Once Upon a Future
[Image: left: ©Busui Ajaw / centre: ©Au Sow-Yee Right: ©Chang Li-Ren -Courtesy of Chang-Li-Ren, nca | nichido contemporary art and Chi-Wen Gallery]
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“Once upon a future” is a play on words from the common opening line “once upon a time” we find in fables and fairy tales. These stories are told in every corner of the world and many have been handed down over the years while undergoing some changes. Each of their imaginary, sometimes deformed aspects, has well-rooted origins, and reveals new historical facets by portraying historical background, culture, traditions and spirituality. There are still many lessons we can learn from them as they seem to embody the fear and anguish of our times, giving voice to those who are oppressed by the many forms of control that are present everywhere, yet they seem to hold hope, dreams and an ideal vision of the future. In a time where it is possible to collect a multitude of information through the spread of SNS, we can now share in real time what’s happening worldwide, and we can also come across small stories we would have never heard of before. On the other side, the overwhelming amount of information can cloud our judgement, and quite sometimes lead us to misinterpret the truth.
While coming from different backgrounds, all the three artists on view this time dig into their own personal experience and, travelling back and forth through history, each with their unique approach, touch many complicated and diverse issues that belong to contemporary societies. Moreover, they raise issues we, as well, are likely to face, looking at the future and at what it may lead us to.