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Resonance: Howard Fonda & Etan Pavavalung

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Post date:2024-01-16



Resonance: Howard Fonda & Etan Pavavalung
Event Time
Tue.-Sun. 10:00 – 18:30
Event Location
1F, No. 128, Lequn 3rd Rd., Zhongshan Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C
Etan Pavavalung and Howard Fonda have each previously held their solo exhibitions at Asia Art Center, an opportunity now bringing them together. They have had the chance to acquaint themselves with each other through art. And, in this shared artistic exploration, they have discovered a common aesthetic and intellectual curiosity, leading them to forge a profound connection despite their distinct artistic styles. Upon Fonda’s first encounter with Pavavalung’s art, he was immediately captivated by the artistic expressions interwoven with ancient traditional elements and a reserved, gentle touch. Moreover, Fonda recognizes a resonance in Pavavalung’s profoundly rich yet approachable symbolism that mirrors his own artistic creations. On the other hand, Pavavalung sees an alignment between his own life philosophy and Fonda’s philosophical quest to advocate for prosperity in harmony among oneself, histories, and the Other through art. Even though their artistic practices have flourished in different cultural contexts, and their styles of expression markedly differ, the core of what they perceive and deeply care about as artists reveals remarkable resemblances. The proposition of this two-person show, built upon their distinctiveness and inspired by the idea of “resonance,” seeks to place the artists’ aesthetic sensibilities—shaped by their disparate life journeys—within a meaningful context. By doing so, the exhibition also aspires to explore the interconnected commonality of art that goes beyond linguistic and cultural boundaries. When considering the interplay among an individual, local histories, and natural surroundings in which they are embedded, one can discern nuanced parallels that are quintessential to both Fonda and Pavavalung, almost as if they occupy opposite ends of a reflective relationship. Fonda, a descendant of immigrants in North America, embarks on a journey of rediscovery within the indigenous natural landscapes and the rich tapestry of local histories and cultures through the act of painting. While Fonda is renowned for his vibrant and playful artistic language, Pavavalung, an indigenous artist from Taiwan who shares the heritage of Austronesian culture, develops a distinctive style known as “Trace Layer Carve Paint (derived from the Paiwan Language, ‘Vecik’),” employing art as a powerful means to critically reassess and reaffirm one’s personal cultural contexts. For both artists, art serendipitously emerges as a tool for commentary and response to their individual circumstances. This connection stands as a testament to the universality of art which allows for the revisiting of everyday life, and represents a practice of distinguishing one’s own self-understanding from that of the Other.

At the core of the discussion surrounding this exhibition is the shared concern of both artists for nature and all living beings. Despite the contrasting differences in their art, they unite in their shared vision of art as a dialectical method for pondering the symbiotic relations between oneself, history, and the Other. Their artistic pursuits, furthermore, reflect a deep aspiration to transcend linguistic and cultural boundaries and to strive towards the realization of an ideal harmony.

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