On a Celestial Artistic Journey: ARU Meng’s ‘Dreams in the Starry Sky’ Exhibition


ARU Meng

ARU Meng, a Taiwanese actress and artist has her second solo exhibition at Whitestone Gallery Taipei titled ‘Dreams in the Starry Sky.’ This dreamlike exhibition features an adorable collection of her latest paintings and sculptures. Through her artwork, Meng invites us to explore the universe from a fresh perspective, symbolizing boundlessness with captivating round elements. In a recent interview, we had the pleasure of delving into Meng’s creative world, discovering the inspirations and hopes behind this solo exhibition and her aspirations for the future.

Cosmic Dreams and Our Imagination

ARU Meng ‘Dreams in the Starry Sky’ 2023, Whitestone Gallery Taipei.

In the realm of art, artists possess a rare gift - the ability to transport us to worlds beyond our imagination, where the boundaries of reality blur with the wonder of the cosmos. In our conversation, Meng shares the profound inspiration behind the exhibition’s title and how it beautifully intertwines with the showcased artworks. She also shared her thoughts on the transformative impact of motherhood on her creative process.

- The title of your exhibition ‘Dreams in the Starry Sky’ brings about a sense of wonder and imagination. Could you tell us more about the inspiration behind the title and how it connects to the artworks showcased in your exhibition?

ARU: Much like the vast expanse of the universe, the starry sky has always captivated us with its endless wonder and potential for imagination. I believe that deep within each of us lies a universe waiting to be explored—a universe brimming with limitless power and boundless creativity. During the early years of childhood, before the age of 7, our thoughts effortlessly connect with the frequencies of the universe. This innate connection and childlike spirit have become integral themes in my artistic journey.

I strive to discover how we can reclaim our innocence when faced with the pressures of adulthood. How can we nurture and protect the purest, most boundless spirit within us, akin to an untouched paradise? As a result, I have named this exhibition ‘Dreams in the Starry Sky’, as each individual possesses their own unique constellation of dreams and aspirations.

ARU Meng ‘Dreams in the Starry Sky’ 2023, Whitestone Gallery Taipei.

- Regarding this exhibition, you mentioned exploring the world from a perspective that is often overlooked or underestimated. How did motherhood influence your artistic approach?

ARU: In our journey through life, we often forget the purest essence that resides within us. However, when we spend time with children, we rediscover the beauty in the simplest of things. What may seem insignificant to adults holds a world of magic and joy for them. Their laughter fills the air, and though it may be startling at times, it reminds us of the innocence we once possessed. I often wonder if they see something we cannot, if they have imaginary friends or companions. It makes me reflect on the virtual friends we used to have as well, those imaginary connections that fade with time.

In the process of creation, something unique happens. Before I embark on each artistic endeavor, I immerse myself in meditation, returning to the Theta band brainwaves. Through this practice, I tap into the untapped potential that lies within, mirroring the wondrous perspective of my daughter. This experience of reconnecting with my inner child is truly magical. It brings a renewed sense of creativity, infusing my artwork with vibrant colors and an amplified brightness that surpasses my previous works.

Boundless Space and the Essence of Nature

ARU Meng ‘Dreams in the Starry Sky’ 2023, Whitestone Gallery Taipei.

Within this exhibition, the circle does more than create a sense of completeness; it serves as a conduit for introspection. Like planets following their celestial trajectories, the circles in Meng’s art symbolize a perpetual journey, urging us to reflect on our own origins and embark on a path of self-discovery. Moreover, her artistry extends beyond her artistic symbolism, for she chooses wood as her primary medium for sculptures. In this organic collaboration with nature, she infuses her sculptures with an aura of timeless enchantment, breathing new life into each piece.

- You utilized round elements to express a sense of “boundless space, akin to the vastness of outer space.” What is the symbolism behind this chosen shape?

ARU: A circle is a shape that perpetually repeats itself as we walk along its orbit. Similarly, the planets in the universe follow circular trajectories as they rotate. They begin at a starting point, journey around, and eventually return to the same starting point. This symbolism urges us to reconnect with the essence of our hearts and emphasizes the significance of returning to our core.

In this exhibition, the circle serves not only to create a sense of completeness but also to convey a profound message. It reminds us that each day, each year, and even each lifetime starts from a point of origin. It encourages introspection and invites us to reflect on our own beginnings, reminding us of the importance of staying true to ourselves.

ARU Meng creates sculptures at her studio.

- How do you think the use of wood as a medium contributes to the overall aesthetic and impact of your sculptures? For example What are the characteristics of choosing wood as the main material for your sculpture compared to using other materials?

ARU: Wood, as a product of the universe, is a remarkable material that carries the essence of life within it. When I engage in creative endeavors with wood, I sense a profound connection with nature, as if we are collaborating in a harmonious dance. Drawing inspiration from the emotions it evokes, I breathe new life into it, imbuing it with fresh meaning. This is something that other synthetic materials cannot replicate. As a result, my works exude a warmth and vitality that resonates deeply with those who encounter them.

ARU Meng ‘Dreams in the Starry Sky’ 2023, Whitestone Gallery Taipei.

The Flower-headed Alien ‘ARU’

ARU MENG “The Inner Universe of ARU” 2023, 113.0 × 70.0 × 45.0 cm, Acrylic on camphorwood.

At the heart of her endearing artworks stands the iconic figure of the flower-headed alien ‘ARU’, a character that brings about an air of mystery. As we journey deeper into Meng’s artistic world, we discover that this unique creation is more than just a mere representation; it serves as a portal to her spiritual realm, a mirror to her emotional state, and a gateway to the limitless possibilities of imagination.

- Your artworks prominently feature the flower-headed alien ARU. What does this character, named after you, mean to yourself?

ARU: When I initially created this character, I saw myself as the prototype. As a result, the character in my work often evolved based on my emotional state at that time. So I chose the shape of a simple and pure flower, the easiest form for a child learning to draw flowers. Through this character, I am able to achieve things that would otherwise be impossible for me. It grants me the ability to do whatever I desire, even allowing me to remain forever young and explore the vast universe without limitations.

ARU Meng’s Global Artistic Aspirations

ARU Meng is at work.

The word ‘dream’ might hold little significance to some, but to Meng, it serves as a metaphor representing her imagination, intricately intertwined with her artistic practice. The concept of dreams, linked with her very name, fuels her artistic spirit, transforming her to a realm where limitations cease to exist. Her dreams know no boundaries, and her aspirations transcend borders.

- How have your works developed since your last exhibition “See You In My Dream” held at Whitestone Gallery Taipei in 2021? Considering that the word ‘dream’ was also used in the previous exhibition title, how has the concept of dreams continued to influence your artistic journey?

ARU: "Dream" shares a homonym with my name, and just like the vast universe, dreams possess boundless imagination. While we may not have physically traveled to the universe, each one of us has experienced the magic of dreams. As an individual driven by dreams, they have come to occupy a significant space in my life. When I engage in the act of creation, it feels akin to living in a dream, with no limitations or boundaries. For instance, even though I had pursued acting for 13 years, I never anticipated that my dreams would one day lead me to the path of becoming an artist. The power of dreams has the capacity to transform and shape our lives in unexpected and extraordinary ways.

- What are your future plans? Are there any other countries where you aspire to showcase your works?

ARU: I really hope that I have the opportunity to hold exhibitions in other countries in the near future, allowing ARU to traverse the globe. It is my fervent desire to dedicate a lifetime to artistic endeavors, utilizing ARU as a medium to craft my personal narrative. I anticipate the opportunity to engage with local communities during future exhibitions, fostering meaningful exchanges where diverse perspectives and human experiences collide, igniting sparks of inspiration and connection.

ARU Meng ‘Dreams in the Starry Sky’ 2023, Whitestone Gallery Taipei.

In this enlightening conversation with Meng, the veil behind her artworks was lifted, revealing a profound connection between her creations and the realm of dreams. Each brushstroke and sculpture narrated a story of imagination, where the word ‘dream’ transformed into a potent metaphor, a cosmic beacon guiding her on a boundless journey of creativity. Through her art, we are invited to embrace our own dreams, believing in the limitless magic of our visions and embarking on a path of self-discovery - a journey where we, too, become the dreamers of our destinies.

The exhibition in Taipei runs through 26 August. Don’t miss the chance to embark on a cosmic journey of imagination and wonder.

From Exhibition view, some of the materials ARU Meng uses in her production are on display. ARU Meng ‘Dreams in the Starry Sky’ 2023, Whitestone Gallery Taipei.

View Exhibition Details »

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