Through the Membrane
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Polarizers, Acrylic, Galvanized square
14 (m) x 14 (m) x 2.9 (m)
Cheng Mei Materials Technology Corp.
Kuan-Fan Chen + A.S studio
Xiang Yu Co. Ltd.
Rex Chu & Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Liu Che Chun
We define the space around us by observing and perceiving light and shadow. That is to say, our perception shapes our basic understanding of this sensory world, and hence the “reality” we believe in. If our experiential knowledge and awareness of space are challenged, would our definition of a “real phenomenon” also be changed?
Through the Membrane utilizes optical polarizers to change how light passes through space. The installation does not rely on any electromechanical devices. Simply with creative use of material and structure, it presents a super-sensory experience in space where reality and illusion are inextricably juxtaposed.
The creative collective WHYIXD believes that audience experience is undoubtedly the core of an artwork. Therefore a set of special polarized glasses was designed for the viewers to better interact with the installation. As the viewers walk inside Through the Membrane, they are able to observe the microcosmic world created by the artwork, as if they were temporarily endowed with some superpower.
Through movements of head or body, the viewers are no longer passive members of the audience—they are enabled to not only interact but also bring changes to the surroundings. When they recognize the connection between their body and the installation, their perception of space becomes stronger and keener. It is intended for the viewers to develop different body awareness in contrast to experiential knowledge already acquired. Together the unfamiliar and the accustomed bring forth a sense of “X-Reality”.
Through the Membrane is a multi-layered immersive installation. Its interior is difficult to be seen from the outside and thus it intrigues people to walk in and find out. As the viewers “pass through the membrane” between layers of circular boundaries, the optical effect of polarizers creates a unique visual illusion—what seems to be solid black walls suddenly becomes transparent.