A Pilgrimage Through Light & Spells, 2012, Mor Charpentier Gallery

A Solo Exhibition by Charwei Tsai
Galerie Mor Charpentier, Paris, France
12 May ~ 28 July 2012

Press Release: A Pilgrimage Through Light & Spells is an apt title for Charwei Tsai’s first solo gallery exhibition in Paris. Tsai, an artist and a traveler based in Paris and Taipei, delineates the dialectic of a modern pilgrimage through a series of new works. The show will also feature her first artist’s book edition published by the renowned historical printmaking shop Atelier Idem with an interview by Leanne
Sacramone, curator at Fondation Cartier.

The exhibition begins with the unveiling of a new series of hand-inscribed photographs, A Pilgrimage Through Light & Spells. “I am intrigued by the idea of a pilgrimage, of making a journey for introspection,” says Tsai. “The idea to continue this series in Giverny was inspired by the fact that Monet was able to create the beauty in his garden partially due to his impaired vision, which occurred later in his life. I thought it would be interesting to capture the garden in yet another
unprecedented way through a broken camera lens.” At the instant of rupture, Tsai inscribes a mantra from Heart Sutra, a recurring theme in the artist’s work, onto the fleeting light in these photographs. Tsai’s imagination of a modern pilgrimage is stunningly communicated through the hapless beauty of the resulting images.

A Pilgrimage Through Light & Spells is complemented with the screening of the video Ah, originally a site-specific work created for a tunnel taking metro passengers to the national theater in Singapore. In the video, a fluid Ah is inscribed in ink onto a diluted surface, accompanied by a range of voices chanting Ah from their perspective cultures. Tsai demonstrates the universal sacredness of the sound, celebrating its use around the world in various religious hymns and meditation practice.

Alba’s Pilgrimage (2012), a new video work exhibited for the first time, was conceptualized by Tsai and directed by Tsering Tashi Gyalthang. The video narrates the story of a pilgrimage made by a modern woman, who underwent a rigorous physical journey to contemplate on the conflicts in daily reality. Tsai uses video to portray a personal examination of an individual suffering transcended through a pilgrimage.