Semantic Satiation

DATE: 2017.3.19 - 2017.4.23
ARTIST: chenchenchen, Feng Lin, Gao Yanqin, Lu Pingyuan, Ma Haijiao, Ye Nan+Guo Yilin

Tabula Rasa Gallery is pleased to announce the group show Semantic Satiation, curated by Ye Nan, with the attendance of Chen Chenchen, Feng Lin, Gao Yanqin, Lu Pingyuan, Ma Haijiao, Ye Nan and Guo Yilin is due to open on March 19th, 2017.

Early 20th century, a group of Austrian and German psychologists founded what’s known as Gestalt psychology - gestalt being the German word for shape. They hypothesized that the mind forms a global whole with self-organizing tendencies. This theory is related to an interesting phenomenon known as semantic stations. It happens when a person is exposed to a word or character repeatedly, after a while; the meaning of the word is lost. Gestalt psychology and semantic satiation can explain how our perception of the world is both fragmented and incomplete. People’s emotional response to media moves through many stages, from excited, dependent, to numb, tired and reluctant. Can this psychological transition be understood as semantic satiation on a sociological level? When this observation expands from personal experience to how a society receives and process complex events, or when our social media timelines are inundated with sensational headlines, our political stance and values systems are repeatedly challenged by reality; Some fall into confusion, others withdraw into indifference. This mass psychological syndrome seep into a great many groups of people in different walks of life.

In our Chinese “reality”, it swings with fundamental economic forces, tearing our society apart along with its consensus, and the sense of social unity and belonging. Participating artists here are fighting this “semantic satiation” syndrome, covering a wide range of topics including self-help clichés, ageing of parents, marital psychology, disaster research, or unreturnable homeland… They choose to challenge “reality”. Artists should not only be the creator of beautiful things, they can also break the status quo from their point of view. These works are borne out of extended period of reflection; they are a brave and subjective attempt of exploration and expression.