Hidden discreetly in a corner of the historical Essex Market, a minuscule space has been chosen by Cuchifritos, a program of the Artists Alliance, to display the marvelous works of two Taiwanese artists—Meiling Liu and Hsiang Lu Meng. From August 14th to September 13th, the location is held for the exhibition “Being Here”, which shows non-objective paintings, as well as a few porcelain sculptures precisely placed on the floor and in glass cases.
Both artists just recently settled in New York City and use the process of art as a means “to understand the unfamiliar, foreign land of the city and to comment on the “behavioral and material differences between cultures.”
I was given the opportunity to speak to Hsiang Lu Meng, the sculptor of the ceramic shoes, about the inspiration and meaning behind her pieces. It is evident that Meng is fascinated by feet, or particularly by shoes, as shown by the continuous use of the symbol as a theme. Often times she takes notes and observes how people stand in the city; in fact, the sculptures are based off on individuals that she has seen while ambling through the streets.
For instance, there are two pairs of shoes placed alongside one another, which represents a couple. Meng also notes how the simplistic shoes she creates do not contain soles because she did not want to give the pieces personal qualities or “souls”, which allows for the audience to imagine themselves in the porcelain shoes.
Hsiang Lu Meng also has another collection of works that were placed against the wall and contained in glass boxes, which grounds the pieces and allows them to feel more settled. Compared to the shoes on the floor, the ones in the cases actually have soles and subtle characteristics, which are supposed to represent each member of her family.
With her innovative instinct and creative mind, Mei-Ling Liu uses recycled and local packing objects as well as the addition of hues to create large abstract, non-objective paintings. With the careful consideration of composition and form, she has the ability to transform “garbage” into exquisite pieces; in fact, the viewer is unable to tell that her art is made from such materials due to her careful manipulation of the elements in the works. Through the use of such materials, Liu is able “to express her internal and external thinking patterns” and show that everything has the potential to become beautiful as long as there is a catalyst—someone who is willing to give the subject the opportunity to evolve.
If you so happen to be in the neighborhood, grab a bite at one of the food stands in the Essex Market and walk into the space to experience the intricate works of Meiling Liu and Hsiang Lu Meng at the exhibition – Being Here.
Featuring work by Meiling Liu and HsiangLu Meng
Curated by Jodi Waynberg, in association with Residency Unlimited
Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space
120 Essex Street (located inside Essex Street Market)
New York, NY 10002
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday from 12-6pm
Cuchifritos is free to the public and handicap accessible.
Writing by Ilsoon Jeon
Photography by Arte Fuse, the gallery and the artist