Chih-Chien Wang | A Helper

A Helper, exhibition views, Galerie Les Territoires, 2015. Works courtesy of Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain.



From January 16 to February 14, 2015
“Generally [art as social interaction] refers to a piece of creative work or performance which interacts with the society and the public through the medium of art, or even produces a whole new relationship between art, the society and the public. It is certainly political art, but goes beyond the traditional role of political art as propaganda or dissertation. Instead, it is built with people at its core; the artist often connects with the civil masses through ideas, action and the media, constructing a commonality in order to bring about reflection and change. This kind of “socially-engaged art” is also called “the art of social change” or “the social practice of art.” In today’s world (…) the art that interacts with society becomes the cornerstone on which a civil society is built and the power of the public arena is redefined.” – Wu Mali, “An Exhibition on the new ways art, society and the public interact”
“The action of helping can arrive at any moment in different non-specific contexts. This act of altruism is intended as a form of behaviour encouraged by the good citizen. However, as a teacher, working to foster this kind of learning brings me much as an individual.” (Text originally in French) – Chih-Chien Wang, in Eloi Desjardins, “Chih-Chien Wang « A Helper » @ Les territoires”

This project is a collaborative exploration of the boundary between self and others via the figure of A Helper. Drawing on several media and forms – including conversations, storytelling, documentation, drawing, photography, video, body movements and re-enactments – the exhibition weaves together a world where need and offer coexist and where the act of helping is illustrated as a movement of connection. A Helper emphasizes process and approximation; it transports the viewer through individuals’ pasts and encourages acknowledgement of the presence of others. The artist thanks the Canada Council for the Arts for its support.
Chih-Chien Wang’s works have been seen in exhibitions including: Dazibao, Optica, Gallery 44, Gallery TPW, The New Gallery, Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery, Dare-Dare, Art Space, Jack Shainman Gallery, Aperture, Musée de l’Elysée. Recent exhibitions include at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2008, 2010), the National Gallery (2010), Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain (Montreal, 2014, Toronto, 2013), Expression (Saint-Hyacinthe, 2014), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2012 – 2013) and Musée régional de Rimouski (2013).
Eloi Desjardins, “Chih-Chien Wang «A Helper» @ Les territoires”, Un Show de Mot’Arts, January 29, 2015.
Stephen Lyons, “Interview with Chih-Chien Wang,” in Rearranging desires: curating the ‘Other’ within, (Montreal: Gail & Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art and Concordia FOFA Gallery, 2008).
Alice Ming Wai Jim, ed., Rearranging desires: curating the ‘Other’ within, (Montreal: Gail & Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art et Concordia FOFA Gallery, 2008).
Anil Ragubance, “Chih-Chien Wang: The Poetics of Empty Hands,” (Peterborough, Ontario: Artspace, 2006).
James D. Campbell, “Mediating the Object World: The Gentle Taxonomy of Chih-Chien Wang,” (Toronto: Gallery 44 exhibition catalogue, 2006) 6-15.
François Dion, “Combinaisons,” Spirale 215 (2007): 32-33.
Conversations in contemporary art, “Chih-Chien Wang,” Youtube, October 13, 2013 (video).

Messages to a helper, documentation, Galerie Les Territoires, 2015. Images : Galerie Les Territoires .

Sol LeWitt, “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art” and “Sentences on Conceptual Art.”
Jorg Heiser, “Moscow, Romantic, Conceptualism, and After,” e-flux.
Romanticism,” excerpt from A Guide to the Study of Literature: A Companion Text for Core Studies 6, Landmarks of Literature, ©English Department, Brooklyn College.
Frazer Ward, “Introduction,” in No innocent bystanders: performance art and audience, (Hanover: Darmouth College Press, 2012), 1-26, accessed on Google Books.
assistant, assistante,” Larousse.
Chapter 1 In Search of a Definition,” excerpt from Isaiah Berlin, The Roots of Romanticism, (Princeton (?): Princeton University Press, 1999).
Wu Mali, “An Exhibition on the new ways art, society and the public interact,” in Art as Social Interaction: Hong Kong / Taiwain Exchange, Issu (2014-2015), 3-4.
Chih-Chien Wang, Messages to a helper, notebook, LED lights, tablet, 2015.
——–, A fictional boat, inkjet impression on archival paper, 2015.
——–, Upward running river, inkjet impression on a bevel-cut wall, 2015.
——–, A Helper, diptych video projection, 17 minutes, headphones, 2015.