By: Laura H. (’22)
Hidden in the corner of Taichung’s famous spa treatment center, Lai Sheng Yung, a professional sculptor born in 1959, recently opened a gallery called “Da Mei Wu Yan”, the name describes the beauty of the artworks as grand or splendid, which leaves audiences in awe. The gallery has started from May of 2022 and will continue displaying until the end of January in 2021.
Lai Sheng Yung’s purpose before establishing his gallery was to emphasize the idea of numbers being an integral part of one’s everyday life throughout his artworks. He repurposes metal stencils of numbers that are around two centimeters long, and glues the numbers together to create a metal shape with a hollow center. His experimental designs intrigue viewers with the idea that everyday life intertwines with numbers.
One of the most notable artworks is displayed at the very center of the gallery. “Hao Shu Cheng Jiao” is a sculpture of a banana with a length of 68 centimeters, and is approximately 26 centimeters tall. This sculpture is priced at NT$260,000, before tax, placing itself as the most expensive sculpture out of Sheng’s auspicious symbol sculpture collection. Composed of over thousands of metal number stencils, the “Hao Shu Cheng Jiao” sculpture is symbolic of the traditional belief of auspicious events occurring in pairs.
Most of his artworks are in the shape of auspicious Chinese symbols or animals, which allows for most of his artworks to turn into striking house decorations in many traditionally influenced families in Taiwan. Each artwork is plastered with paint all over itself, with one uniform color for each symbol. The simple yet compelling gallery of artworks leaves a lasting impression on many viewers.