Paris Internationale 2020

20 - 29 October 2020 

Capsule Shanghai is pleased to participate in Paris Internationale with artist Huang Hai-Hsin with her solo project titled PLAYTIME, a reference to the 1967 film set in Paris by Jacques Tati. In PLAYTIME, Huang Hai-Hsin questions the notion of modern playtime in a consumerist, constantly connected society consisting of a cascade of incidents within a larger mundane context yet viewed through critically satirical sentiments. Earnest humor is strewn through the work bordering the line between amusement and unavailing melancholy that situates viewers awkwardly in-between performer and spectator to bear witness to the subversive brilliance of everyday leisure.


Wielding pencil and paint with a direct sense of urgency and confidence, Huang Hai-Hsin's renderings of banal life reject centrality and presents life holistically through concurrently zooming inwards and outwards within a grand, theatrical stage in Bosch-esque fashion: beguiling flora dangles overhead, a puppy's pure geniality frozen in time, a balding man surveys his modest sublime, to a muted scene of dumbfounded spectators naturally drawn to a grey rock while a flock of influencers takes selfies with another. Human presence continues to be felt nearby at an arm's reach if not directly within the canvas. Amidst the absurdity, time collapses in the artist's French Park large drawing as abundant leisure contrasts social activism adjacent the same circular park. The frank, unrestrained depictions of existence act as both critique and acceptance of reality.


With regard to the theme of modern playtime, the motif of the selfie is transformed into an iconic pop culture gesture. The paintings and drawings, created with a sense of momentary temporality, mirrors the fleeting nature of the selfie. Similar to a simple click of a button, Huang Hai-Hsin's paintings present determination and resolution in the clarity and speed of the brush paralleled by the directness of pencil on paper. Through a series of sketches, drawings, and paintings, Huang Hai-Hsin documents the world unfold before her eyes revealing as much about herself as she is her surroundings.


Perhaps it is the stern gravity Huang Hai-Hsin treats the commonplace or inherent absurdity of contemporary life that contrasts the unsullied colors and elements of satire in the boundless possibilities in looking, strolling, gazing, participating, observing, drawing, thinking, and experiencing.