Time Effaces Time
Chihoi Solo Exhibition
2021.12.04 - 2022.01.08
2021.12.04 - 2022.01.08
Project Fulfill Art Space is pleased to present Chihoi’s first solo exhibition in Taipei: Time Effaces Time. Well-recognized for his black and white comic books and publications, his recent transition into oil painting continues to demonstrate his natural instinct for story-telling and observations of everyday life. The exhibition opens on 4 December at 4pm, with an artist talk at 3pm, inviting guest speaker artist Lee Kit in conversation with Chihoi.
A self-taught artist, Chihoi brings his experience in working in comic books to the canvas, developing a unique illustrative style. He describes, “drawing comics is about dismantling time, while painting is the opposite, it’s about encapsulating the emotions, imagery or message that you want to express into one image”. His paintings depict scenes that he observes in the city, often focusing on the banality of daily life, while being wrapped in the wider social climate and past histories of society. The exhibition Time Effaces Time features twelve new paintings depicting seemingly quiet, non-eventful scenes of daily life in Taipei. His abstracted use of color and perspective heightens the emotions of the scene, evoking a rich narrative atmosphere. Reflecting on the past few years of uncertainty, Chihoi expresses that apart from experiencing the anxiety of observing the conflicts across the strait, it seems that nothing much else has happened.
“Sitting on this mountain, gazing at that mountain, only incomprehensible thoughts linger in my mind. As the saying goes, ‘time effaces everything’, but if there is no experience in the first place, then there is no memory to erase. Time can only efface itself.”
In a time where people have had to navigate and process major world-wide critical events through the micro routines of everyday life, Chihoi refers to Kafka’s well-known diary entry, written on the day of the outbreak of World War I, “Germany has declared war on Russia. Went swimming in the afternoon”. Perhaps the war had not yet reached the place where he lived, and he still had the freedom to pursue his own interests, unaffected by the troubles of others. Or perhaps upset by the news of war, he needed a swim to calm his nerves. These two seemingly contradicting sentences, together create a dialectical connection that seems to imbue a heavy weight to the regularity of everyday life in the face of crisis.
Under a collective crisis, group pressure rises, while individual space recedes, even if the individual is not necessarily a dissident, or has any opinions to be expressed. The scenes in Chihoi’s new works seem to emphasize the irrelevance to any grand purpose. A question he poses – perhaps to the viewer or to himself, is whether inaction can be justified, as if taking a swim in the afternoon.