攝影｜Anew Chen / 黃雅旋
大學時期，張群在藝廊打工接觸到藝術的世界，發現比起設計，她對藝術有更多的興趣，因此畢業後，她前往阿姆斯特丹瑞特菲爾德藝術學院（Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam）讀書，進入Jewellery領域（現更名為Jewellery Linking-body），開啟工藝創作之路，除了學會了基本工藝技術，更多時候是在探討東西與人與空間之間的關係。
When I met her for the first time, Zhangqun left me with an impression of a slow talking, peaceful girl who is lost in her thoughts. I later revamped my opinion having realized that her mind was in fact in the middle of transforming everything it saw.
Having worked in an art gallery during the university, and thus in contact with the art world, Zhangqun discovered that she is more into arts than design.
Proceeding to study in the Jewellery program of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam (now called: Jewellery Linking-body), apart from learning the basic techniques of craft-working on her road to arts, a great deal of her time was spent on investigating the relationships among objects, people and spaces.
Zhangqun returned to Taiwan in 2017. Working in a cafe for a brief while could not hinder her desire towards arts, and for that reason she became a resident artist via introduction from a friend.
”I too wanted to try out this path, which you can know for sure only once you have tried it, and not trying it might lead you to feel sorry afterwards”. She now sews a seam while she talks.
Experimentalist Spirit: Whether to Replace A by B, or to Add One to Another
Fiddling with power systems, industrial designs and other such components is Zhangqun´s favorite thing to do. These seemingly cold mechanisms cause immense curiosity in her. Rather than being a metalwork artist, Zhangqun jokes about being better described as a ”component observer”, for, while metalworking is a technique for creating, what she does instead is taking apart components and plays around with them.
”When on my way to somewhere, I often feel amazed by the amount of uncertainty there exists in relation to objects; like how come this thing functions like that. Are there also other things like it? If it becomes altered, will it still work?”This kind of thinking is the inspiration behind Zhangqun´s creativity.
Even when frequented by those kinds of spur-of-the-moment inspirations, to come up with something handheld, let alone a complete work of satisfactory level, takes its toll in terms of time, for Zhangqun is an experimenter: from starting off with an idea to finding, assembling and adjusting the components, the testing and taking notes never ceases, not even when there have been countless of failed works looming in the end.
In midst of such a process, she is happy.
Opening her notebook reveals the myriads of words describing the inspirations and moods in English. Firm, yet fragile paper, which is found readily available, conveys everything she sees and thinks, as if an important partner to her art.
Profoundly Whimsical Black Humor
Apart from the necessary tools, one notices Zhangqun´s workshop to be rudimentary, and like its owner, not explaining much, but yet possessing a unique presence to it.
Work Introduction: LSD
Love, sickness and death. Thoughts arisen from a door-hinge led to a combination of two silver pieces which chafe in liaison with the continuous wear and tear caused by life itself.
Work Introduction: Apinch
Acting as a brooch jewel, an iron nail is pierced through a letter of affection, as if struck to one´s chest and being responsible for the past feelings of pain. Exert further force and the spring in the middle makes the nail pop free.
An illustration on the package lid guides customers how to open the product, as if to inform people how to hurt themselves. A mousetrap which operates as a clothespin comes with a warning though: if the metal plate is turned according to the instructions, it is possible to hurt yourself.
Looking at Zhangqun´s works, which all are tiny, and listening to her go on about, one can see the radiance emitting from her eyes that tells about the devotion she puts into every work of hers.
These works originate from the different states Zhangqun is in, as her own feelings are part of the art work, whether it be, perhaps, feeling brokenhearted or lamenting. Ultimately though, what emerges is humor.
She is calm to explain: ”Even though my art often reflects my own conundrums, it also makes me think about what can this kind of work bring to others – what can it bring to the world”.
This kind of spirit resembles Albert Camus´ philosophical essay The Myth of Sisyphus; even if the world is about never-ending ridiculousness, the process in which life exists in every moment, and the significance thereof, is sufficient in its own right.
In the coming year, Zhangqun wishes to devote herself more to arts since her time spent in the Netherlands turned out to have had too many things going on, lacking a clear direction of focus. From the artist residency she wishes to have a longer and more steady entrance to the arts affairs in accordance with the stimulating people and scenes that allow one to better find one´s stable footing. And given the chance, she hopes to keep on studying and becoming more mature.
Slow-paced Zhangqun, who had a nonchalant composure in the beginning of the interview was now seemingly expressive of determination and confidence.
2011 藝術與造型設計, 國立台北教育大學
2017 Jewellery, Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam
2015 Object Rotterdam, Rotterdam
2015 Wander&Wonder, Oude Kerk, Amsterdam
2015 Tides of Landscape, Rietveld Pavilion, Amsterdam
2016 Big Fish, Schmuck Jewellery Week, Munich
2017 Graduation Show, Rietvled Academie, Amsterdam
2018 Sometimes, Lonnekerspoorlaan, Enschede