After Dawn, Till Moonrise-Aihua HSIA solo exhibition

Date /2017/8/5 ~ 2017/9/3
Reception /2017/8/5 PM3:00-5:00
Artist /Ai-Hua Hsia

Messenger’s Spokesperson

By LAI Yun-hsin

Associate Professor at the Department of Sculpture, NATIONAL TAIWAN UNIVERSITY OF ARTS


The exhibition theme “After Dawn, Till Moonrise” of Hsia, Ai-Hua is an extraordinary experience that she wanted to present in the gray area of time flows. Like during the chaotic moment from day to night or certain time or place, she could be more insightful to the skyline, thereby she can feel things that others can’t. Most people can only see things and people in our dimension, but some people sometimes could see things from other dimensions. And she is the person who can meet the messengers (or fairies) to bring her messages at some uncertain time flows.

Hsia, Ai-Hua graduated from the Department of Sculpture in National Taiwan University of Arts and studied for sculpture art in Japan. However, she is never restrained by general sculpture material and presentation. Her educational background has been the nutrition of her creation, which seems natural and spontaneous, but there are solid academic roots behind.

Raw lacquer is a general material that has been used for art pieces for a long time. Compare to the dark and solemn tone, there are some art pieces created by using raw lacquer are vivid and light. Her art pieces have vivid forms and fresh colors, which are rare characteristics. The technique of “hollow dry lacquer” she learned in Japanese is actually originated from the method of “dry lacquer” in China, which was mature technique to make Buddha statues in ancient China. Although the statues painted by dry lacquer can be preserved for many years, it was costly to obtain raw lacquer because of the complicated and time-consuming production procedures. Even though with the advantage of poison-free, the technique was soon be replaced by the FRP technique with the features of fast and cheap. The time-consuming procedures could be necessary for her to digest the messages brought by messenger through complicated creation procedures in a restricted working environment that requires certain humid and falling dust.

Once in the opening ceremony of her solo exhibition, she talked about the experience that she was surprised by a red toad jumping from dead trees when she took a walk nearby a hotel in Kamikochi, Japan. She was expressed by the scene and thought it was a rare moment to get the creation idea. This reminded me of the Japanese wood sculpture master, Ikki Miyake, who told me he dreamed about god’s message on other day that brought him to pick up dry trunk in the backyard of a temple for art creation. He maintained most part of the dry trunk and carved out the image of Buddha in certain area. Compared to the ascetic practice and serious creation attitude of Ikka, Hsia is like a poet that has seen through the world that she used the experience with the messengers with some playfulness, humor, and understanding to create a series of art pieces, indicating to the world that “it should be more than this, there should be things that are more important!”

“Stick to your dream like a moth flying into fire” is her reply when she was interviewed about her creation attitude. She never talked about the hardship of creation and her life. She believes it is absolutely for her to become an artist. By choosing the technique of hollow dry lacquer, she followed the traditional way to choose materials and material vocabulary. Like ramie used to produce the Buddha statues of hollow dry lacquer is a symbol of worries, the exposition of the three-dimensional art pieces in her solo exhibition is to present the mental emotions while the red gunny is a transformed presentation of bustling red dust in the exposition of the two-dimensional ones.

After Dawn, Till Moonrise




On my way to the Shibuya Art Festival in Tokyo in November 2016, I saw people from various countries chatting on the express train from Narita to Shibuya and the field tinted by the sunset passing through the train window, which symbolized as the path to the subconscious world, like intertwining Kudzu. During the one-hour journey, specular scenes that I experienced when visiting numerous countries in recent years flashing on the train window just like a marquee that used to be seen when someone is dying.

Setting up and opening the exhibition were quite busy for me, especially when I am not good at interacting with people. I invited my friend to an art fair in a garden of Shinjuku. I arrived at the fair earlier, so I took a walk in the neighborhood. I thought I followed a student to a garden or a kind of small forest which is the kind of place I prefer. When I entered the forest, I felt strange because all the sound around me disappeared. It seemed like the world was turned into the mute mode that there was no people talking, bug buzz and bird singing. And there is no one in the park (or the forest), even if the student disappeared. And for my personal experience, I wondered something would be happening. After I went through many trees that were as high as the sky, there was a little boy in a red shirt standing under the sun.

The little boy just stared at me with sunlight behind him. Although he had neither smile nor any particular expression on his face, I felt released that I thought there was no one in the forest. We just looked at each other silently for a while. Suddenly, I thought that where his parents were. So I looked around him and all of sudden, there were people all around and there were puppies running and jumping and butterflies flying. The boy was gone. I walked to the tree that the boy used to stand and I found a colorful mushroom on the ground like smiling at me.

The evening news on the next day reported that there was a fire accident in a wooden maze in the art fair at the garden of Shinjuku. A kid was dead because of the lighting burning the wood dust when he was playing in the outdoor installation art piece, which reminded me of the boy I met on the earlier day. And that’s why I had the idea of this new art piece.


Creation Idea:


The subconscious world has been my creation concept, and this is not an exceptional.

“After Dawn, Till Moonrise” is the time of chaos when the world is at the same space and time, which is much easier to enter the time of subconsciousness.

A few years earlier when I was on the express to Germany, I saw sunset shinning over the wet land. The bushes tinted by the sunset and covered by the mist, which looked like bushes floating over the wet land. The red swan in the front was like a red gunny cloth, which was Kudzu in the Buddha statue, implying the red land with trees and bushes on the ground. The similar scene appeared when I was on the way from Narita to Shibuya, but the difference was the high buildings from far away.

Like a tunnel to subconsciousness, I painted the world and the scene on the gunny cloth and bushes and houses on the upper space, with the tunnel of fairies that appeared sometimes and randomly.

The adventure in the outer garden of Shibuya, I made him as a fairy in red gunny cloth. On the day when the sunlight shined around him, it swept my bad mood in the silent forest. I thought the forest might be my subconscious space to cure my own soul and spirit. Because the setting up of the exhibition in Shibuya did not go very well that my art piece was broken during the transportation… there were many reasons that I wanted to hind myself in quiet space. So I went into the forest and met the fairy that surprise and encourage me.

Subconscious is difficult to explain that it is like an internal space to produce hollow dry lacquer which is an internal universe of Buddha statues. When people encounter difficulties or spiritual challenges, they can help themselves to overcome difficulties and challenges if they can find the subconscious space to cure themselves. This is the inspiration that I want to bring to the viewers each time when I made my art creation.