texts > press releases > “A Pilgrimage Through Light & Spells” – The Esplanade, Singapore

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 editionpublished 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.

The exhibition completes with an installation and participatory project A Dedication to the Victims of the Tsunami of March 11, 2011 II, (2012) in which Tsai collects shells from the coast of France and encourages the audience to join her in writing blessings for the victims of the Tsunami onto the shells, which are spread out onto sand in the gallery. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the work will be donated to Tsunami relief organizations in Japan.

This reception for the exhibition will take place on Saturday, May 12th from 6:00~9:00 PM.

Charwei Tsai, born in 1980 in Taiwan, currently lives and works in Taipei and Paris. Tsai graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in Industrial Design and Art & Architectural History (2002) and has completed the postgraduate research program La Seine at L’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris (2010). She has had solo exhibitions in Beijing, Bogota, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Paris, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo, 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 (2007), Traces du Sacré at Centre Pompidou, Paris (2008), the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial (2009),Taiwan Calling at Ludwig Museum, Budapest (2010), Yokohama Triennale and Ruhrtriennale (both in 2011). Upcoming in May 2012, Tsai will have a solo presentation at Art Hong Kong and will participate in exhibitions at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum and the Herzliya Museum in Israel. In addition to her art practice, Tsai has published an artist’s journal Lovely Daze twice annualy since
2005 : the complete set will be presented during the exhibition.

Practical Information
« A Pilgrimage Through Light & Spells »
28 April 2012 – 28 July 2012
Reception: Saturday, 12 May, 6 – 9PM

galerie mor · charpentier
8, rue Saint-Claude Paris 3ème / M° Saint-Sébastien Froissart
T +(33) 0 1 44 54 01 58
Galerie hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11AM – 7PM.
contact@mor-charpentier.com – www.mor-charpentier.com

Press contact
Xavier Samson
T +(33) 6 87 13 44 52