and save that world at some point in the future. On a day which surpasses imagination and rehearsal, he tears open the fuse of revolving elements of fantasy to form a mirage which invades the world of reality.
Tsai Shih-Hung’s work contains dream-like scenes and surreal styles and imagery. He appropriates symbols in obscure and multi-layered ways, while reinterpreting the classics. He subverts the logic of observation to create a unique mythology with limitless significance. The artist uses creative reading and action to open up a rich and varied interpretive space and construct his very own narrative. He calls question societal systems and the machine of nationhood, while reflecting the unique sentiments of a new generation of artists, faced with the collective issue of globalization.
[ The One 101展場實景 ]