Lin Shu-Kai’s artworks always travel among memories, borders, imaginations, illusions and histories to create a world of fantasy which is more real than fiction.  The fortress in the imaginary land in his painting is built on the cultural context of the ancient city of Tainan.  The painted world elaborates along the veins of the city’s history to naturally expand and grow into a new artistic expression.   


    Lin’s artistic practice is based on three major elements: first, the artist’s immersion in the universe of the folk religion; second, the memory of his family’s contract molding business; third, the complex spatiotemporal dimension of the ancient city of Tainan.  With fantasy and creativity, the artist integrates the abovementioned origins of the artmaking approaches into the exhibits of The Balcony City Civilization-The City of Fantasy Remerges.  


    Growing up in an environment with a strong folk belief practiced in everyday life, Lin has developed a profound interest in both religion and the invisible power.  During his alternative civilian service, Lin, out of boredom, started to paint “ang-á” (figures) as a habit to kill time.  From the original images of “ang-á,” he gradually elaborates and realizes his fantasies by creating imaginative deities.  With references from the tradition of ông-iâ (literally “king,” one of the deities in the folk religion) worship and the imaginative topology of the idea of “realm” (the supernatural realm which coexists with the human world) in the folk belief, Lin has further developed a fictional genealogy of religion.  In this supernatural universe of a made religion, a mysterious city combining an ancient civilization, high technology, and an interrelated network of religions eventually emerges to become the main element that constitutes Lin’s artworks.


    If we take a step further into his artistic context, Lin’s solo exhibition The Balcony City Civilization-The City of Fantasy Remerges also traces back to where the city of Taiwan was originally built: with Zealandia as the starting point, Lin step by step deconstructs, investigates and depicts the psychological catalogues of a Tainan featuring multiple and mixed historical dimensions.  In these works, the immense Universe of Taichiang still temporarily inhabits the civilization which is a mysterious carrier, while the perspective from the future is transmitting an undecipherable code to the present us.  The code can be the secret calling of all the deities that have once existed and been worshiped in Tainan, or a mixture of the artist’s whispers concerning the city, family, religion, and art.  As a pointer of the supernatural spatio-temporal civilization, the artist Lin brings us to encounter with an incredible world in parallel with the daily scenes of Tainan and make us part of the womb of the mysterious civilization.


Duration | 2021.8.27(Fri.) - 2021.9.26(Sun.)

    Tue.- Sun. 10:00-18:00
    Closed on Mondays
    Open until 21:00 on Saturdays
    Open during National Holidays

    No. 37, Nanmen Rd., West Central Dist.,Tainan City 70049, Taiwan


林書楷 Lin Shu-Kai