A mixed media exhibition delving into the female psyche and the anxiety over external appearances will be held at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in Taichung from Aug. 30 through Nov. 11.
Curated by female artists Tsau Saiau-yue (曹筱玥) and Lin Yu-chun (林昱君), "The Five Wardrobes She Has” takes inspiration from individual psychology, a school of thought developed by Austrian psychotherapist Alfred Adler that recognized how feelings of inferiority impact personality development.
In terms of this exhibition, Adler's theory on inferiority complex is used to explain female consumption behavior, such as what may drive shopping spurges and other material pursuits. Hence hidden insecurities and perceived inadequacies will be fully exposed by the items in individual wardrobes, the curators noted.
The titular five wardrobes will each be manned by an artist — curators Tsau and Lin, video artist Sappho Loh (駱麗真), and U.S. digital artists Chris Coleman and Laleh Mehran — to reflect the top five most common mentalities shared by women held captive by consumerism.
Tsau uses three wedding gowns to express attempts to fill an emotional void through shopping; Lin's interactive light installation reflects a life of self-oppression and denial; and Loh's audiovisual recordings convey the haplessness of those bound by routine and unattainable ideals.
Using technology such as LED lights and live-time Twitter feeds, the two visiting artists Coleman and Mehran approach the exhibition theme from a different angle by exploring the concept of interconnectivity in the modern world and how that relates to the formation of self identity.
Coleman's "W3FI” proves the inseparability of our digital (online) and real (offline) selves and calls for greater awareness of mankind's solidarity, while Mehran's "Constructs of Acquaintance” taps local phone calls and shifts color and speed depending on where the network is most heavily loaded.
Ultimately, "The Five Wardrobes She Has” exhibition seeks feedback and answers from the audience — can true personal security ever arise from achieving material comfort? Or does the hoarding of niceties eventually overwhelm and bury the individual?