Triosophia from Paul Chan’s Breathers series explores the idea that a moving image can be experienced in three dimensions. The installation features three billowing figures dancing and swaying with the use of industrial fans. As the nylon fabric gets filled with air, the figures swell with mesmerising and repetitive movements that resemble people pushing and pulling one another. They seem to be constantly trying to coexist between discord and harmony. The work addresses age-old questions about how artists can depict movement in sculpture, a form usually considered static and permanent.
Interested in the world of animation and moving image, Paul Chan is known for his single-channel videos, projections, and multimedia projects that draw on popular culture, philosophy, and historical narratives. His kinetic art combine and expand the traditionally disparate categories of sculpture and moving image.
About the Artist
Paul Chan (b. 1973, Hong Kong) lives and works in New York. He withdrew from art-making between 2009 and 2014, and established Badlands Unlimited, an independent publishing press. After his hiatus, he began making sculptures that bypass the limits of the screen, relying on supporting technologies such as sound, electricity, and mechanical devices. Chan was recently named a 2022 MacArthur Foundation Fellow. His work is in the collections of M+, Hong Kong; Tate, London; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, among others.
Breathers, a major solo exhibition of his recent practice, is recently on view at the Walker Art Center and will travel to the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU, Richmond (2023) and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2024).
Image at top: Paul Chan. Triosophia, 2015. Nylon fabric and electric fans on plywood support, concrete-filled shoes, and electrical cables. M+, Hong Kong. © Paul Chan. Photo: Lok Cheng, M+, Hong Kong