Born in Yilan, Taiwan in 1979, HUANG Zan-Lun has experienced several twists and turns in his artistic career. He has studied in Navigation Department at National Suao Marine and Fisheries Vocational High School, the Department of Applied Arts at Fu Hsing Kang College, NDU.ROC, the Department and Graduate Institute of Early Childhood Development and Education at National Hualien Teachers College, and the Department of Visual Communication Design at Jinwen University of Science and Technology. After completing his term of military service, he entered the Department of Fine Arts at National Taiwan University of Arts in 2006, where his artistic career officially began. Growing up in a fishing village, he had spent some year working on the sea before he stepped into a city life surrounded by digital technology. The previous experience has thus offered him better sensitivity to observe and to speculate about environmental and technological issues.
Huang is one of few artists who use sculptures to discuss the issue of technology. His artistic concern mostly focuses on the subtle relationship and development between new media and humanity. Series of his works adopt mechanical units to simulate the pulse of life in the creation of “cyborg” – a hybrid creature. The works mock human beings for projecting their desires onto other creatures with the help of technology. Huang’s works touch upon the ethics of technology as he combines images of two creatures to create an alien. The artist fully expresses his critical attitude toward the contradictory essence of such a hybrid. In his works, we see a creature, which is more than a robot, carrying its sadness to reflect the juxtaposition of our fear and desire. Meanwhile, the artist reveals his sensitive speculation on technology and humanity in the gaze of the works.
Dolly, the first cloned sheep, was born in 2002. Since then, genetic engineering has taken a huge step from mechanical technology to challenge biological ethics and humanity. In 2006, a lab in the UK successfully made a hybrid cell with genes from more than two creatures. As a result, the mouse produced in the lab had human ears. A hybrid no longer merely exists in our imagination of the future, but the reality. David is a hybrid combining characteristics of human and multiple creatures. He does not look like a human, but he has stronger psychological sensitivity, which is revealed from the insecurity of his gaze. It seems that he belongs to nowhere. The sense of loss prophesizes his contradictory existence as the artist’s response to technological ethics.
The artist grew up in a time when Taiwan experienced a rapid development of high-tech industry, which soon became the trend of the age. Meanwhile, we started to welcome waves of digital revolutions in our daily life while new technology and 3C products kept replacing the existing ones. The change of the society influenced the young artists’ choice of media. At the same time, when humans were celebrating the coming of the new millennium, a new age of artificial intelligence and biotechnology arrived. Dolly the Sheep, the first mammal produced in the lab, was born, which fundamentally changed our perspective on technology and civilization.
The first exhibition of new media art/technological art was held in Taiwan in 2002. In 2006, we welcomed the first Digital Art Festival Taipei, followed by the establishment of Center for Art and Technology at Taipei National University of the Arts. Since then, “technology” has become a trendy medium to express and to reflect the spirit of time in the development of Taiwan’s contemporary art. It is not only an aesthetic symbol of a period of time, but also touches upon people’s imagination of a future society. Huang’s works were created in this trend. From the countryside in Yilan, the experience as a sailor, and the life in the city, his artistic practice always reaches a subtle balance of contradiction between Nature and technology no matter how the world confronts the impact of new technology and civilization. He evokes a deeper level of humanity to examine the technological age we live in. It is why we can always feel the warm touch of humanity in his works.
|Chinese title：||衍練 David|
|Medium / Classification：||Mixed Media|
|Collection Unit：||Courtesy of the artist|
|Contact method for authorization：||
|Related Exhibition：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1971-1980|