Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

Still Life 02 - Orchid
  • Wu Chi-Tsung
    born 1981
    born: Taipei, Taiwan
  • Still Life 02 - Orchid, 2009
  • DVD, single-channel HD video, 4 minutes 22 seconds
  • Museum purchase: R. Charles and Mary Margaret Clevenger Art Acquisition Fund
  • Not on display
  • 2010.0068.02
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Nature/Natural," Feb-2011, Kris Ercums
This video demands sustained looking. A seemingly static projection twitches and moves with subtle life as a milky white fluid, much like a morning fog, slowly envelops an elegantly poised Chinese orchid. In traditional ink painting, orchids were a favored subject because the long leaves and slender flowers were ideal for showcasing the expressive skill of an ink master. Wu Chi-Tsung’s work evokes the deliberate, studied observation that was fundamental to the painting’s creation.

In all of his work, Wu carefully orchestrates the passage of time, creating images that confront and even subvert speed, giving rise to a different velocity of seeing than is typically associated with film. We are meant to not only view the orchid and the stillness of its life, but also to realign our eyes, adjusting to Wu’s subtlety, which slows us down from a quickening pace to the steady rhythms of nature. The viewer’s experience which is far from the confines of what he describes as the “Crystal City”-the place where electronic equipment, programs, networks, media and information reside, and in which we live each and every day.