Born in 1992 in Ilan, Taiwan, Yu-Cheng Hsieh is currently studying in the graduate school of the Faculty of New Media of the Taipei National University of the Arts, majoring in media arts. His artworks specialize in mixed media and spatial installations, with a recent focus of using fluorescent paint as a medium to delve into the virtual/substance, internal/external space, the possibilities of the way of seeing, as well as the relationship between illuminator and image. Yu-Cheng Hsieh was awarded Taoyuan Contemporary Art Award 2014, Silver Medal at National Art Exhibition 2016 for New Media Art Category, and was selected by the European League of Institutes (ELIA) NEU NOW festival for their programme in 2016 and 2017. This year, Hsieh was awarded Next Art Tainan 2018.
1. Can you tell us something about the favorite piece of your own work?
My favorite work is Shadow Side, which was conceptually created by fluorescent light tubes and their own shadows. The concept is most similar to the prototype on which I used fluorescent paint to investigate the relationship between subject and object. If everything could have its own shadow to manifest its existence, then an illuminating light tube would seem to be an exception, as it could only cast shadows of any other object but never its own. I imagine if there would be any other way for a light tube to manifest its own existence? That is basically the question I tried to raise.
2. Where do you get your inspirations?
Most of my inspirations arise from transient moments in my everyday life, or those inspirations would just come to me unexpectedly; I would as well look for some subtle sensation while waiting for inspiration.
3. Why do you find fluorescent paint so fascinating?
I guess I like how fluorescent paint somehow responds to a certain part of myself, despite the fact that the material is generally used for entertainment or public purposes, such as on billboard or fluorescent light. The paint just came out as a new technique that can so effectively catch people‘s attention on the advertisers’ products. Therefore fluorescence is mostly associated with such visual intention that is aggressive and intrusive.
To me, fluorescence is a material that can emit light in darkness; it is a form of luminescence that can deceive and protest the cognitive model that things only appear due to light. If reality is merely the projected image of everything by the fire in a cave, then the essence of fluorescence has revolted against the relationship of active and passive.
4. What do you want to express through your works?
To express an experience that is rarely encountered. Although these works mostly originate from personal reasons, it would be an ideal expression if it could provide to the viewers serenity to actually experience the moment.
5. What does “light” mean to you?
Light is the basis for images, it is as well a scale for time and space. I always feel enchanted when observing its slowness. It is a transparent perception, an invisible but substantial medium.
6. Do you think you will continue on your path as an artist?
At this moment, I think one needs some luck to be an artist. Creativity, on one hand, is to organize one’s thought, and on the other hand a profession. I wish to maintain a balance between the two so they could become mutually beneficial to each other.
7. The truth or a white lie, which would you choose and why?
A white lie. The truth lies in the past, a white lie is a choice in which the truth also exists.
8. Eyes, ears, nose or mouth, which one would you choose and why?
Mouth. The other three options are less likely to be injured by this.