Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei
We often say seeing is believing, meaning we can only trust what we see with our own eyes. But are our eyes really that dependable? Do all that we see really exist?
An ancient Greek myth tells a story of a competition between two painters: Zeuxis and Parrhasios. Grapes portrayed by Zeuxis appeared to be so real, that they attracted birds to fly over and peck at them. But when he reached over to pull back the curtains that covered Parrhasios’s work, he was surprised to find that the material was the artwork itself. Paintings that use the art technique Trompe-l'œil to represent imagery and deceive optical senses were exceptionally popular during the Renaissance.
To this day, quite a few artists are still dedicated to creating “optical illusions”. They use realism techniques to represent matters in daily life, however imitating reality is no longer the purpose of their creation, nor is it an establishment of superiority. Contemporary artists strive to use humorous, provocative or peculiar ways to challenge our versions of reality. They are no longer gratified by depicting what they observe, rather they’re much more intrigued by existing cognition and how visual senses can create optical illusions, and even the big philosophical question “What is reality?”. Artists deploy their talents and various “tricks” to tease the audience, and in their works explore how illusions can spark imagination and upturn common perceptions.
The exhibition “100% Illusion” was derived from the concept of Trompe-l'œil. Imitations of reality, illusions and the gray zone between real and imaginary form the setting of these exhibits and site-specific works. We invited Szeto Keung, Liam Morgan, Chu-Wang Chou, Goang-Ming Yuan, Hiraki Sawa, Chao-Hao Liao, Chien-Chung Liao and Yu-Cheng Hsieh, 8 artists from Taiwan, Japan and Canada to display a total of 11 works.
Real? Or not? Bring these wonders with you as you voyage through this fantastical world created by contemporary artists. Whilst participating, experiencing, playing in this exhibition, in moments when our emotions are being elicited, when visuals contradict our long-established impressions and unsettle everyday encounters, new reasonings for concepts such as “seeing is believing” and “reality” will be stimulated.