/ The moment that trigger the urge to create

About the exhibition

Visual—Gustatory synesthesia

Visual—Auditory synesthesia

Text/ Yaman Shao


“Achieving Serenity in Madness, predicting the drastic changes in the world over the years.
"The Place Where There Is No Darkness", is a mood filter to see thousands of changes.”



In November 2020, I have tried to share with the guests some ways of seeing on the second floor of ALIEN Art Centre. I experimented with my and my father’s creations through the composition of picture and sound. By doing this, it is also a driving force that urges me to continue to create. Through the actual creation process, I experience some emotions that are not available to only curating and therefore maintain my enthusiasm for art creation.
For me, this is a frequent practice as far as I can remember. However, it was different for my father. When he was 52 years old, the same month when Gyatso Rinpoche gave him the Dharma name, his energy of creation exploded.
There reveals a strong contrast from imprisonment to liberation in his creation. Since I have witnessed parts of his entrepreneurship process, I would describe this strong emotion as a tenacious will and respect him for this. After all, it is an inevitable process for a creator to becoming an artist, and he skipped the groping process and directly reached the near artistic level for artistic creation.

In November 2020, Encountering Serenity in the midst of Madness exhibition opens. Madness and Zen are the first impressions most people have of my father and me recently. They think that my father’s and my personalities are far from each other and feel quite interesting. "Crazy Zen", the dharma name given to my father by Gyatso Rinpoche in April 2019, means that there is fixed opinion under the appearance of a crazy idea. I translate the English title of the exhibition “Crazy.Zen” as Encountering Serenity in the midst of Madness which means "Achieving Serenity in Madness". Although the above-mentioned visual feelings used to understand this exhibition are all reasonable, I hope that through the brushstrokes, colors and textures, or visual sounds in the picture, it can touch everyone's mood, which may be fun or pleasant.

Music and art do not need words but may affect ordinary people with instinctive and profound feelings.
However, you may be already aware that, as the exhibition diversifies, the time the viewers is able to spend in most contemporary art exhibitions is far less than the time the research team has spent prior to the events: the extended production resources are to pay for all aspects of files construction or for the purpose of issues discussion. This means that it is most important for the audience to receive the meaning or feeling sent by the work itself in a more limited time, and whether such feeling can continue to affect them after the event, which I think is the most significant thing that arts deliver.
"Achieving Serenity in Madness" describes the state that after forcing oneself to the extreme, one enters a state of “voidness”, which may encourage us to transcend the original state and enter the next stage. The works exhibited in Encountering Serenity in the midst of Madness came out of such scenarios, and by the title became the first comment for my view of arts.

The ALIEN Art Centre has gone through three complete four-season cycles since re-opened as a contemporary art museum. Sunlight has added a layer of non-negligible time perception to the relationship between art and the architecture. Light and shadow have left a fleeting moment of surprise and treasure: surprised at sunlight adding the sensibility of time to space; cherishing the perfect position of light in space at a certain moment. To see today's same scene tomorrow, you must wait for a year, while the sun may not be out next time. This experience of encountering unexpected things and for the feeling to stay in our hearts is like where we have been with someone on a certain day in a certain year, and what we have experienced there together. We need to have "time", "space" and "uncertainty" at the same time to create a one-time, fleeting eternity. The daily changes of the sunshine of four seasons in the ALIEN Art Centre originally only existed in my diary, but it gradually became my second annotation for viewing art.
The Place Where There Is No Darkness became the successor to the exhibition Encountering Serenity in the midst of Madness.

For this exhibition, I think space plays the role of carrying information, and the elements in it are the information that exists to highlight the changes of the seasons. Therefore, this is not a display behavior for the purpose of publication, not only because the works will be replaced by the evolution of the four seasons, but also that the arrangement of works in space is itself an organic state of creation. According to my personal experience, there are several moments that will trigger the urge to create: for example, the feeling of a certain moment is so strong that I want to keep that moment; I try to create certain images to convey a message due to some unspeakable feeling; I feel deeply about something that I try to raise an objection in another way - which in turn can lead to debate and discussion. The above-mentioned are all ways of documenting the trajectory of life. Finally, based on these foundations, if some kind messages can be extracted and utilized from the works, may it be a kind of relief in the face of thousands of changes, just like the English title: The Place Where There Is No Darkness that there would be no darkness.

S.Y.T., Without Darkness, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 189 x 189 cm © ALIEN Art Centre

S.Y.T., Thousands of armed forces, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 189 x 189 cm © ALIEN Art Centre

S.Y.T., Liberation, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 189 x 189 cm © ALIEN Art Centre

S.Y.T., Being down-to-earth to make a fortune, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 189 x 189 cm © ALIEN Art Centre

Yaman Shao, The Miracle Four Minutes, 2021, 4'00, loop, Single channel video, colour, silent

Yaman Shao, The Light from the Distant Stars, 2021, oil on canvas, 160x135 cm © ALIEN Art CentreCentre

Yaman Shao, The Hands of Sunlight, 2021, 0'35, loop, Single channel video, colour, silent

Yaman Shao, Stone, 2021, oil on canvas, 46x33 cm © ALIEN Art Centre

Yaman Shao, Moon Light, 2021, oil on canvas, 162x130 cm © ALIEN Art Centre

Yaman Shao, The Entrance of the Dream, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 235x118 cm © ALIEN Art Centre

Yaman Shao, The Milky Dream, 2021, oil on canvas, 91x72.5cm © ALIEN Art Centre

Yaman Shao, Flowers in The Window, 2021, Dimensions variable, Installation © ALIEN Art Centre

Yaman Shao, In the Studio © ALIEN Art Centre

S.Y.T., In the Studio © ALIEN Art Centre