IN BETWEEN THE DORMANT AND THE SUBLIMINAL

IN BETWEEN THE DORMANT AND THE SUBLIMINAL

IN BETWEEN THE DORMANT AND THE SUBLIMINAL
AIHUA HSIA
CURATED BY SHENG NIEN YANG
NOVEMBER 10 – DECEMBER 4, 2010
OPENING RECEPTION NOVEMBER, 13, 6-8PM

White Box is pleased to present In Between the Dormant and Subliminal, the first solo exhibition of Taiwanese artist Aihua Hsia in New York. The exhibition opens on Wednesday November 10th and will be on view through Saturday, December 4, 2010.

Hsia’s sculptural work, paintings and installations embody seemingly contradictory worlds: from the traditional and the modern, to the physical and the subconscious. She employs the ancient lacquer technique “Datsukanshitu” used to make Buddhist statues, echoing her Asian identity and cultural roots. Hsia’s personal re-working of this technique de-familiarizes modern expectations of contemporary sculpture. Her subjects reveal a host of nature deities and spirits, which are perceived as intermediary agents arising from her explorations of the subconscious. These spirits have a direct and primal connection to Nature, just as the conditions of weather affect her process and allow for the completion of her work. For her solo exhibition at White Box, Hsia creates an immersive realm at the edge of the subliminal; in this zone of ambiguity between the physical and subconscious worlds, Hsia’s sculptural deities and nature spirits are evocations of good and evil, wherein certain spirits give balance to complex and conflicted worlds.

Hsia’s process employs and incorporates a broad array of natural elements and conditions that demand a studied patience. Each sculptural form must to be carefully built up by applying layers of organic lacquer paint, depending heavily upon temperature and humidity for each application to dry completely. Thirty layers or more may be needed to realize a single sculptural form in the course of several months. This long meditative process signals a true collaboration between the artist and the particular elements of her surrounding natural environment.

In the fall of 2009, Aihua Hsia began a new body of work in response to her residence within the forests of Northern California. Here the surrounding forest environment and weather were ideally conducive to her sculpture making process. In the bitter winter, Hsia moved to New York City whose conditions posed a number of challenges to her painting and sculptural processes. Mirroring these respective environments, the deity and spirit forms and figures conceived in California capture a lightness of form and material whereas those created in New York are relatively darker and weighted in appearance. Consequently, Hsia’s sculptural process expressively reveals her own unique adaptation and familiarization to changing realities of the natural environment. Between worlds of dream and darkness, both ancient and present, Hsia’s sculptural forms intervene as spirit carriers of ethereal beauty and transcendent contemplation.

Hsia studied at the prestigious National Taiwan University of Arts, and obtained her Master’s degree from Okinawa Prefecture University of Arts, where she learned the technique of traditional Buddhist sculpture making. Hsia’s work was included in the International Incheon Women Artists’ Biennale, and exhibited in the Chelsea Art Museum New York, Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, and Fukuoka Asian Art Museum at Japan.

Exhibition support has been provided by JUT Living Development Co. Ltd., MOT/ARTS Council for Cultural Affairs, Taiwan, and The Taipei Cultural Center (TECO) in New York

Please join us at the opening reception on Saturday, November 13th from 6 to 8 pm. For further information contact Susie Lim at 212.714.2347 or press@whiteboxny.org

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