HAO NI (TW, 1989)
Residency period: September – October 2022
At La Becque, I started a new sculpture series that scrutinizes the air filtration process in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, using it as a foundation to explore the flow of memories and objects in our time. The sculptural installation centers on the aesthetics of the Air Handling Unit, a metal structure that is equipped with air filters, humidifiers, heaters, coolers, and fans as part of larger HVAC systems. Air conditioning plays a critical role in our increasingly artificial world, where regulating air quality and temperature in our living spaces becomes increasingly necessary as our environment becomes more hostile.
To “filter” materials and information gathered from various times both locally and abroad, the sculpture mimics the appearance and structural language of HVAC units. Handmade paper, threads, beads, and found materials are crafted into pleated shapes that resemble commercial air filters. There are also hanging tapestries produced by computerized embroidery machines create visual representations of the current perception of various temperatures in the context of the global pandemic and changing climate.
Once all the filters are assembled and fitted into specially designed steel structures, they collectively transform into monumental petroglyphs that weave together the diverse moments and narratives of our time provided by individual filters.
The first pieces of this work were presented at the Open Studios at La Becque and the finished work was exhibited in a solo exhibition at T293 gallery in Rome at the end of 2022, following my time at La Becque. — Hao Ni
Hao Ni (b. 1989, Hsinchu) received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Originally trained as a sculptor, Hao often combines sculpture, video and sound performance, exploringdifferent invisible power systems and structures and our daily existences within them. Like a poltergeist, he communicates through found or made objects in playful and chaotic ways by relying on methods such as destruction, mimicry, appropriation and collision in order to break everything down first and then reconstruct it differently later.
His work tends to overlap a wide range of subject matters such as geopolitics, environmental issues, dromology, internet cultures, love stories and ghost stories. Hao’s work has featured in exhibitions at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei; UCCA Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Queens Museum, New York; the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; and Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju.
1-9: Hao Ni, "AHU part I: The Great Filtration", T293, Rome, 2022
10: Hao Ni, La Becque Open Studios Fall 2022
11: Hao Ni at La Becque's wood workshop