top of page

Time moves with merciful slowness 

Aug 4 - Sep 16, 2023

Ruofan Chen





GALLERY FUNC presents artist Ruofan Chen’s solo exhibition Time moves with merciful slowness, featuring a selection of her latest paintings, sculptures and moving images. They will be on view from 4 August to 16 September 2023.


We are allowed into a pavilion of portals that deliver us to Chen’s differentiable manifolds represented by the trajectory of falling objects derived from her moving images, the viewports of digital construction of models and textures in her working files, the occurrences of motion blurs visualised through vector quantities such as wind and gravity, and the cache holding transcribed image data of various botanical specimens on canvas.


Most of Ruofan Chen’s new works are based on one of her moving images, Botanical Bank: 54 Objects Transplanted. She continues in this exhibition the act of transplanting in an attempt to rehearse her version of spacetime unaffected by the gravity in present reality. It is an inquiry into the differentiability of meanings and the density of meaning-making through a sighting of both dynamic and static incarnations of transplanted objects. As told by Chen, these plants were taken from Jinshanling and she described the experience comparable to borrowing books from a library. In Chen's new media works, the field forces - particularly, gravity and wind - in the virtual world were set up differently. She has also planted hair on some objects, inviting the audience to embrace the softness. 


Chen’s paintings are renderings of the imagined motion blurs that occur when objects are moving. She investigates the visual characteristics of a specimen and gauges the layers of paint required for the particular abstraction. Soon she arrives at a multi-layered texture material ready for her to move the figurative bodies into the frame, as if the texture is revealed before the model. The composition of both dynamic and static visuals can be read as a series of superimposed still frames, each derived from the overall progression of image movement. The drags and blurs and trails and tails can all be interpreted as vectors demonstrating objects’ directions and magnitudes and representing the depth of Chen’s emotions. 


Ruofan Chen’s yearning for slowness defines her visual bond with nature, and her time keeping system in the exhibition brings us to more questions. Can we ever compare nature’s timepieces to our devices? What is the rates of the earth clocks to ours? Does the earth consider time divisible and differentiable? Does it use time to monitor societal progress? Does it measure anything at all? We are trained to handle between feelings of stress and inertia and start to recognise regular emotional switchings as reliable rhythmic transcriptions that examine our ability to cope. We are always running on clockwork. But Chen is hoping to slow down the movement of the world through her works, “the more gravity stretches out time, the slower time passes. I wish time moves with merciful slowness.”


bottom of page