Pin-Ling Huang: Dreams Rise From the River Surface

Pin-Ling Huang:
Dreams Rise From the River Surface

2021 10.29 - 12.4

The gallery will be open as usual on 11/7 (Sun.) on occasion of ART WEEK TOKYO

©Pin-Ling Huang
Press Release

Venue: nca | nichido contemporary art
Date: 2021.10/29 (fri.) – 12/04 (sat.)
Gallery hours: Tue. ~ Sat. 11:00 – 19:00 (Closed on Sunday, Monday and National holidays)

nca | nichido contemporary art is pleased to present Taiwanese artist Pin-Ling Huang’s solo show “Dreams Rise From the River Surface”. Huang stores fragments from her personal experiences inside a sketchbook transforming her inner world into landscapes. Coming to life through soft, clear colors and smooth brushstrokes, such unique landscapes exist only in the artist’s imagination, yet they seem to evoke nostalgic and familiar feelings.
For the exhibition’s title, Huang draws inspiration from writer Alexander Vialette’s quote she stumbled upon in the book “Dans le Meilleur des Cas” (In the best possible situation) written by a friend writer, Ja-Han Chu: “Dreams rise from the river surface, and I stop my steps. Dreams know about many things but don't know where themselves came from”. Huang believes that feelings and memories stocked in our subconscious blend together and, taking different shapes, reveal their own true nature through dreams. Trying to incorporate such fragments into her paintings, Huang creates ever multilayered pictorial representations through a new approach where the artist proceeds by overlapping brushstrokes of different colors.
We can catch a glimpse of what scenarios could potentially unfold inside these visionary worlds expanding our awareness. On this occasion, Huang presents recent and new works together with the large-scale painting showed at Hong-Gah Museum (Taipei) earlier this year.

Dreams Rise From the River Surface

The Covid19 pandemic has cast a long shadow over the world and continues to wreak havoc on our lives.
Since March 2020 we have been incessantly forced into adopting new ways of life swallowed by the pandemic swirl with its limitations to hosting any type of event or gathering, travel restrictions and social distancing measures. All of us living through such times have yet to wake up from this nightmare that has radically changed our existence. We need to find ways to escape if we want to keep a sound mind under the pressure that comes from everyday life, whether on a mental or a physical level. And it is only in our imagination that we can find solace and protect our true selves from the storm.
Four years after her solo debut at nca | nichido contemporary art, Pin-Ling Huang returns to the gallery with the exhibition “Dreams Rise From the River Surface” that brings together the artist’s production over the past two years. Skillful at scooping up imaginary landscapes, Huang effortlessly spins stories with her brush within the size limitations the canvas imposes, and incorporates all the detailed, different endings created by the tip of her brush in an ensemble of colors that symbolizes nature. It is right there in the twilight zone where the line between abstract and figurative art lies that we find the essence of Huang’s paintings. Compared to her previous solo show where her work was prevalently dominated by azure, limpid and clear tones, this time we experience new warmth that brings along a breath of fresh air. However, when discussing the backdrop against which her creations came to life, Huang explains that, on the contrary, it was a time characterized by uncertainty and constant hardship where the artist also moved out from her studio. The impact of the pandemic forced her to a vulnerable place, both as an artist and as a person. Despite the circumstances, Huang was able to somehow hold on to herself through her painting by facing the canvas body and soul and living her creative activity as some sort of sacred place. It is inside the paintings and the worlds unfolding on the canvas that the artist has found the energy to live.
Compared to her previous work, Huang’s artistic practice appears to have taken a further step toward a more mature phase where the artist creates each of her pieces in one breath. The large-scale paintings “Whisper of the Mountains” and “Vault of Heaven” bear witness to the author’s elegant and gentle sensibility, yet, they also represent nature in its glorious and sublime true form while giving voice to emotions that intricately pervade the canvas. By looking at the color contrast and at the light/shade difference, we can perceive Huang’s effort to engage in a dialogue with an environment that cannot be overruled. The medium-size paintings “Poetries Lingering in the Mind”, “Le Rêve”, “Dreams on the River”, and “Flowing Memory”, are equally centered around the natural environment, yet, if we draw a comparison with the structure of Huang’s previous work, there is a clearer distribution of both rhythm and contrast in terms of visual weight. Moreover, through the introduction of meteorological elements in the desolate and gloomy atmosphere, such tangible image creates additional depth inside the two-dimensional reality of the painting. Under this perspective, each title finds its own three-dimensional interpretation inside the canvas providing viewers with evidence to support their considerations. The relatively calm and warm hues we see in Huang’s “La Dolce Vita”, “The Mountain is Dreaming”, “Night Flâneur”, “Feeling at Ease”, a series of same-size paintings, contemplate the unexpected turning points in life, fractions of seconds of pure happiness. The innocent nature of the works on view sharply conveys the subtle feelings and the difficulties people struggle with on a daily basis.

In the grand scheme of nature, whether on an individual level or as collectivity, humankind plays indeed a very small role. Yet, the impact of people’s presence on Earth is deeply devastating. Huang’s work, instead of shading light on new challenges or perspectives on life so far, functions as a constant reminder of the things we have known all along but have ended up forgetting caught up in our daily routine. By allowing dreams to keep on floating there in the river surface, we find the answer to our inner wandering, as well as to the world we are currently living in. If we can take an honest look at ourselves and protect our mind as needed, when the time comes, paintings will properly reward us.

Zoe Yeh / Curator, Hong-Gah Museum

Pin-Ling Huang (born in Hsin-Chu, Taiwan, 1986. Currently living in Hsin-Chu)
2014 DNSAP L’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris
2009 BFA: Taipei National University of the Arts, Taiwan
Main Solo Exhibitions: “Unnamed Land“, Galerie Nichido Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan (2019), “Unknown Road”, Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, Taiwan (2019), “6 am. In a Bright Daylight”, WinWIn Art, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (2018), “Deep Wind”, Gai Art, Taipei, Taiwan (2018), “Dust in Mind”, nca | nichido contemporary art, Tokyo, Japan (2017), D'ailleurs” Galerie Paris Horizon, Paris, France (2015), “Inner Land” A Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan (2015),” Lonely Land “Beaux-Arts de Paris, Paris, France (2014), “A Piece of Peace” MU Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic (2013)
Main Group Exhibitions: "Sound Talks: Local Soundscape Collecting Project", Hong-Gah Museum, Taipei, Taiwan (2021), "Maison et Univers", 102 ART, Tainan, Taiwan (2020), “A Place of One's Own” JuMing Museum, Taipei, Taiwan (2016), “Remaining Sceneries “, galerie nichido Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan (2016), “I Send You This Short Note | Co-Exhibition by Hua-Chen Huang and Pin-Ling Huang” Winwin Art, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (2016), “New Abstract Painting in Taiwan “, Jing Lu Art, Taipei, Taiwan (2015), “What Are We Mapping”, The Pier-2 Art center, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (2014), “Melting Potes! 2013”, Musee du Montparnasse, Paris, France (2013), “The Islands of The Day Before”, Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan (2013)

©2009 nca | nichido contemporary art. All Rights Reserved.