Invisible Gaze- TSAI Meng Chang
27 Apr 2023-11 Jun 2023

04.29 Sat 
15:00 Artist Talk
‧ Presenter │TSAI Meng Chang x Emerson WANG
16:30 Opening

05.27 Sat 
15:00 Lecture 
‧ Presenter │Chen, Kuang-Yi (Dean of Fine Art College, National Taiwan University of Arts)


Mezzo Art
04.29- 07.15


Everything Is Simply Déjà Vu


Text / Emerson WANG

Quiet, with a sense of serenity mixed with reservedness and a momentary spark of passion tucked in a corner, the dilapidated walls basking in cascading light seem to lament the wonderful things that are about to fade. His emotions are played down and placid, just like his paintings. The “de-emotionalized” style characterized by pure detachment contradicts the current mainstream informed by multiple colors and relentless externalization of the self. Comparing to those rambunctious, freewheeling images, Tsai’s paintings always exude an authenticity of life after all the bustles and hustles quiet down—this feeling of déjà vu embodied by his works also evokes an unveiled realm of dreams.

The artist almost always finds his subject matter in old neighborhoods or corners outside urban areas. With tremendous efforts, he tries to preserve these fading memories with his paint brush, creating a sense of solitude permeating a space-time that possibly or never really exists at a prolonged and slow pace and in a whitewashed, low-keyed color palette. Figures are never seen in his paintings. The construction of the mysterious atmosphere in the depicted space, as well as the minute delineation of the composition and light are immersed in quietude – so quiet that one could seem to hear the faintest sounds in a distant place. In these moments, how can we bear to engage in any conversations? Everything that exists is already in the images of the paintings.

The design of the scenes in his images are paired with an understated palette, ranging from dark gray, unsaturated yellow, green, and other heavy brownish colors. Despite the feeling of loneliness, the overall palette gives his works a sense of tender elegance. The seemingly tranquil, monotonous images exude a certain degree of ambiguity, as if they were waiting to be discovered. Reserved yet charming, they seem to be under a misty veil yet remain pure and untouched. Like emotions intentionally teased out, they are the everyday landscapes inhabited by people. With imagination, we write the memory of human beings, self-reflect, and even dream of the past or the future.

In ordinary quotidian life, the artist has created extraordinary simplicity and penetrating emotions, which indeed come from his inner monologues. Because without love, how could loneliness exist?