Dream dimensions

Union Gallery

Exhibit demonstrates intersection between geometry and art

Ying-Yueh Chuang’s Cross Series #3 is made of plexiglass.
Ying-Yueh Chuang’s Cross Series #3 is made of plexiglass.
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Flower Series #1 features ceramic flowers atop a floral-patterned backdrop.
Flower Series #1 features ceramic flowers atop a floral-patterned backdrop.
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Vivid crispness of colour, and a suspended mid-air feel to each work facilitate a rush of surrealism.

Disorienting yet engaging, the surroundings call to a sense of dream-like captivation.

The theme of this main space exhibit is a list of works by Eliza Au and Ying-Yueh Chuang, which infuses the concept of dissymmetry within symmetry. The artist’s statement highlights the difference between the two, explaining how dissymmetry is in essence — Variations on Symmetry — as opposed to its antithesis.

As I walked around the gallery, taking in the view, it was hard to miss the particular piece sprawled across the center of the floor. Chuang’s fragile, complex work Cross Series #3 is a neatly organized army of completely hand-blown, individual colored glass pieces that rise out of a cross-shaped baseboard.

While the layout is fully symmetrical, each of the figures are different from the one next to them, keeping with the theme of dissymmetry.

The pieces were so miniature that I was tempted to pick them up, but upon further thought, I decided against it. Observable in the sea of glass pieces, the use of peacock blues, daffodil yellows and mint greens speckle over the pink foundation, providing thoughtful ornamentation. This creates what appeared to be, if you will, an intricate illustration modeling sea life, or perhaps more accurately, some variety of vegetation.

One might think the strict organization of the naturally inspired glass figurines alludes to genetic engineering; is it possible that Au and Chuang intend to assert an ordered pattern of man’s determination upon the fabric of nature?

Let us consider the fabric of a second piece. After moving beyond the hypnotic lull of Cross Series #3, I was then absorbed by the back wall of the gallery. I noticed how the white surface has been made colourful with a scene-stealing image fashioned of cloth and porcelain flowers.

The piece by Chuang is called Flower Series #1. From afar, it looks like a simple piece of cloth, as the symmetry is so perfect. Yet when an off-centered perspective is taken, depth emerges, allowing the viewer to fully appreciate the dimension created by the bulbous formations.

This transition of focus from the initial striking beauty of the gallery to the carefully orchestrated details that enable the whole — a transition from the macro to the micro — is generally representative of the gallery’s offerings.

Variations on Symmetry challenges its viewers to sift past the superficial to uncover the richness the exhibit carries. Variations on Symmetry will be in the main space of Modern Fuel until Sept. 29.

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