About the Exhibition
In the exhibition’s topic “In Pairs: The Creativity, Designs, Textures and Symbols of the Wedding in Taiwan,” the words “In Pairs” echo the traditional concept of pairing and coupling, which convey an auspicious wish for 10,000 years of wealth and express the idea of pairing two things perfectly together. The coupling of new individuals, the pairing of the wedding dowry, the traditional contrasting with the contemporary, and conflict meeting harmony: through the transformations of these pairings, we compare the forms of early wedding ceremonies evolving to manifest the desired shaping of a unique scenery in contemporary wedding ceremonies. “The Creativity, Designs, Textures and Symbols of the Wedding in Taiwan” thus conveys the important role of crafts during the long period of transformation of marriage customs. In Taiwan, at different periods and amid accumulated layers of culture, wedding crafts reflect the creative design, color aesthetics, arrangement of materials, cultural significance, and other aspects of their time.
“In Pairs: The Creativity, Designs, Textures and Symbols of the Wedding in Taiwan” was carefully planned by the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute. The collection of historical documents related to marriage practices and craft creation began in 2015, connecting the meaning of wedding ceremonies and craft creation of different periods as shown through the evolution of marriage practices, bridging their forms, materials, textures, colors, and symbolic meaning. The exhibition not only displays different types of settings for wedding creation themes, but also invites contemporary artists to focus on the topic of marriage in carrying out creative work. The works take red and gold as the primary colors. Materials include gold work, lacquer ware, ceramics, wood, paper, and cloth. The shapes and codes are rich and diverse, yet retain the symbolic meaning of success and reunion through geometric symbols, with the use of the character for “happiness” especially visible. The repeated character that represents “double happiness” is the most commonly used auspicious symbol in wedding ceremonies, consisting of two identical “happiness” characters placed side by side, like a man and woman standing hand in hand. The four “kou” (mouth) symbolically represent many children and grandchildren and a happy family.
The Institute hopes that this theme, which reinterprets the evolution of wedding ceremony practices using a modern vocabulary, and is supplemented by multimedia and installation art to shape the understanding of wedding ceremonies, extends traditional images and elements to new structures in life, such as love, family, and marriage. Visitors may discover a new space for imaginings regarding wedding ceremonies.