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Press Release

"Dream Fragments between Illusion and Reality --Exhibit by Frances T.R. Shao" American Cultural Center October 26, 1998 - January 8, 1999

PR9843E | Date: 1998-10-23

The American Cultural Center lobby display cases will showcase "Dream Fragments Between Illusion and Reality -- Exhibit by Frances T.R. Shao," a small-scale art exhibition, from October 26, 1998, through January 8, 1999.

The American Cultural Center lobby area is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon until 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays. It will be closed on Sundays, holidays, and November 26 and 28. The American Cultural Center is located at 54 Nan Hai Road, Taipei.

Included in the exhibition "Dream Fragments Between Illusion and Reality" are six installations by Frances Shao, an artist who has been working with ceramics for more than ten years. Her works combine clay and metal in surreal formulations. Two consistent features in her work are large-bodied ceramic figures with disproportionately small heads and the use of subdued earth tones. By featuring such figures, the artist hopes to create a quiet poetry within a surrealistic atmosphere. The figures play the part of individual personae, while each installation is a scene in her self-directed drama. Each scene portrays a part of the artist's world view. For this special display, an additional material -- glass -- is introduced into her works, symbolizing ideas that are elusive and uncontrollable, yet still exist substantially in the world.

The keys to these allegorical works are the titles. They function as "narrative poems" wherein words are another path to express the core meaning of the work, in much the same way as a traditional Chinese painter uses verses written on paintings to expound on the artistry of the painting. The following are three examples from Shao's work:

1. "Discarding Darwin's Evolutionism, I Rather Believe Angels are Hiding in the World" includes seven glass angels sitting or standing in front of a panel that consists of six time-counters. It implies that scientists cannot further confirm the truth of the theory of evolution. Therefore, at the end of the century, Shao prefers to believe that every human and creature has its guardian angel in this chaotic world.

2. "At Chopin's Funeral, I Heard Mozart's Requiem." There are nine ceramic figures struggling to seek balance, while a glass chair sits under an iron rack. It implies the role and the responsibility of the artist are predestined. When the artist is creating a work, the anxiety and restlessness of his soul are always accompanying him. The role of an individual might be vague but nevertheless exists.

3. "The Respected and the Destroyed are Mixed at the End of the Century." Ceramic and glass figures are placed in layers or meet with each other in the air. This work suggests that those who are respected and depended on will soon be subverted, during the millennial adversity when old and new values change rapidly. However, there is no clear answer to the issues of right or wrong, or definition of the truth.

The artist presents these allegorical scenes as an abstract micro-view of the state of modern humanity, while they also present a revelation of the artist's conceptual world.