texts > press releases > 2009 “Transcience” – Osage Soho

Osage Soho is pleased to present Charwei Tsai’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, featuring works from 2005 to 2009. Tsai’s works engages with the transient nature of our natural and man-made environment and, in particular, seeks to ‘inspire moments of contemplation on the ephemeral qualities of our environment and history.’

Tsai’s works are influenced by tenets of Buddhist philosophy, in particular, the Heart Sutra, which draws attention to the emptiness and ephemeral nature of all phenomena. This can be seen in Mushroom Mantra (2005–2009), which was exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2008. Here, Tsai transcribes the Heart Sutra onto fresh mushrooms, an organic and impermanent material, thereby manifesting the transience and ephemerality posited by the sutra. As one observes the delicately hand-written characters on the slowly decaying and deteriorating fungus, the impermanence of existence is amplified and the essence of the sutra revealed. This is also further explored in the exhibition through photographs and a video installation, Fish Project (2007). In the latter, there is a different mode of engagement with the text used. In Fish Project, as with Meat Map (2008), Tsai transcribes China’s ‘One China’ policy onto a struggling fish out of water, and raw meat in the shape of the map of China, respectively. However, rather than singling out China in her critique of nationalism and the sacrifices made in its pursuit, Tsai’s use of the ‘One China’ policy is, instead, highlighted as one example out of other instances throughout human history. Echoing the contradiction found in her mantra works, the rotting meat and the dying fish becomes a powerful symbol for the essential impermanence of existence in juxtaposition to the desire for immortality through nationalism.

The opening reception of the exhibition on 30 April will also see the launch of Under Influence, a special edition of Lovely Daze, a curatorial journal published by Tsai.
A catalogue of the exhibition will be available.
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About Charwei Tsai: Transience
Exhibiting Artist: Charwei Tsai
Venue: Osage Soho
Address: 45 Caine Road, L/G Shop 1, Corner Old Bailey St, Soho Central, Hong Kong
Exhibition Duration: 1 till 31 May 2009
Opening Reception: 30 April 2009, 6.00pm
Tel: (852) 2537 0688

About Charwei Tsai
Charwei Tsai was born in Taiwan (1980) and presently lives and works in Paris. In addition to her art practice, Tsai publishes, designs and edits Lovely Daze, a curatorial journal published twice a year. Tsai graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in Industrial Design and Art & Architectural History in 2002 and is currently engaged in the postgraduate research programme at the L’École Nationale Supérieuredes Beaux-Arts in Paris. She has had several solo exhibitions in Japan, China and France and her projects have been included in various international exhibitions, including J’en Rêve at Fondation Cartier, Paris,France (2005), the inaugural Singapore Biennale (2006), Thermocline of Art: New Asian Waves at ZKM Center of Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany (2007), and Traces du Sacré at Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2008). Following the exhibition at Osage Gallery, Tsai will also be participating in the upcoming 6th Asia-Pacific Triennial at Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia.

About Osage Gallery
Osage Gallery is an international gallery group with major exhibition spaces in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore. Osage Gallery represents some of the most exciting and significant artists in Asia and works closely with international critics and curators to present exhibitions and projects that addresses themes and issues relevant to our times.

Please visit www.osagegallery.com for more information.

Media Enquiry
Alice Wong
Tel: (852) 2793 4817
Fax: (852) 3007 2988
Email: alicewong@osagegallery.com

Anne Chan
Tel: (852) 2793 4817
Fax: (852) 3007 2988
Email: annechan@osagegallery.com