“That great mystery of TIME, were there no other; the illimitable, silent, never-resting thing called Time, rolling, rushing on, swift, silent, like an all-embracing ocean-tide, on which we and all the Universe swim like exhalations, like apparitions which are, and then are not: this is forever very literally a miracle; a thing to strike us dumb,—for we have no word to speak about it.”
—Thomas Carlyle, On Heros, Hero Worship and the Heroic in History
From Einstein’s theory of relativity in the last century, to Hawking’s "A Brief History of Time", which concisely told the world about the origin of the universe, many have investigated the essence of time and space. Time, which cannot be clearly defined, has always been a challenging research issue that intrigues lots of specialists of various fields.
Until this very day, no human being and no technology can calculate time without any discrepancy. In fact, there is no necessity to calculate time precisely. The concept and content of time has become more personal, especially for contemporary artists who have gained more knowledge, information and materials than ever before. To be further precise, it is the linear, circulating, repetitive, reversal, parallel, overlapping and several other descriptions and assumptions of time that make all aspects of mankind, including artistic creations, bound by time.
The exhibition Modernology of Time is based on time, bringing together 11 contemporary artists from different ages, including YUAN Goang Ming, HSU Chia Wei, CHIU Chien Jen, CHUANG Chih Wei, DING Chien Chung, CHEN Fei Hao, LI Hao, LIN Guan Ming, CHEN Wan Jen, HUANG Chih Cheng, and YU Shih Fu. While these artists look back at their respective life experiences, they continue transforming their observations on their home country, history and natural or social phenomena into unique artworks.
Some artists use paintings, photography, videos and even kinetic art installations to present their works, applying overlapping strokes to visualize elapsing time; some use rubbing-like skills to remain traces of the vanishing objects like the glimmer of light left in the dark; some make familiar scenes hard to identify through repeating exposure; while some record the dialogs between them and Taiwan’s gods to reexamine the peculiar relationship between contemporary life and faith which cannot be explained by science.
There are also some artists who try to explore the connections between ancient and modern times through inspection. Some artists use their imagination of tomorrow to reflect on the current situation of the island, while proposing a roundabout yet powerful observation; some record the slow process of plants from blooming to wilting, and then translate it into the trajectory of time; some combine nature phenomena with their daily lives, seeking the subtle changes within....Through their various creations, we see a broader view of time, further discovering our own perspectives.
In addition, the interactive digital section“Solar Terms’ Vision”, created by RUMU Innovation, invites viewers to experience how traditionally people live in accordance to the weather changes of the 24 solar terms through interactions.
As Plato once said, time is the silhouette of the revolving sun, moon and stars. It is not independent from the others; instead, it is bounded to interact with all objects around us, creating a relationship that cannot be discarded, further enriching our lives. Possessing both a peculiar and an interesting character, time not only creates but can also destroys. As for how to investigate and define this intriguing dimension, it’s a matter of debate!