Although the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have been eased, some people still choose to shelter in place or wear masks, and the hustle and bustle of city life has become trapped in a cycle of lockdowns and isolation. In the meantime, a raucous is heard coming from the outside, perhaps sparked by Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense’s first-ever release of the All-out Defense Handbook on its official website, or the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War and the China-India skirmish, as well as other conflicts in Iran, the Korean Peninsula, and elsewhere. As crises loom and various incidents appear before our eyes, under such intense geopolitical pressure, we are faced with overwhelming conundrums that involve issues such as selective politics, inflationary economics, or cultural imposition. Caught in the midst of such circumstances, how should we face and prepare for the situation? The exhibition of War Preparation by Chang Ling shows the artist’s thoughts on war preparation. The artist has reconstructed his creative language to consider topics such as emergency responses, daily necessities and supplies, and survivability and has created paintings and installations to examine the challenges we may soon face.
Illusion Society is a major art series that Chang Ling has been developing for many years, which comprises depictions of different historical everyday scenarios or faces of humanity. The series directly probes into realistic desires that are concealed by illusions and illustrates an alternative reality that is restricted and distorted. People are overcome with anxiety after seeing tragic images of war, which causes shock and fear of the unknown. At the moment, people can only continue to drift between whether to see or not to see, to think or not to think. Chang Ling has transformed these feelings using art, exploring the various madness and paranoia that have developed from the circumstances, and the artist opts for an approach that masks and alters history, as he subjectively reconstructs collective memories. Pseudo-arrogance, on the other hand, presents an alternative reality that has branched from expanded memories. The images presented evoke a sense of temporal and spatial displacement and illusion, where temporal linearity ceases to exist, immersing at the moment only in images that are an amalgamation of fragments. The various stories that are growing from it are the result of the interexchange between history, the future, and memories, and the mise-en-scène that takes place between them persists to undergo impact, where a collective logic of sensation unexpectedly becomes apparent. These images that seem to be relicts of premonition have leapt over language barriers, leaving behind some kind of archives of future civilization, with fragments of memories blended together to result in slices of future landscapes; the sole intention is to point toward a fantasy of a life in perfect order.
This expectation of a new world is a powerful explosive that’s thrown toward the existing state of affairs.
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