Ho Meng-Chuan "Isa"Taiwan
Meng-Chuan "Isa" Ho is an exciting and prolific mixed-media artist who creates photographs that explore what she calls "urban fairytales." Ms. Ho received her M.F.A. from Taipei National University of Art in 2005, and her work has been exhibited widely in Taiwan, throughout Asia, and in two venues in the United States. In 2009, Ms. Ho had her first opportunity for an extended stay outside Taiwan when she received support from the government of France to participate in a six-month residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris. Confronted with an urban culture radically different Taipei, Ms. Ho began creating work that imagined universally popular myths and themes through the lens of a foreigner, an Asian woman, working in Europe.
Grants Awarded2016 | Film, Video | United States
for a three-week grant to complete a project inspired by her 2012 ACC fellowship in New York City2012 | Film, Video, & Photography | United States
ACC funding allowed Ms. Ho to spend five months observing contemporary art activities and investigating the unique urban environment of New York City. Additionally, ACC sponsored Ms. Ho's participation in a creative residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program, and a program at Parsons The New School of Design in New York City allowing her to sit in on classes, interact with students, and work with faculty members at this world-renowned institution.
Double Square Gallery is pleased to present Not the Chelsea Hotel - ISA HO solo exhibition, on view from July 29 to September 3. The exhibition will showcase Isa Ho’s ongoing series of the “Westbeth” project and the newly developed serial work “My Peony Pavilion.” While the subject matter of the two series seem to sit on the opposite end of a spectrum: the young and the elderly, the East and the West; the difference between the series embodies Ho’s continual focus on socio-cultural issues. The “Westbeth” series was inspired by and shot at the Westbeth Artists Housing in New York, where Ho spent over four years documenting the senior artists living there, their daily lives and environment. “My Peony Pavilion” utilizes and blends the traditional Chinese Kunqu Opera and Korean popular music K-pop to picture female self-identity in two juxtaposed temporal and spatial frameworks, by leveraging similar pop culture element. The exhibition title Not the Chelsea Hotel (Chinese Title: The Black Swan Effect) points to a key concept: the everyday mundaneness taken for granted might be overturned by a new piece of information – just as when a black swan was “discovered” by an explorer in Australia in 1697, only then people started to realize not all swans were white and their understanding was partial. The concept of the Black Swan Effect becomes the connecting thread: through presenting the two series together in this show, the artist wants to inform the audience’s preconceived notions of facts having the possibility to formulate utterly opposing meanings, once approached with a new angle with a new piece of information presented.
This exhibition explores some of the current practices by artists working with printmaking who are approaching the form not specifically as printmakers but are in many cases using print as one of a number of forms of expression or in combination with other media. They represent new forms of engagement that is informed by current art practices and the impact of digital media, the relation to drawing and photo based media, as well as in some cases, durational, installation and performative practices. This is represented in the different cultural traditions in Taiwan, London and Madrid where most of the artists gravitate to or are based. It is possible to recognise some of the specific cultural conditions that inform the work from each country and the extent to which traditional forms of printmaking have been embraced or even rejected. The exhibition therefore highlights how these artists apply the concepts of print to their artistic expression. By presenting the prints created from different aspects and in different forms, the viewers will get a grasp of the new vision of printmaking which comes along with the departure from old traditions.
Isa Ho’s solo exhibition Westbeth Project is a five-year photography project that began in 2013 while she was in New York on her ACC fellowship and portrays artists in their flats, thus blurring the line between artists and their home. Isa Ho, who studied painting, uses an editing technic which brings her photographs closer to portrait paintings, and sees her photographs as realistic. “For me, a photograph is a platform on which to create a scene, rather than capture a narrative”, says the artist. Her photographs offer a critical approach to art and growing old in a capitalistic society, alongside questions regarding memory and loneliness.
The exhibition follows the artist's winning the first prize of the prestigious Arte Lagunacompetition, last March. It is the result of the collaboration between Nira Itzhaki of Chelouche Gallery and the competition’s initiatives. Itzhaki served in the jury committee which awarded the first prize to the artist.