The works displayed in the exhibition are made of glass in different colors used to create illusions of semi-precious stones. This type of stones, for example jade, have historically been very desirable objects, they were polished and placed on small stands that were usually made of a dark wood. In Liu's objects, depth is created by layering different shades of glass on top of transparent glass. He has collected the glass for several years, some of which was made even before he was born, and the connection to his past gives another dimension to the works. For each object, Liu has also designed a unique stand that was printed with a 3D printer instead of the traditional wooden stand. The intention is playful – the contrast between the different materials raises thoughts about copying and authenticity.
"Studying historical objects makes me think about the past, reflect on my existence and look to the future. Since I moved to Sweden, people have always asked about my origins, it made me realize my limited understanding of Taiwan – the country I grew up in. On a visit to the National Museum of Taiwan History, I saw a stone ax in the collections. When I saw the shape and structure of the object, I had a strong feeling of wanting to portray it in glass, the material I master," says Liu Chien-Kuang.
For Liu, working with glass serves as a way to learn more about a complicated outside world. He studies craft techniques from the past and seeks the unspoken stories of the objects. By reinventing the stories, he creates his own material universe.
Liu Chien-Kuang was born in 1988 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Since graduating from The National Taiwan University of Education Art and Design, Liu has worked in Japan, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and China and has been influenced both by cultural differences and different techniques. His artistry has also been shaped by studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts on Bornholm. He also has a master's degree from MA CRAFT! at Konstfack 2019. Today he runs his own studio in Gustavsberg.
7 X KONSTHANTVERK
Stone from other mountain – past, present, future is the fourth exhibition in a series of seven featuring contemporary art and craft. The exhibition series 7 x konsthantverk is a collaboration between Konsthantverkscentrum (The Swedish Crafts centre) and Form/Design Center and the aim is to draw attention to arts and crafts as its own artistic discipline, spread knowledge about and strengthen the exhibit opportunities for arts and crafts in southern Sweden.
For each exhibition, an open call is made among The Swedish Crafts centre's members. The exhibitions alternates between solo exhibitions and group exhibitions.