Imagine a Garden in the Universe
by Chang Li-Hao
“There is a little boy. For him, the lines of words are highways, and the letters ride along those roads on a locomotive that is the pen.”
- "The King of the Road" by Winders
From “The Little Prince”, “Peter Pan”, and “Tom's Adventures” to “Alice in Wonderland”, these classic literary works, which are familiar to most people, have one thing in common: the protagonists are children. For them, everything is new, and adventure is natural. Through their perspective, we see how children see everyday things that adults miss, and through the eyes of a child, truths become clear again, providing valuable lessons along the road of life.
This is especially true in art. The great artist Picasso, who created a remarkable amount of art in the 20th century, once said: “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” It is indisputable that some artists reimagine things in the real world more easily than others. They portray these objects from different perspectives using various appearances and forms; it is through these representations that one can see the continuous flow and change of their personal life.
Ying-Chang Lu is a good example of this type of artist. His creation revolve around his own imagination; when he became the father of two children, many pieces of family life blended into his work, and even his children joined in the creation. He invited them to be the objects he depicted in his art, or they even smeared and painted on the canvas at random, inspiring Ying-Chang’s creative inspiration and providing an emotional exchange between parents and children, invisibly promoting one to the other: a cooperation full of dialogue.
Facing the narrative of life sincerely
For this exhibition, Ying-Chang Lu chose the title “Moving Dream” for his six-year Taipei solo exhibition; if you look at the name of the exhibition, on the one hand, it shows the changes to ordinary life brought about by the epidemic: the forced halt to normal rhythms of life and the reductions in the extravagance of travel; on the other hand, the drastic changes allowed an inner return and rethinking of the meanings of personal life. Such seemingly contradictory double meanings reflect the ancient to modern contradictions and struggles of adventurous people who simultaneously pursue a stable life. These contradictions are cleverly displayed through his integration of art.
According to the arrangement of the on-site space, the exhibition is roughly divided into three sections. Each space is like an independent space and time. In addition to several paintings completed in recent years, it also includes three large-scale three-dimensional sculptures that have appeared for the first time. Among them, the “Garden of the Universe,” which is more than ten meters long, is pure white acrylic paint, and outlines a vibrant flower garden of consisting of different flowers contained within the vast darkness. After deliberately drawing away the varied colors, the large and small flower beds in the piece seem to float in an endless universe, illuminating each other and supporting each other like a lighthouse.
Three large sculptures stand in the exhibition hall: a bear holding a ball-shaped object, a rabbit disguised as its own image with leaves, and a duck covered with strawberries, diamonds, and roses. To make them physical in time, he uses them to symbolize the most important emotional bond in his life, undoubtedly strengthening his courage, conviction, love, and hope in support of his ongoing adventure.
Coming to the last section, the walls are distributed with prints from his high-school period of graffiti when his children were still babies. Together with the previous magic stone and garden series, they form six-independent but closely related fragments of memory that roundly represent warmth and beauty, as well as their irreplaceable influence on the development of his creations.
For Ying-Chang Lu, without a family, he was just a lost soul. Through these works that have a deep connection with his personal life, he has created a secret garden that is both a home and his home, and an open space that extends to welcome people to visit, to remind us that we have also had children who are not hesitant but happy, and curious and decisive in exploring all new things. Visitors can relax and let themselves wander in this colorful and deep cosmic garden, listening to the distant stars whispering in their ears, encouraging visitors to look at everything that appears in front of you with renewed interest and perspective.