For the past 25 years, Tina Keng Gallery (TKG) has collected, with pride and discernment, the works of contemporary Asian masters who have observed and distilledthe turmoil and splendor of the past century into dazzling cross sections of artistic creation. With the passage of time, artistic language has become more flexible — dismantling and reconstructing conventional methods of artistic expression. This fluidity has propelled concepts and ideas beyond existing boundaries and expanded the potential of contemporary art. In 2009, TKG introduced TKG+, an independent platform dedicated to promoting groundbreaking contemporary art; stimulating a rich dialogue; and creating greater space for experimentation.
The Plus exhibition series explores the flow of artistic language across the sweeping current of time and examines how aesthetics have evolved within each generation. The series embodies the revolutionary vision lying at the heart of TKG+, tracing veins of artistic creation back to the underlying internal viewpoints and cultural codes of the classic TKG aesthetic. In so doing, the series extends our perceptions and experiences of visual art into greater dimensions. Furthermore, through this exploration beyond conventional artistic boundaries, the series elaborates a new spectrum of aesthetic and ideological dialogue between generations.
Unveiled in September 2015, Plus I inaugurated the series, featuring the works of artists Lin Ju and Chen Ching-Yuan in a duo exhibition. The second installment of the series, Plus II, brought together the works of Chiang Yomei and Charwei Tsai. This year, TKG+will host Plus III, a duo exhibition presenting the works of Wang Huaiqing and Yao Jui-chung. This third exhibition seeks to understand how artists living in different socio-political environments confront the specters of history haunting our collective memories; how they maintain their sense of self in changing times; and how we as individuals contemplate our modern, uprooted existence.
A TKG-represented artist, Wang Huaiqing belongs to the generation of Chinese artists who came to prominence after the Cultural Revolution. Wang’s works reveal his desire to preserve memories of traditional Chinese culture. In an abstract freehand style, as spartan and versatile as the “one table, two chairs” stage set of Peking Opera, Wang neatly deconstructs the traditional cultural codes which sanctioned the role of ancestral hall as the emotional hub of the family. Wang’s canvases, which incorporate Ming Dynasty furniture, evoke feelings of emptiness and desolation, while his glacial sculptures, and the shadows they cast, evoke the silence of an abandoned culture.
The works of TKG+-artist Yao Jui-chung express an interest in history and challenge entrenched systems of orthodoxy and patriarchy. Yao’s conceptual photography is expertly rendered through creative reconstruction; at times the artist himself steps from behind the lens to become part of the image. Unlike his playfully parodic oil paintings, Yao’s photographic compositions — full of palpable suspense and ambiguous clues — invite onlookers to participate in his social investigative project.
Whereas Wang searches for the roots of an “orphan” culture among the fragments of dilapidated antiques, Yao contemplates whether a people dispossessed of an authentic history can be anything other than ghosts wandering aimlessly through the halls of memory. Faced with the disordered confusion of the world today, these artists quietly and gently rebel against the prevailing lies of our times and seek to reconstruct the meaning of human existence.