2 OCTOBER - 13 NOVEMBER 2021
16 OCTOBER, 3:00 p.m.
Tina Keng Gallery 1F, No.15, Ln. 548, Ruiguang Rd., Neihu Dist., Taipei 114, Taiwan
In the early cool of mid-autumn, the Tina Keng Gallery is pleased to present Jason Chi’s solo exhibition Equanimity, a culmination of his recent paintings created over the last three years. The driving spirit of this exhibition is the exploration of time. Time is a recurring motif in this particular body of work, while the artist’s lingering memories and the emotional texture of the exhibition interweave, working together to open up both expansive and intimate spaces for imagination.
The aesthetic vocabulary of Chi’s works is rooted in minimalist abstraction, and his paintings often feature vivid colors, methodical lines, and enigmatic depths of space. Although the artist has gradually shifted his focus from spatial to temporal exploration in recent years, his creative philosophy remains the same: He derives inspiration from scenes of his daily life, and he uses his brush to capture these ephemeral moments. Chi meticulously spreads, sweeps, saturates, and trickles the pigment across sheets of linen until “the painting slowly reveals its true face.”
The artist consistently tests the limits of traditional abstract forms of expression. If painting is the practice of seizing a moment in time upon a canvas, Chi endeavors to emulate fleeting moments that invigorate his works. Take for example the painting for which the exhibition was eponymously named: Equanimity was created at the height of the pandemic, and it depicts delicate meteor-like brushstrokes soaring across a dim night sky. By conflating the flow of light and darkness, Chi demonstrates the interlacing of time and space, granting the viewer a glimpse at a moment that is never to be experienced again. As the artist himself elaborates, “I hope my paintings capture the trajectory of this period. They testify to the tranquility and anxiety, the order and chaos of this era. At times light and lithe, at other times heavy and hard, the paintings ultimately capture the simple emotions embedded in a fleeting moment. I often tell myself, as both a reminder and an aspiration, that I must maintain my peace of mind amid a world of disruptions.” In a deeper sense, the artist exposes his own psychological universe through the tempering of his unique artistic language, leveraging his ability to strike a balance between rationality and sensibility amid chaos. Chi forgoes the use of complex narratives in his paintings, instead producing works directly from his stream of consciousness. While they embody a natural visual style, it is equally evident that they involve a high degree of formal construction, with each component carefully constructed to convey the artist’s particular emotions. Although the paintings in this series appear to draw from the same palette, when viewed together, they produce an inexplicably mesmerizing visual effect.
Equanimity adopts the flow of time as a metaphor for the artist’s conceptual journey. Jason Chi reflects on his altered states of mind, induced in part by the pandemic, and he expresses his experiences through pure abstractions. The synergy between the aesthetic minimalism of his paintings and the manifold layers of interpretation they hold is sure to evoke a deep sense of emotional resonance with the viewer.
About Jason Chi
Born in Taichung, Taiwan in 1969, Jason Chi holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a dual bachelor’s degree in art and architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design. Chi has been traversing multiple identities as an artist, curator, collector, and art promoter for many years, and his steadfast determination in pursuing his ideas remains evident in his every move. The artist’s abundant sense of vitality distinguishes his paintings from more traditionally static works. His works are housed in the collections of the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, and White Rabbit Gallery in Australia, as well as private collections. Jason Chi currently lives and works in Taichung, Taiwan.
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