1839 Contemporary Gallery is pleased to announce an upcoming photography exhibition in April, showcasing the fusion of photography and installation art. The exhibition will feature a solo show by the Z generation artist, Yang Chia-Shin, presenting a diverse range of mediums such as photography, video installations, and artist-crafted books, sharing the artist’s personal journey through life experiences related to illness and trauma.

Yang Chia-Shin’s ongoing project, “ENGRAM: Traces of Life in Illness,” began in 2019 and has spanned six years to the present.  This project explores the multi-dimensional aspects of “painful experiences in life” through emotional narratives, subjective perceptions, visual stimuli, and bodily sensations. The exhibition will showcase Yang Chia-Shin’s works created during two periods of her own encounters with illness.

Another section of the exhibition will present fourteen series of works by Yang Chia-Shin, titled “”Seeking one’s own life materials” which chronicles her personal history with illness in a memoir-like manner. Through this exploration, she reflects on the connections between her inner spirit, imagery, and physical objects. The exhibited works are divided into three parts: “Visual and Spiritual States,” ” Reality and Fiction in Disease Memory” and “Exploration of Corporeality and Materials.” The works encompass various forms such as still photography, installations, artist books, and mixed media, combining diary-like life images with medical records, showcasing the relationship between experiences of illness, mental states, and the real world.

The exhibition will be held at 1839 Contemporary Gallery in Taipei East District from April 12 to May 19, 2024. Three sessions of art guide and two artist talks are specially arranged. The 1st art-talk was held on April 20 (Saturday) from 2:30 to 5:00 pm, with the theme of “Curatorial Concept and Creative Core Sharing”. The host was Lica (Li-Chun) MA, and invited Chia-Shin YANG and Hsu-Pin LEE. The second art-talk will be held on April 27 (Saturday) from 2:30 to 5:00 pm. The theme is “The Private Zone in the Creative Process”. The host is Edward (I-Chien) CHIU and the interlocutors are Chia-Shin YANG and Lica (Li-Chun) MA.

We cordially invite you to attend this unique exhibition and join us in exploring the artistic world of Yang Chia-Shin, representing the Z generation.

Exhibition Concept

“After the overlay of time, remnants and memories are a re-examination and statement of life experiences.”

The ENGRAM Imprint Chronicles is a six-year project initiated by the artist in 2019 to showcase two episodes of personal experience confronting their illnesses — the first entails a major abdominal surgery due to gastrointestinal perforation complicated by peritonitis at the age of three, while the second recounts fractures from a traffic collision at the age of twenty-two, followed by a re-fracture at the age of twenty-three. The project explores the multilayered effects of illness on individuals, awareness of living, and being-for-itself (Dasein) through a discourse on these experiences.

Experiences of illness arise from stimuli, such as diseases, trauma, or external injuries, are accompanied by potential or existing physical and psychological damage, and manifest as complex perceptual journeys. Its foundation lies in imprint and pain. Imprint is the accumulation of traces, such as wounds, scars, and marks; pain is multidimensional, negative, and subjectively identified through the collective of personal perspectives, encompassing sensory, cognitive, and emotional experiences.

Engram, a term coined by the German biologist Richard Semon (1859-1918) in his hypothesis on the memory traces — the mneme theory, signifies a physical way of storing memory after the biological entity perceives external stimuli and information. This exhibition, titled “ENGRAM”, is an extension of this concept, with the notion of imprints consolidated into the works.

“Searching personal experience for materials.”

This exhibition, through a memoir-style narrative, dissects the personal history of illness and retraces past experiences and mental states for contemplation of the interrelationship between inner spirit, imagery, and tangible objects. The artworks are divided into three parts — Visual and Spiritual States, Reality and Fiction in Disease Memory, and Exploration of Corporeality and Materials. Works are presented in the form of photography, installations, artist books, and mixed media, combining diary-like images of life and medical records to highlight the link between the experience of illness, mental states, and the real world. This is a manifestation of the “revealing and concealing” aspect of creation based on private experiences, held in the secluded yet inviting exhibition space of the 1839 Contemporary Gallery located underground.

About Artist Chia Shin YANG
Born in Tainan in 1999, Chia-Shin Yang is now a Taipei-based artist. Her subjectivity to experiences of illness and trauma is central to her artwork, where the experiences are extended through a range of artistic media, including photography, installations, artist books, and other mixed media. Her works revolve around concepts of imprints and pain to explore the interplay between the body, visual experiences, materials, objects, and space; to reflect on the emotional narratives, perceptions, corporeality, and the multi-sensory construct shaped by illness and trauma; and to confront the impact of illness on memory and physical and mental states.

Date|2024.04.12-2024.05.19 11:00-19:00
Curated by|Li-Chun MA
14:30 Artist Guide|04.14 (Sun)、05.18 (Sat)、05.19 (Sun)

Art Talk I|2024.04.20 (Sat) 14:30-17:00

Curatorial Concept and Creative Core Sharing
Host | Li-Chun MA vs. Interlocutor | Chia-Shin YANG、Hsu-Pin LEE

Art Talk II|2024.04.27 (Sat) 14:30-17:00
Intimate Spaces in the Creative Process
Host | I-Chien CHIU vs. Interlocutor | Chia-Shin YANG、Li-Chun MA、Yin-Chin TSAI

Venue|1839 Contemporary Gallery
TEL│02-2778 8458

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