Imprisoned by four walls
(to the North, the crystal of non-knowledge
a landscape to be invented
to the South, reflective memory
to the East, the mirror
to the West, stone and the song of silence)
I wrote messages, but received no reply.
– Envoi, Octavio Paz
Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present M ㄅ V ㄍ M ㄍ ㄇ ㄒ II : Architecture of Consolation, a solo exhibition by BOLT Resident, Cathy Hsiao. Architecture of Consolation is the second of four movements of the artist’s Songbook for Sculpture cycle. In her second movement, Hsiao explores through multiple collaborations the networks of cultural production and circulation between the East and West, this time starting with a single image of a Japanese woodblock and expanding into an architectural tableaux.
Hsiao transmutes the image from the woodblock into multiple material forms. Bodies become studies for bas-reliefs on hand-dyed canvas and their figures inspire scored arrangements of sculptures for ikebana. Hsiao’s experimental investigations into casting and digital mold-making combine traditional dyes of indigo, brazilwood, and tea with lines of concrete and plaster that are laid down in timed-pours and are drawn with her entire body. They harden and condense all the energy of that drawn movement onto a surface.
By using the architecture of a symphony and sound as a vehicle, Hsiao also creates aural forms as counterpoints to the material manifestations in M ㄅ V ㄍ M ㄍ ㄇ ㄒ II : Architecture of Consolation. The exhibit closes with a sound performance with Hsiao and Akosuen and a short moving image work The Bathers, 泳客, produced inside the gallery during the length of the exhibition. The space of the gallery becomes a site of voyeurism, a site of performance and a literal space for the production of an image, all the while amplifying the dissonance and pleasure generated by these exchanges. Through shifts in scale, medium, material, and ritualization, the image is re-energized and drives paradoxical moments of subjugation and solace through the Western gaze.
For More Information please visit: http://chicagoartistscoalition.org/programs/bolt-residency/m-%E3%84%85-v-%E3%84%8D-m-%E3%84%8D-%E3%84%87-%E3%84%92-ii-architecture-consolation
Cathy Hsiao is an artist working in Chicago.
She comes from a background in craft, weaving animal fibers dyed with plants, and was raised by a Buddhist mother. “Plant and Animal Studio” keeps this name as acknowledgement of those histories.