Newborn˙Confinement -Yi-Ting Tsai Solo Exhibition
To Tsai, painting is like a diary recording the different stages of life. If we look at Tsai's works closely, one may find that the artist undoubtedly puts her life history into the works during the formation of her creative style. In the exhibition at Beyond Gallery, it can be seen that the works are the observation and expression of a personal body from different angles, in which they are not only stemmed from the perspective of a woman but added with the experience of being a mother.
Since she had her last solo exhibition in 2013, Tsai had not held a solo exhibition for nearly five years. During the period of time, she has taken on another role—mother. Tsai is a full-time mother who has never given up her road to artistic creation. Even when she was already sporting a baby bump, she would go to the studio near her house every night. Although the studio space was not roomy, she insisted on unfastening the bundled watercolor papers, kneeing down and bending over on the floor to paint without distraction. To the artist, this is her everyday life.
Tsai named the exhibition Newborn．Confinement after thinking over for a long while. More than a dozen works on display were the recording of her feeling and status during the postnatal confinement after giving birth at the first time. She said, the confinement was a transitional period to her, in which it bore the physical adaptation and identity shift.
Through painting, it is an actual way to know Tsai Yi-ting. Tsai simultaneously employs pastels and acrylic pigments in the selection of mediums, yet she has always insisted on painting on papers. The rich linearity of pastels immersed in the fiber chinks by using hands to swear forms a highly-perceived tactile exposition; and through a large number of lines and a powerful stack of colors, the artist truly demonstrates her psychological conflict, physical shock and the changes of complex emotions.
Art is a projection of life. Even if life is full of components that can be estimated, art cannot be given a concrete definition like life. The protagonist is a leopard in the Newborn．Confinement No.4 and No.6; the leopard is produced in repeated lines, rendering and daring colors, in which it represents the manifestation of true emotions and its eyes reveal sadness, helplessness and fright. In the scene of Newborn．Confinement No.5, four beasts surround a chair. There are metaphorical implications in the painting, on which the chair symbolizes the baby who cannot punch, and the beasts the mothers who are protecting the baby, yet it is safe or dangerous?
From Tsai’s paintings, one can perceive some original messages. The artist attempts to infuse more abstract elements into Newborn．Confinement No.4, in which the dislocation of the human body has become an unpredictable and sculpture-like dimension. Through the entwined and cuddled bodies, Tsai is renewing the “portrait and body”, an theme with which she has been long concerned.
Tsai Yi-Ting, currently a full-time artist, was born in Hsinchu in 1981. She graduated from the Taipei National University of the Arts in 2004 and earned a Master’s Degree in art theories from the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in the UK in 2006. So far, she has had her exhibitions in Taiwan, Japan and the United Kingdom. Newborn．Confinement, a solo exhibition of latest works by Tsai, is held at Beyond Gallery from March 24 to May 5.