On May 31st, the Black and Blue Cosmos Exhibition will kick off in Taitung, representing the third exhibition that has been moved from Taipei to Taitung thanks to close cooperation between the Taitung and Taiwan Design Centers. Not only will this be the first time Black and Blue Cosmos has come to Taitung, but it is also the first time Taitung has hosted a mixed media exhibition.
Unlike other exhibitions, Black and Blue Cosmos uses a diverse range of mediums – including graphic design, 3-D figures, animations, interactive programs, and augmented reality (AR) – to allow visitors to explore the theme through different lenses, adding a distinct texture to the exhibition. The curators hope the diverse range of mediums can inspire visitors to embark on their own creative journeys, and clearly see that “art” can span across multiple mediums and dimensions. At the same time, the exhibition has partnered with local schools to host workshops that demonstrate the value of handcrafted artwork – igniting students’ creativity and fostering the next generation of designers.
Several years ago, Chen Pu, the artist behind the exhibition, began using black ink “blobs” to create shapes of various lifeforms – like seeds, fruits, plants, and animals – and then using a neon green ballpoint pen to outline each one. These embryonic forms of “black and blue” have since evolved into over 100 different representations, each of which embodies its own unique attributes.
While each representation is decidedly unique, together they serve as a metaphor for the setbacks and challenges we meet on our journeys into adulthood – symbolizing the bruises they leave behind. Pu expresses this idea through multiple mediums, from animated 2-D graphics to stationary physical sculptures. By using a range of mediums to express a single idea, the exhibition expertly navigates the space between the virtual and the tangible, using the virtual space to push beyond previously defined limits to graphic design and further enhance intricately detailed graphic design. The different mediums used include: 2D animation, 3D animation, interactive programs, and physical sculptures.
The Taitung Design Center is focused on nurturing young artists by offering exhibitions dripping with creativity – this is especially true in the case of the cross-functional and mixed media Black and Blue Cosmos Exhibition. Beginning at the Taitung Design Center, the exhibition meanders throughout the exhibition hall, with 2D animations, interactive installations and 2D graphics lining the walls, bookcases, and even the window lattices.
Upon entering the exhibition, visitors find themselves face-to-face with a black-and-blue placard that explains the significance of the artwork. For extra charismatic flair, black and blue balloons – in the shape of a manta ray and a flying fish – appear to be suspended in midair, while 8 tangible sculptures (including four brand new pieces: a clouded leopard, a wild boar, an illuminated deer, and a plant) are scattered throughout the space. These playful additions align with the AR display lining the walls of the center, allowing visitors to download an exclusive Black and Blue computer program, that enraptures visitors in a treasure hunt whereby they must find the bruises via their touch screen.
▌ About Taitung Design Center
The Taitung Design Center is a city that plans through human-centered design, and one that works to illuminate and solve problems. Taitung invites locals, immigrants, administrators and visitors to experience Taitung and offer their own perspective about government administration, natural environment and urban life.
After remodeling the old visitors’ center, the Taitung Design Center officially moved into a brand new open space last August. At the same time, they opened a series of enlivened spaces and design projects in the culturally rich old train station. By planning exhibitions related to Taitung, they are both increasing the space’s value and also communicating with the people in a more subtle way.
▌ About Pu Chen
Pu Chen is the artist and curator behind Black and Blue Cosmos, director of 247 Visual Art, and an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Applied Arts at Fu Jen Catholic University. Pu Chen began his career as a graphic designer, later crossing into multimedia and physical artwork – and finally connecting different platforms and interfaces with a unique visual flair, with works spanning across graphic, spatial, and digital media. Black and Blue Cosmos is a visual ecosystem, tying together artwork that spans across dimensions and mediums into a single universe – and using the abstract to capture the scenes of daily urban life.
The “black and blue” team integrated the intricate aesthetics of stationary artwork into an animated image, whereby the animation enhances the visual impact of the originally stationary graphics. At the same time, the dozens of unique representations of “black and blue” are fully integrated into the space. His works has won international honors, including recognition at the :output awards, a gold medal at Hong Kong’s HKDA GDA, a gold medal at WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, Germany’s IF Award, the Judges’ Special Award at Filmfest Hamburg, and the 2018 Best Design Group award in the Taiwan Best100 awards from Shopping Design.
▌ Exhibition Information
Date｜2019.05.31 – 2019.09.01
Time｜10:00-18:00 (Closed on Mondays)
Location｜Taitung Design Center (Google map)
Official Organizer｜Taitung County Government
Executive Organizer｜Taitung Design Center
Joint Organizer｜Taiwan Design Center
Curator｜Pu Chen / 247 Visual Art