we almost lost all the sentimental wordings
had we not made the decision of faking good eggs
to be picked up in an elegant manner
to be rested gently on an agreeable weather
we genuinely try our best but
somehow occasionally we do allow accidents
the egg rack had made a disclaimer earlier
_liang-jung chen, november 2020
most of the egg racks in the series were designed during my 14 day quarantine in a random hotel room in tainan in november 2020. solitude. i just didn’t know what to do with myself. my insecurities just sat there in the corner of the room with me and seeked my attention. i couldn’t escape from myself, eventually, i picked up poetry again for the first time in many years. i looked forward to something genuine and subtle, a new medium to explore my emotions.
the outcome turned out to be a rather passive, yet aggressive self-disclosure. a series of egg racks that make it clear that they are hypersensitive. they replicate the awkward moments in social events. they offer a glimpse into tragic scenarios. they solicit tenderness. they predict broken hearts.
i investigated the most precarious ways to hold eggs. both physical and visual tensions were created, teasing the audiences’ habit of putting eggs in a safe place. three ubiquitous materials - metal, acrylic, and timber - were employed in minimal forms and structures, transforming the daily behaviour of egg keeping into a series of abstract, performing sculptures.
during the exhibition at gallery error22 in december 2020, a sheet of paper was posted at the entrance of the gallery: “disclaimer: welcome to the exhibition of egg racks. upon entering the space, you are invited to interact with the egg racks at your own risk. the designer has made every attempt to ensure the security of the eggs exhibited in the space. however, each visitor will be held accountable for breaking the eggs and will be responsible for all accidents and damages incurred as a consequence.” stating that it would be the visitors’ responsibility to purchase and replace eggs should they break any, and that they would also be required to clean the venue up after themselves.
i didn’t really have an expectation in advance about the visitors’ responses. when the exhibition closed on 31st of december, the last day of 2020, the record showed that only around 20 eggs were broken by the visitors.
observations of how people interacted with the egg racks has also been an inseparable part of the project. it fascinated me dearly how people interacted with the egg racks in different manners. most of the visitors were fairly cautious throughout the whole exhibition and kept a safe distance away from the plinths at all times. some visitors were curious; touching the egg racks with great care, ensuring to keep the eggs intact. the more adventurous ones were interested in testing the limit of the egg racks and often ended up breaking a few eggs. while others just turned around without looking, and oops, the egg liquid was suddenly everywhere. isn’t that metaphorical?