“The Show: Construction Site” is a long-term photographic project that artist Sheng-Min Huang launches for paying tribute to the labor force and blue-collar. By conceiving and imagining the construction site as a theatre or stage, Huang explores the people and things that happened on the site with a poetic photography language. “The Show: Construction Site” is divided into three episodes: the first “Rhythm on the Shelf of the Era”, the second “Tower Crane”, and the final “Light on the Construction Site”.
“Rhythm on the Shelf of the Era” is the main displaying series this time, which depicts that the workers show various techniques and talents on the scaffolding of the constructing building as if dancing on the stage. Scaffolds, steel bars, steel bones are regarded as strings and stave in the show; meanwhile, the busy workers just like the jumping notes, which is composing pieces of unique music belonging to the construction site.
The entire project has been launching for more than 20 years. To seek the beauty of musicalization and to show a unique surreal visual universe, Huang illustrates the lines of steels with the extreme contrast between color black and white. Furthermore, he uses metaphors to show the potential occupational injuries of workers. The silhouettes of hard-working labors on the images are like a series of phantom drama, providing various possibilities for the audience to imagine.
According to Schelling(1989), he mentioned in the book “The Philosophy of Art” that ‘architecture is frozen music., while other people also regard that the form of architecture is a kind of philosophical poem. Both of these statements come to the same result: “how art is the architecture is.” There is no doubt that the concept of architecture is a part of the arts. However, do the unfinished buildings contain the aesthetic sense? To respond the question mentioned, Huang attempted to discover the answer regarding unique musicality and artistry of unfinished buildings from the process of creating series “Rhythm On The Shelf of The Era” in the construction site.
The inspiration inside the series is based on considering the scaffolding and steel bone of architecture as strings and stave and imagining the movement of busy workers as the jumping notes, which can be hoped to reach the aim of mine: let visual art be as elegant as poetry. In order to achieve the goal mentioned, I mixed the concept of rhythm into the sketching part, which should be consist of the perfect geometric form and sense of tune. It is delightful to say that the view of thick and thin lines of steel bars and working labors in the field seems like someone is playing music. On the other hand, the technique of images is presented in high contrast, colored black, and white. I would like to display the world with different surreal horizons by expressing the danger of hardworking labors in a picture without telling, the audience can imagine freely by themselves.
All images and text © Huang Sheng-Min
By Huang Sheng-Min
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