燈藝風華 The Grace of Taiwan Lantern Art
今日的「燈」，閩南語稱作「電火」。 “Lights” are called “tiān-hué” in Taiwanese, meaning electricity and fire. 花燈是臺灣歷史悠久、保有民俗文化、富於美感的傳統工藝，它不僅是一種雕塑的延伸，更是融合結構學、力學、燈學、美學、材質等跨領域知識的綜合體。燈藝的演變與電力發展息息相關，「火」與「電」如同這段發展軸線的兩端，延展出臺灣燈藝的多彩光譜。
【 燈藝風華 The Grace of Taiwan Lantern Art 】
✦ 展期｜2021/2/21 (五) – 2021/3/21 (五) (免費參觀，週一及民俗節日休館)
✦ 藝術家｜吳敦厚、蕭在淦、林健兒、林玉珠、張秀琴、顏三泰、 莊雅婷、王耀瑞、藍永旗
Lantern art is a traditional Taiwanese craft with abundant historical, cultural and aesthetic heritage. It is not only an extension of sculpture, but also an integration of crossover knowledge, including theories of structure, mechanics, lighting, aesthetics, materials, etc. The evolution of lantern art is closely related to the development of electricity. “Fire” and “electricity” are the two ends of the timeline, pulling open a splendid spectrum of Taiwan lantern art.
Lantern art originates from lanterns and Chinese palace lanterns. Different from the illuminant function of lanterns, lantern art is for appreciation. Thus, the making of it emphasizes on the beauty and creativity. Traditional artistic lanterns in early times were small lanterns called “kóo-á-ting” in Taiwanese. As the electricity access in Taiwan increased, the scale of artistic lanterns grew, generating the unique Taiwanese dramatic electric lanterns. Taiwan Lantern Festival (originally Taipei Lantern Festival) debuted in 1990, and met the new era of modern lantern art in 2000. The Festival has witnessed the transformation of lantern art, during which iron-framed lanterns play the key role. In recent years, as the lantern art’s presentation varies, the definition of “lantern” has broadened, generating explorations of “light”, showing conversations between lighting and materials. On the other land, contemporary lantern art has gone beyond the traditional blessing themes, becoming creations close to daily life.
The exhibition The Grace of Taiwan Lantern Art invites the audiences to step into the glorious grace of Taiwan lantern art through 3 sections, appreciates the beauty of artistic lanterns and the spirit of lantern artists, and broadens their horizon and imagination of lanterns and lights. The section <Unveiling Lantern Art History> focuses on the origin, development and transformation of Taiwan lantern art, further unveils lantern artists’ studio, showing how they apply ordinary tools and materials to make different lanterns. on the other hand, the traditional lantern riddle guessing is also designed, reproducing the light-filled and family-gathering atmosphere during lunar new year.
<Deconstructing Lantern Art Aesthetic> exhibits the unique aesthetic and spirit of 9 iconic Taiwan lantern artists through their works, lighting up the various aspects of Taiwan lantern art. Some lantern artists keep the spirit of craftsman, dedicating themselves to the preservation of the tradition: WU Dun Hou from Lukang, Changhua painted lanterns in traditional ways, portraying his representative style through the colors and details. YEN San Tai from Beigang, Yunlin succeeds the classical Yi-Ge techniques and spirit of his family, preserving the area’s significant tradition. HSIAO Tsai Kan from Hsinchu specializes in constructing lantern iron frame without sketches, passing down the fire of lantern art with enthusiasm. Stumbled coincidentally into the lantern art world, the previous art teacher LIN Jian Er is known for his rigorous construction of massive artistic lanterns and his contribution to the development of Taiwan Lantern Festival and modern lantern art.
Some lantern artists are devoted to lantern art education and the merge of lantern art into life: LIN Yu Chu reforms paper-wrapped iron wires and combines beading with lantern art, exploring the possible application of lantern art in daily life. CHUANG Ya Ting focuses on the base of lantern art – electricity, hoping to pass down electrical knowledge through everyday lessons, connecting Taiwan lantern art to the world. CHANG Hsiu Chin looks into the development from paintings to third-dimensional constructions, merging the delicate human shape and emotions into her lanterns.
Some lantern artists ponder upon the transformation of lantern art, responding to the tradition through contemporary perspectives: WAN Yao Jui and his wife emphasize on forming the touching local stories into lanterns, preserving our generation’s emotion and memory of lanterns. LAN Yong Qi thinks outside the box of traditional subjects, innovating new lantern art through a close-to-audience visual language.
As lantern artists’ thoughts advance with time, the appearance of contemporary lantern art is broadened. Furthermore, contemporary art has brought up attentions for people and experiments on lights, since the establishment of Art Lantern Area in the 2004 Taiwan Lantern Festival. <Exploring Contemporary Lantern Art> broadcasts a short film that first looks back upon the beginning of the lantern artists’ career, then records the meaning of lantern art to each of their life, lastly discusses how the contemporary generation could view and respond to Taiwan lantern art.
Abundant traditions and history are rooted in Taiwan lantern art. In responding to the calling of succession, if we could cherish the experience and aesthetics of the old, and pass down the skills, wisdom and hard works from one generation to another, the grace of lantern art would be imprinted in our culture and collective memory.
【 The Grace of Taiwan Lantern Art 】
✦ Exhibition Period | 9:00-17:00 from 21th Febuary 2021 to 19th March, 2021 (Closed on Mondays and holidays)
✦ Location | Hsinchu City Art Gallery ( No.116, Zhongyang Rd., Hsinchu City )
✦ Artists | Wu Don Hou、HSIAO Tsai Kan、LIN Jian Er、LIN Yu Chu、CHANG Hsiu Chin、YEN San Tai、CHUANG Ya Ting、WAN Yao Jui、LAN Yong Qi
✦ Advised by | Ministry of Culture
✦ Organized by | Hsinchu City Government
✦ Implemented by｜Cultural Affairs Bureau, Hsinchu City
✦ Curated by | Good Creative