“A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art” – Paul Cezanne. Taiwanese artist Tung Ming-Chin does something different. He plays with themes of inner emotions and the subconscious mind and expresses them through his masterful wood sculptures.
In his wood carving projects, Tung shows objects and figures attempting to break free from the wood. As if they are trapped and are desperately trying to just free themself. Metaphorically, the person is trying to break free from the psychological prison.
His smoothly polished wood sculptures often deal with themes of inner emotion and the subconscious mind.
His sculptures regularly show figures trapped within the wood, pressing themselves against the outer layer in an attempt to break free.
His 2013 work Breath is a metaphor for “the transformation of a physical space into an inner psychological space affected by vision.”
Tung was born in Changhua, Taiwan, and received both his BFA and MFA from Taipei National University of the Arts.
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The objects that are trying to break free symbolize inner emotions and the subconscious mind. Tung Ming-Chin demonstrates how these things are trapped inside us as they attempt to get out from the conscious mind.
“The Birth Of A New Hero”
Metaphor is an interpretation of the inner space and an expression of imagination. It can not be easily classified as a state of mind with shapes, like feelings, the poetic, time, the conceptual, and the non-visual. It is free imagination which releases the consciousness and explores the world of sub-consciousness.
It discusses the transformation of a physical space into an inner psychological space affected by vision. The features vaguely reveal the clue of inner shape, and further lead imagination of the views towards the inner space.
“A Stack of Heads”
Metaphor is an interpretation of the inner space and an expression of imagination. It can not be easily classified as a state of mind with shapes, like feelings, the poetic, time, the conceptual, and the non-visual.
It is free imagination which releases the consciousness and explores the world of sub-consciousness. It is a specific state concealing under a hidden space.
In this work, perfection is symbolized through the sculpture’s round shape. Because there are bulges on the ball, one can only roughly see that there are two human figures inside. It is not clear whether they embrace or push away one another. One can only imagine, not decipher, what goes on inside the ball.
The self-portrait is a good way of articulating the inner self, as it allows the author to express poetic feelings, non-visual concepts or inexplicable state of mind using coded metaphors, and in so doing to liberated imagination and the unconscious mind from logic and reason.
Through the facial expression and hand gesture depicted by the self-portrait, one can detect the hidden metaphors and unearth the psychological state of mind of the author.
“Changes Inside the Forest”
The forest is a symbol of society, from the various vicissitudes within the work, the form of the forest appears, its contents coming together in a whole, complete form.
With the details concealed, we can explore the inside of this piece by looking at its exterior and imaging the interior. In a reversal of the way we usually view things, we may unearth further subtleties within.
“Between Round and Square: Past, Present, and Future”
The growth of trees easily takes ten, hundred, or thousands of years and the wood grain assuredly recorded the climate changes in the past. This process of co-growth between trees and the world perfectly matches with the creative concept.
The work is presented in the prismatic form; the appearance of the object demonstrates the passing of time. At the bottom of the pillar lays the ancient jade cong and the plastic bottle sits on the top.
What are your thoughts on these beautiful wooden sculptures?
Image credits: tcaaarchive