Gravity of Thought

Words by Angie Pai

 

My artistic practice is inescapably purgative, documenting continual narratives of personal change and evolution.

Gravity of Thought is an endeavour to build a new foundation from cultural, philosophical, and emotional groundwork. This body of work was borne out of a necessity to acknowledge my ancestral heritage while confronting the pressures and conflicts of second—generation guilt. The ability to take pride (and seek empowerment) from my ancestral culture has been at the forefront of these explorations. The show is anchored in talismans of my Taiwanese heritage, constructed to provide a weighted base in the face of adversity. It is an attempt to find stillness and poise while balancing on the precipice.

The exhibition is split in two, presenting a duality of works on paper and rendered sculptures.

The works on paper depict Qin Dynasty Chinese scriptures, painted in enamel. The characters are words and phrases gifted to me by my elders or found through research, which have given me energy in times of hardship;

Equable / Inaudible / Subtle
The state of vacancy —
stillness guarded with unwearying vigour.
Gravity is the root of lightness / stillness,
ruler of movement.
Foundation of dignity.
Seeking tranquility.
To have an intricate side.
To have a strict and self restrained side.
To have a prudent and apprehensive side.
To have a resolute and unyielding side.
To not sway easily upon influence.

These works establish a reverent, if not ephemeral, foundation, from which I am able to draw strength and certainty.

The large sculptural works act as abstracted self-portraits, acknowledging and harnessing the facets of a pluralistic identity, both culturally and personally. In contrast to the delicate works on paper, they are repeatedly rendered in layers, asserting their physical weight and permanence.


To recognise myself — so I am.

(一個人的思想就如同一把獨特的鑰匙, 是開啟內心的一把鎖,通往認識自己的 大門。 鎖的內部有許多繁複的凹槽和突起,象 徵著每個人不同的人格特質。 我們擁有不同的優勢與特質,而這些都 是我們最初的模樣,我們卻常常逃避 它,甚至否定它。當我們真正肯定了這 把鑰匙的價值,正視與接納上頭的刻痕 與突起,真心擁抱自己的優勢與不完 美,鎖與鑰匙才能由此契合,自我認識 的大門也才能被開啟。)

我的創作過程是對生命傾瀉式的反思,我從中不斷地探索自我,歷經多次蛻變 後的展現。

{ 思想之鑰 } 透過文化和哲學的體悟來尋 找人生的著力點。身為背負著上一代期 望的第二代移民,我確實的體認到學習 中華傳統文化的重要性;由此我得以從 祖先所流傳下來的文化智慧中覓得力量 的泉源,同時也引以為豪,這就是我此 次的探索與創作的初衷。

此次展覽主要聚焦於我從中華文化當中所得到的人生體悟,尋找能依靠的避風港,讓自己能重整旗鼓,
紛擾的滾滾紅塵中得以平衡並逢甘霖,梳理出寧靜祥和的心境。

此展覽透過兩種相對性的表達方式呈 現,分別以紙上作品, 和經過粉刷後的 雕塑品來表達。

紙上作品以瓷漆為媒介,以書法的形式來呈現中國「秦王朝」的九疊篆,這些成語和詞彙都是我生命中珍貴的滋養,它們部分來自前輩引導時所賜予的期勉,部分從研究中尋得,使我在面臨磨難考驗時,還能在心中存著一股對生命的熱忱與希望。

這些紙上作品塑造了虔敬的氛圍,使我 能從中生發力量並獲得肯定感。

在平和的、無聲的、微妙的 ──「無」 的狀態。

在寧靜祥和的狀態中仍保有不隨時間消逝的活力與熱情。當我們能泰然地接納多面貌的自己,寧靜與光明便隨之產生。思想是萬物運行的主宰、亦是尊嚴的磐石。尋找寧靜狀態的同時,也接納自己多元 的面貌。

接納自己是多層面的,可以是嚴格自律 的,更可以是謹慎多愁或堅定不屈的。 當我們能客觀地看待自己,不任意做出 評論的同時,我們的內心將不再輕易因 他人的批評而波濤洶湧。

大型雕塑作品在此意喻著抽象的自我剖析,在文化上與個人精神層面上都擁抱著自己的多重性,也藉著這樣多元的特性更認識最初的自己。相對於精細呈現的紙上作品,這些雕塑作品宣告著它們顯而易見的份量以及歷久不衰的意義。

 

在尋找自我的路上,重新認識自己。