Artist | Huang Shih-chieh
- Chinese Name: 黃世傑
- Born: 1975
- Birthplace: Taipei City (Northern Taiwan)
- Did You Know That …?
- Now an artist who likes dismantling items and transforming them into new creations, Huang as a kid took great interest in taking toys apart, including his brother’s BB pellet gun.
Huang Shih-chieh is New York-based Taiwanese artist who seeks to turn original objects into something magical and wondrous. His ability in creating new experiences out of everyday objects has made him a regular guest at exhibitions and art festivals around the world.
Growing up in a city of night markets, the Taipei native was fascinated by the colors, lights, and various items offered on the streets since a young age. He used to go on solo adventures to discover unexpected objects, such as watermelon toys with straw antennas or battery-powered puppies with mohawks.
From deconstructing toys to repurposing household items such as bits of wire, plastic bottles, food containers, and old computer parts, Huang developed a passion for remodeling his environment and creating new things for people to experiment and explore.
After receiving a master’s degree at the New York-based School of Visual Arts in 2001, Huang began to put his concepts into practice. His core idea that ordinary items can be transformed into something unusual is evident in his early installation works, for many of which were made with things he found around the house.
For instance, Huang created a glowing circulatory system by mixing water with highlighter pens, and pumped the shimmery colors through plastic tubes for viewers to walk through and enjoy the visual experience.
As an artist who is also interested in science and biology, Huang was offered a research fellowship at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, where he observed and studied bioluminescent organisms in the ocean.
Deeply fascinated by the variety of looks and light-using behavior in different environments, Huang’s following works “Cubozoa-L-09” took inspiration from bioluminescent patterns and movements.
Comprising a series of surreal sea creatures made from common domestic objects, “Cubozoa-L-09” is an interactive and mutating installation that explores life. His artwork was featured at the 2009 Arc Biennial of Art in Australia alongside those by international visual artists.
Today, Huang continues to transform objects overlooked by modern life – such as garbage bags, plastic bottles, and household electronics – into surreal and playful installations. “Seductive Evolution of Animated Illumination,” for example, is a large alien-like installation made from glass, computer cooling fans, electric cables, LEDs, and micro controllers.
Huang’s innovative spirit combines science with art to bring ordinary objects to life. Recently, he has created a large-scale installation work titled “Organic Concept” onsite at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts as part of his solo exhibition “Reusable Universe” to explore society’s rapidly changing relationship with technology.