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A Fresh Look—The Artist's Window
2022.08.01 ~ 2023.03.23
A Fresh Look—The Artist's Window Picture

Exhibition Introduction

Text/ CHEN Sung-Chih (Curator/ Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Fine Art, National Changhua University of Education)

Windows play an important role in architecture: these openings in buildings serve the functional purpose of letting light in. They stop the interior space from being completely enclosed, demarking the boundary between the artificial and the natural, as well as the private and the public. In so doing, it creates separations that strengthen connections. Functionally and formally, windows are passages between inside and out. They tend to be the focal point in spaces, and they are emblems of humans’ surviving desire for Self and Nature. As it connects or separates, the existence of a window allows or prevents our eyes to mediate the interior and the exterior.

Throughout art history, the window has always been a familiar motif. The art history of the window is a human journey along which we construct our perceptions of the inside and the outside; it also records what we imagine looking out of “the windows of the soul”.  The plane of a canvas became a window revealing mythological or worldly views when the illusion of spatial depth was first created by Renaissance Italian artist Giotto di Bondone. Painting as a window started to open to this life, marking Western painting’s trajectory away from the religious to the secular. Since then, artists have introduced to us a variety of sceneries through this flat window. We see flying angels, solemn Sancta Maria, magnificent palaces, and stunning bucolic beauty—we even witness wars for democracy and horses galloping across hills, and catch a glimpse of the simple peasant life. By the end of the 19th century, painters became more ambitious with the window, going beyond representative depictions to give new interpretations to this “artists’ window”. Alongside realistic renditions came a new attempt at spiritual explorations. For the viewers, these creative productions are openings to dreams, to the essence of arts, in which the window becomes an artistic witness to the brutalities or beauties occurring in the world. The possibilities are furthered in current times as we increasingly explore the outlooks of the future through the window.

A window, whether opened or closed, has a highly plastic poetic quality inside and out—plastic enough for artists to capitalize on it as a metaphorical medium. It takes on forms and colors that transcend reality to become a passage through which we reflect on ourselves and make sense of the world. It enriches the way we see what’s in front of us. The view from the window could be a dream, a manifesto, or an emotional expression, just to name a few. The window is an aperture through which the viewers can see multiple worlds at the invitation of the artists. Temporally and spatially, it is not a one-way passage: it allows us to see and to be seen. In contemporary life, we spend most of our time in buildings so opening a window is our first step to seeing and thinking about the world. An open window invites Nature and other people to communicate with us—in ways similar to how artists guide us through their inner and emotional worlds and how photographers give us their testimonies of awe and inspiration. To look into a window is also to read through one of the aesthetics created in our civilizations. Before we can appreciate all the views behind the thousands of windows in history, more new windows are arriving.

As we walk down the street late at night, the light through the windows reveals people who are still working. The windows are witnesses to the busy life in the post-industrial age. With the arrival of the information era came another window that gives off light. It is a gap revealed between the virtual and the physical. It is creating a new history by allowing us to leap through and between the two worlds—as if we were becoming light, and the light was becoming us, to travel through one window after another. Art today must deal with contemporary realities using new experiences and methods: a window today refers to the visible area of a user interface on an electronic screen. Opening up to unlimited space, the window becomes another interface, or link, for contemporary people to see the world. Here the experience of seeing focuses on scrolling and fast access. Every image is readily existent yet, in another sense, non-existent. The message and meaning of any image appearing in a window have changed fundamentally. The uncontrollably fast-changing visual landscapes confuse the viewers as never before. Against the backdrop, artists navigate back and forth between the physical and the virtual windows, as if they were sensually carried astray and wished to find a possible landing site in the territory of technological media.

Artists keep being drawn to the window, whose formal properties and mediating function between inside and out give it endless expressive possibilities and an arresting power. To artists, it could be a window in daily life or the eye movement on the screen; it could straightforwardly show a time or a space or be meaningfully extended to explore the individual, the history, or the future. For the exhibition, A Fresh Look—The Artist's Window, we have chosen, from Art Bank Taiwan’s collection, art pieces that have creative intentions to show personal experiences from the angles of the phenomena, the psycho, the metaphor, and the allergy. They are put, respectively, under the sub-themes of “The Way It Is”, “The Mindscape”, “The Land of Fantasy”, and ”Allegories of the Future” The window can be an objective depiction but it can also illuminate thoughts. It can be liberated from its physical frame to look out into an abstract, mental space. It leads to a colorful world of wonder built out of personal dreams and imagination. It offers hints about human beings’ future using current events as clues. All of these windows are channels for input into and output from the artists’ eyes; they are languages for the artists to communicate with the outside world.

This exhibition is part of Art Bank Taiwan’s Window Project, which organizes themed displays in the institution’s new miniature space to light up the neighborhood, shedding new light on this “living space with art”. It also includes an online exhibition hall—another “artists’ window” that provides us with a different way of seeing.

Participating Artists:
Wang Ting-Yu, Wang Po-Yen, Wu Cheng-Chang, Wu Mei-Chi, Lee Chi-Hsiang, Lee Ming-Hsing, Lin Jaw-Tsang, Lin Yi-Chun, Hu Kun-Jung, Hu Chau-Tsung, Hsu Li-Hsuan, Yuan Goang-Ming, Chang Yueh-Pin, Chang Ting-Ya, Hsu Chiao-Yen, Chen Ming-Te, Chen Chien-Jung, Chen Han-Sheng, Chen Shiau-Peng, Hwang Yue-Sheng, Wen Meng-Yu, Yeh Tsai-Wei, , Liao Chi-Yu, Liao Zen-Ping, Ou Jing-Yun, Tsai Meng-Chang, Cheng Nung-Hsuan, Lan Chung-Hsuan

【A Fresh Look—The Artist's Window】
 ▪ The Way It Is: 2022/8/1~9/18; Mindscapes: 2022/9/22~11/6
   The Land of Fantasy: 2022/11/10-2023/1/2; Allegories of the Future: 2023/1/6~3/23
 ▪ Window Project:No.150, Sec. 1, Ziyou Rd., West Dist., Taichung City 403, Taiwan

Supervisor:Ministry of Culture, Republic of China (Taiwan)
Organisers:Taiwan Fine Arts Fundation
Brand Collaboration:JOSUIa
Exhibition Coordinator:Man-Yun Chung
Visual Designer:AU LAB

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The Way It Is

The window is how artists see. It also gives a glimpse of the landscape of the current or a historical era. The artists’ focused observation, framed by the motif of the window, adds new possibilities to what seems like a picture of quietude. The window, in pictorial form, indicates to us the connections between the real world and the artists’ concrete recreations of the urban, the rural, the public, and the private. Inspired by the artists’ intimate experiences, the creative efforts are ways to seek stability and consolation in both inner and outer worlds. The windows here reinforce the constant interplays of the interfering reality and the emotional exploration between art creators and their surroundings. The motif of the window is given a new context in a literal and metaphorical sense. It is therefore a spatial and temporal passage that leads us to see what an artist sees. Its presence marks specific temporal coordinates that evoke people’s empathetic memories and sense of identity.


Abstract artists cross the boundary of the visible—the images of real people, things, and objects—to create a mental world seen through the window, revealing the internalized formal order and their insights. They break away from the usual constraints of art with a subject matter and as a simulation of reality. The artists depart from the interference of reality and return to the visual purity of shapes, colors, lines, and textures, introducing rhythmic structural tempos into the hard geometric edges and organic forms. The forms in real life—both in the sense of the tangible shapes and the invisible ways of doing things—go through a non-formal creative process, where the artists’ subjective mentality is injected to produce—in a two-dimensional space—their intuitive/instinctive reflections on the senses. These are the views from their windows.

The Land of Fantasy

Artists express life in instinctive and imaginative ways unbound by rational time and space. Starting with things in the real world, they take a step further to reveal associations that point to the truth behind ordinary daily life. In their portrayal of the surreal, there is a keen pursuit of subconscious dreams and unleashed imagination. Desires shine through from the bottom of the conscious, creating autonomous, freely-moving, organic landscapes in their artistic creations. The magnificent views are far more captivating and meaningful than reality. Their mysterious, dream-like patterns defy the dichotomous cosmology, relaxing its temporal and spatial laws. As the artists freely express what their hearts desire–dreams and imaginations–in interwoven compositions of peculiar figures, they bring out narratives of life that transcend time and space.

Allegories of the Future

We live in this era of newness, where information media directly interferes with our behavior and thoughts. The windows on the screen offer a new interface for communication and enable artists to direct their creative attention to the world of optoelectronics, audio and video, and the Internet. In ways only available through media technology, they produce visual turnarounds of physical microcosms. These virtual, artificial landscapes come in rich variety and offer people a chance to look into their status of life and reality anxiety. Employing shifting images, the artist’s creative projects collect, discover, and even pieces together landscapes suggestive of the future. Here, the window is no longer a divide between the individual and the reality, but a new opening that constantly connects to the days to come. It is an allegory that reflects itself and the greater future.

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