Meng-shu You, currently a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney draws from her experiences of being based in Taiwan, the US and Australia in transforming the main space at Immersion Therapy into a mini retail precinct.
Making comment on the continual rise of Western Culture at the expense of traditional cultures, Meng-shu’s sculptural works create an economical and social smorgasbord of confused values as a direct response to the incessant commoditization of culture being experienced in Taiwan and beyond.
Adopting an approach of mass production in the face of mass consumption, Meng-shu’s work uses a combination of mixed media to accentuate her ceramic work. In Melting Down, media as disparate as wax, concrete, wood, as well as clay, are transformed through her use of molds and casts which are then replicated at volume.
The sacred and the profane are brought together, mirroring our new world economy, where religious and traditional motifs hold no more value those of commercial powerhouses such as Nike, Coke and the Disney brand. In the quest to merge art and commerce, traditional Taiwanese motifs and values are absorbed and recast, their initial significance forever lost in the influence of the global market and the quest for marketability.
Meng-Shu has previously exhibited in the US, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Germany and in Sydney at the Armory Gallery, 4A and Sydney Design 2006. Melting Down marks her Melbourne debut.
Immersion Therapy hosted a special event to coincide with Earth Day 2009 in which the exhibition was lit only by candle light, in keeping with Meng-Shu's wax works and the Earth Day philosophy.