In the Flow of the Spirit
“In the Flow of the Spirit”: Iutian Tsai’s sculptures balance people’s inner souls and outer lives, bringing them back to their original intention of being human. Tsai is a sculptor who uses his art to help people find their inner balance. His oversized sculptures can be seen in many significant buildings in Taiwan. Tsai’s creations are inspired by water, which represents natural healing, harmony, and calm in Eastern philosophy. Water possesses a quiet power endowed by nature, awakening the world to return to its original pure heart.
In the Western world, people also seek the tranquility of water. They go to lakefront cottages for vacations, suspend all distracting thoughts, and focus on the peace that water brings. Some people have ponds in their backyards; others buy Japanese-style interior decorations with flowing water. One of the most famous buildings in the United States, Fallingwater, is a Frank Lloyd Wright design that brings the waterfall of nature into the Kaufmann family home’s living room. Water energy is believed to make people most peaceful, aiding in recovering from a complicated and busy life to a state of harmonious enjoyment. There is also a power to water in Eastern philosophy, such as the power of flexibility and the magic of gentleness. When there is no way across, water finds a way around. Hence, we often see Japanese-style gardens with the tranquil sound of water flow.
Iutian Tsai is an artist hailing from Taiwan. After graduating from the Fine Arts Department at Tunghai University, he dedicated himself to public construction management. In Taiwan, the government encouraged integrating public art into building construction and development. This led him to enter the field of large-scale public art sculptures. He aimed to bring nature’s beauty and energy back to people living in urban areas. He hoped people could rediscover a spiritual realm and enjoy his sculpture designs in their busy working lives. He also wanted those who worked or lived in the buildings to have a peaceful rest and find enjoyment through engaging with his sculptures. In doing so, he believed they could return to their original, innocent selves, caring for those around them and treating each other harmoniously.
Tsai’s designs incorporate positive “chi” (energy) by using water flowing into space to encourage viewers to feel a sense of harmony in their souls. His design concepts are based on water flow, with the smoothness of the flow being the original intention. Through the streamlined tension, viewers can be moved by the water’s movement toward a soul-searching release. In addition, he uses stainless steel, a mirror-like steel material, to reflect the coolness and clarity of water. As a result, his public art has been an unprecedented success, with many builders coming to him to order large public sculptures. Viewers can feel the transformation of negative energy into positive energy through his creations, gaining the balance and tranquility necessary in life.
Just like recharging the soul, appreciating his works allows us to experience the beauty of water. Mr. Tsai also applies the concept of water flow to manufacture wicker furniture. The artificial vine sofa he designed can provide a pleasant warmth to those sitting on it, generating positive communication and promoting good relationships. His stainless steel water sculpture models will be displayed at Artexpo New York in Pier 36 from March 30 to April 2, 2023. This exhibition in New York City will provide an opportunity for New Yorkers to enjoy his art.
In the flow of his creation, I experience the connection between man and nature and appreciate the positive energy his designs bring. In this often chaotic world, don’t we all wish to experience healing, harmony, and calm?