Image Reading 2015-2

Chu Fang-Yi


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stoneware, glaze, paint, canvas board
250 x 150 x 20 cm
Chu Fang-Yi says his series of works is an examination of how we ‘read’ visual texts, a study of what he calls the ‘innate human capacity for interpreting pictures’. Images have been used to communicate ideas and beliefs since prehistoric times, in every culture. They pre-date language – in fact pictographic symbols are the precursors of language. For Chu, this propensity to decode images is a biological imperative, much as a tiny baby first learns to recognise the distinctive shapes of the human face. In a culture of words and language, he feels that some of this ‘visual literacy’, that does not stem from rational or conscious thinking, but instead is deeply rooted in physiological and emotional responses to the world, has been lost. In this series, 3D objects attached to the canvas may represent pictographic elements of Chinese characters, forming ambiguous yet beautiful symbols. The works in their entirety reference the minimalist, spare brush marks of literati painting, yet are entirely modern.
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