Critics’ Picks

Lai Chih-Sheng, 30 cm, 2017, polyvinyl chloride, 1 1/4 x 19 x 1/8".

Lai Chih-Sheng, 30 cm, 2017, polyvinyl chloride, 1 1/4 x 19 x 1/8".


Lai Chih-Sheng

B1, No. 88, Yanchang Rd., Xinyi Dist.
September 2–October 8, 2017

If 30 cm (all works 2017), a common thirty-centimeter plastic ruler stretched and distorted by Lai Chih-Sheng, can be used to navigate “Between Dog and Wolf”––a title inspired by the French expression “entre chien et loup”—it suggests that our familiar methods of assessment are of no use in a site of uncertainty, metamorphosis, and transformation.

Lai creates minimal works that are often connected with the unseen labor behind producing a show and the display systems within a gallery: Placement notes and handmade marks from installation processes appear in Tape, paste filler and paint, while dust collected by cleaners from another exhibition was mixed with cement to create the concrete benches of Resting in the dust SL.

White Painting, a large canvas meticulously painted in acrylic, shares the same height of the wall it leans against; meanwhile the centerpiece, 8 cm inclination, features two facing gallery walls that are tapered on the same end to appear as if they’re on an eight-centimeter slope. The gap between the walls and the floor, typically for cleaning or for leveling artwork, is generally meant to be overlooked, but the artist mines this detail to foster new circumstances in the site of the gallery. And Trash Can, a semitransparent waste bag hanging from a white metal bin, which is printed with the text “LE CRÉPUSCULE,” alludes to the hour between dog and wolf, when anything is possible. Here, remnants and residues hold immense potential.