Affinity Art, Hong Kong
In The Images Left Behind, Shiu Sheng Hung (b.1987, Taiwan) explores the fluidity of memory through the display of seemingly disparate works.
Vintage postcards, displayed on metal racks in the installation “Time Lapse”, invite the audience to ponder over the existence of the places, people and connections found on them. Most of them would be long gone by now but they are leaving a memory behind - the card acting as the physical trace of their past existence.
Inspired from the landscapes on the postcards, Shiu creates layered paintings that can be peeled away from the support. A few weeks separate the application of each layer and together, they record visually the artist’s emotional state over extended periods. The resulting “paint skins” are arranged into piles by the artist. Propped up against the wall are planks of rare cypress wood, reclaimed from a historical hotel and re-used as table tops. Over time, the scratches, dents and marks on the postcards, “paint skins” and wood panels are inevitable, a deliberate analogy to the flawed process of memory creation – and recollection.
A pencil sketch by the artist’s late mother juxtaposed with a blue-hued photograph of an ancestral home undergoing renovation suggest the artist’s attempt to hold on to the past and reflect his feelings towards the constant uncertainties in life. A mural painting is created at the gallery by the artist using pearlescent paint, leaving the words of the title of the show unpainted. Barely visible, the changing and vanishing visual effects point to the ephemeral and unpredictable nature of memory.
The Images Left Behind is the artist’s invitation for an intimate journey to understand the fluid nature of memories and their pivotal role in shaping our lives and surroundings. In this regard the young artist has created a subtle yet powerful show that is highly pertinent to our times.