The Mall

The artist's interest in landscape painting continues to ferment and we see recognizable places such as those in the Angkor Wat series (2009) and identifiable spaces in the images of the European churches in House of God (2004) transition gradually from reality into a state of phantasmagory. Beneath the highly poetic colours and brushstrokes of The Mall series launched in 2011, the phantasmagoric space provides the viewers almost a vision of philosophical dialectic, which undoubtedly is a reflection of Foucault's notion of heterotopia. In the 1967 speech "Of Other Spaces", Foucault proposed the concept of "heterotopia", a term re-assembled from vocabulary referring to a special, in-between zone of the real space and the utopia. This special zone has not only conglomerated heterogeneous elements but also possesses great ability to disturb and to transform, it is a baffling place where reality and fantasy coexist. Through the intertwined lines of perspective, The Mall series places the viewers in their own subjective position. As a symbol of capitalism, the mall relates to the domain of desire and offers a subtle critique of it.

Hsiao I-ling


Independent writer & cultural worker.

Doctoral Program in Art Creation and Theory, Tainan National University of the Arts, Taiwan.