Image / Shape: The Interactive Formation of Ju Ming’s Sculpture and Photography
In a world of constant changes, we are all historically situated spectators and it is through this interactive process of changing and viewing that the only dimension of truth is gradually unfolded. Sculpture defines the nature of space in the attempt to materialize its own existence in a world of unbounded space, while photography transforms the ephemeral nature of time into a moment of eternity via utilizing its capacity to reproduce and represent. Sculpture and photography are two distinctive forms of art and yet, in essence, both serve as a type of visual language: sculpture materializes visual objects from physical space while photography represents visual image of memories.
In 2019, Juming Museum presents Image / Shape: The Interactive Formation of Ju Ming’s Sculpture and Photography, a research exhibition that explores the corresponding relationships between “images” captured by photography and “shapes” embodied in sculpture. These relationships are examined through sculptures from each period of Ju Ming’s career and their correlative works of photography in Taiwan. Photography is often considered from the perspective of time while sculpture from the scope of space. To move beyond this clear-cut dichotomy, the exhibition seeks to understand how the seemingly unexpected pair of photography and sculpture shares the same repertoire of visual signs, in which a dialogue between the two could take place. Based on the possibility of such dialogue, this exhibition takes one step further to invite the spectators to think beyond the horizon of visual creation and arrive at a world of imagination. Following this line of enquiry, the exhibition is divided into three sections and each section corresponds to one of the stages in the thinking process from which the works of sculpture and photography are created: “Between Image and Shape,” “Beyond Realism” and “Shaping Images.”
“Between Image and Shape” exhibits the portrait sketches, sculptures and photographic works related to Ju Ming. The interpretive concepts and ways of expression for “image” and “shape” are explored from the perspectives of sketch, sculpture and photography. This section also showcases how different visions are embodied in a variety of artistic creation. Starting with a photograph taken by Ju Ming, “Beyond Realism” reflects the atmosphere of the art and literary circle in 1970s. At the beginning of the booming development of photojournalism in Taiwan, had Echo of Things Chinese and Human Realm adopted a different way to interpret and report Ju Ming’s successful individual exhibition at National Museum of History in 1976? Moving from the photograph taken by the sculptor to the sculptures captured in the photographs, this section endeavors to explore the possibility of going beyond realism in sculpture and photography. “Shaping Images” explores both fields of sculpture and photography with a focus on the “images” derived from “human beings” in artists’ personal interpretation. This section contains two sub-categories: “body” and “existence.” Each sub-category exhibits sculptures from Ju Ming’s Living World Series as well as photographic works from photographers. By presenting such a juxtaposition, this section seeks to unfold the process of shaping images in sculpture and photography as well as to understand how these shaped images could invite the spectators to look beyond the visible and see the imagery. As the exhibition progresses, sculpture and photography will be explored from one perspective to another, in the attempt to understand how the two interact with each other, recreate themselves in the dynamic interaction and eventually present unique repertoire of visual signs to the spectators.