Befriends Wood to Gives It a Beauty of Light Touch
04:10, March 21, 2015, China Times
Ericamigo Wu 吳垠慧／Taipei
Wood is more than just the material for the sculptures of Warrior God Guan Yu and Bodhidharma. It can also become books, scrolls and pages flipping in the winds, as weightless as silk scarf. The Taiwanese artist Liang Ping-Cheng transforms the seemingly heavy wood into the visual language of slimness and lightness. By releasing the weight of the wood, he also sets himself and the audience free from the psychological stress.
After his first encounter with wood sculpture at the age of 40, Liang swapped his oil paint brush with a sculpture knife and replaced his canvas with wood. Sixteen years on, he remains enthusiastic as ever. His solo exhibition, "It" Flips, Space-Integral Series” is currently held at Art House. More than 20 of his best-known works since 2001, including “Gravity Release”, “Wings飛行”, “Unity合”, Utensil & Anti-Utensil, “The Doors門” are showcased.
“Wood is as imperfect as humans. It is important to go with the flow. I discover, not create.” Liang explains that his sculpturing is the process of befriending wood. He does not draw sketches or designs. “I work with wood. Different from clay, wood used to be trees, alive. My sculpture follows the trace of life. So, I can work with decayed wood.”
Liang was graduated from Department of Fine Arts, Chinese Culture University in 1985, with a major in painting. During that year, he staged an improvisational painting exhibition at Jia-ren Gallery for 27 days by painting all over the ceilings and floors of the gallery. When he lived in seclusion in Sanyi, he started to explore the new possibilities of wood sculpture. It is, again, going with flow, that becomes the pillar of his three-dimensional artworks.
“Why does wood have to look sold, solemn and spherical? Is there a way to make wood sculpture light and weightless?” This was how Liang created “Gravity Release” by making slim wood slim beautifully curvy.
Once the weight is let go, the object becomes so light that it can fly. This is how “Wings 飛行” came to life. “It is like throwing a silk scarf to the skies and watching it gently floating down”, said Liang.“Illegible Book” is a parody about the loss of reading habits in modern life. “Books are not read. Only looked at.”
His recent work, “Connection” draws inspiration from the void status of between the praying hands. The two wood pieces are combined with two different shapes. “Particles are connected to become everything and anything in the universe. It is the primal force of life.”
Ping-Cheng LIANG 梁 平 正