Hong Kong International Art Fair, 2012

Asia One
Art HK 12, Hong Kong International Art Fair
17~20 May 2012

Press Release: TKG+ (Taipei and Beijing) is pleased to exhibit all new works by Charwei Tsai at this year’s Art Hong Kong International Art Fair (Asia One, Booth 1X12, May 17-20). Tsai’s presentation will include photographs, lithographs, a video, an artist’s book, and an installation piece, all of which demonstrate the wide breadth and scope of Tsai’s artistic practice. The works expand on her explorations of her connection to Buddhism and the concept of pilgrimage.

In Alba’s Pilgrimage, Tsai’s new black-and-white video directed by Tsering Tashi Gyalthang, the protagonist reflects on her pilgrimage in El Camino, Spain. Based on these reflections, Tsai creates an unexpected landscape as the camera travels over the body of the protagonist. The video illustrates an examination of a secular woman’s suffering transcended through a pilgrimage. As the protagonist notes, “Pilgrimage shows you humility, for you do not know if you will ever reach the destination until you do… Time is expanding and you are part of its creation.”

As a continuation on the topic of pilgrimage and Tsai’s passion for bookmaking, A Pilgrimage through Light & Spells, her first artist’s book, will be showcased for the first time in Asia. This limited-edition hand-bound book, printed in traditional lithography techniques by the renowned Parisian printmaking shop Atelier Idem, incorporates short poems by the artist on her latest series and a selection of earlier works. The book concludes with an in-depth interview by Leanne Sacramone, curator of the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain.

The photographs and lithographs of Tsai’s new series, A Pilgrimage Through Light & Spells – Bamboo Mantra, expand on her work initiated with the Gone series (2011), for which she uses a camera with a broken lens. The resulting images show the accidental beauty that results when relieved from the need to control perception. Tsai has inscribed the photographs with a mantra from the Heart Sutra – a seminal Buddhist text and recurring motif through which she has explored transience. The mantra, often recited orally, is almost like a spell, and is considered an aid to move forward, and to be freed from attachments.

In the large-scale installation Bamboo Mantra Tsai has written the Heart Sutra, a text central to Buddhism and to her practice, onto the bamboo stalks. Bamboo Mantra is the latest work in Tsai’s Mantra series, begun in 2005. The Sutra’s text becomes materialized through its inscription on the bamboo stalks. The Sutra text changes, as the bamboo continues to grow, thus highlighting the nature of impermanence.