Hung Yi-Chen redefines the meaning of the pictorial, retaining the window-like shape of the frame but discarding the traditional content of paintings, simplifying the work to three basic elements: pigment, frame, and canvas. What appears to be a twisted frame and a shrunken canvas are in fact the result of reproducing objects and recreating texture. A variety of frame thicknesses and the flowing quality of pigments are realistically restored in the tranquil atmosphere of the exhibition space. Hung’s works are informed by American abstract expressionism and minimalism. She tends to emphasize simplicity in material and form, to minimize excessive processing, and to use the original quality of the materials. With simple four-sided shapes to decrease the possibility of concrete shapes and forms conveying an ideology, she explores repeated or evenly distributed techniques to create a “frequency” of rational dialogue between the canvases.
Untitled (2009) is composed of two symmetrical pieces, 180 cm in height by 150 cm in width. Hung used a blue pigment so dark it resembles the pitch-blackness of the ocean floor. The left panel with its thick layers of acrylic paint depicts the creative memories underneath the crisscrossing lines of the canvas. Compared to the handcrafted feel and complex layers of textures on the left, the spray-painted fiberglass right panel exudes the feel of an industrialized replication process. The other work, also Untitled (2009), 60 cm in height by 300 cm in width, is made of fiberglass, spray-painted red. The artist took the shrunken and warped canvas then replicated it from a mold and transformed it to give it the look of a streamlined top-end sports car. Underpinned by this dialectical play, both complex and rigorous, the making of the original work and the re-presentation of the replication all take part in Hung’s never-ending process of self-questioning. (Li-Ching Chiu)