A World of Temptations
Tan Kai-I
2018. 11. 17 — 2018. 12. 15


About A World of Temptations
Tan Kai-I

Titled A World of Temptations, this solo exhibition harnesses the powers of sophisticated totems to represent the world intersected by the real and the virtual.

The way in which the artist sees the world finds aesthetic expression in this series of images. Their entrancing, lace-like texture creates not only a vague sense of transparency but also visual gorgeousness, implying a world that puts irresistible temptation in our way and makes us lost in romantic and tantalizing reveries. It also resembles the ornaments on the hems of women’s clothes that excite our imagination. However, what do we exactly see in the pure, void-like blanks under these alluring illusions? Is it a beautiful and sexy truth, or a thin veil of magnificent pretentiousness?

This art series has multifaceted semantic implications. Many pieces displayed in this exhibition carry more than two sematic meanings. They seem to be self-evident at first glance, yet they will be transfigured into different images if we turn them upside down. Such an entertaining illusion is fostered by our own mind. That is to say, we see things not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is the world nothing but the reflection in our mind standing as a mirror bright. Accordingly, the pieces in this art series are open to interpretation. We see the Iron Man in one of these works, but the image becomes a flipping-the-bird gesture when it is turned upside down. A thumbs-up gesture is embedded in a sofa. A cross judged by its appearance is actually made of malas. Seemingly a peach, it is in fact a heart embracing a pistol. A bird-like image is also the trigger of a rifle. The list is not exhausted, and all of these examples vividly illustrate the uncertainty and ambiguity of these works’ sematic meanings.

We tend to have unbreakable obsessions with images, observing and criticizing the world from our own perspective. However, the world is not as we think it is but may be a grand illusion. In other words, the world we see is likely to be illusory and unreal. We are at most little more than high-performance radios or high-definition televisions, and, unfortunately, we are utterly unaware of this fact.

The Diamond Sutra says, “All appearances are illusory. To see that appearances are not appearances is to see the Tathagata.” The nature of things will manifest itself as long as we stop judging them by their appearances. Basing his works on this Buddhist teaching, the artist clearly articulates his world view and masterfully interprets his solo exhibition—A World of Temptations.

We hope that the visitors can also see their inner selves in these paintings by following the Buddhist principle that “the mind should act without any attachments.”



$ 5,000 (NTD / #Number)



■Tan Kai-I(1966-)


Tan Kai-I, Climb Merrily to Heaven, 2018, 80x100cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, Monroe Sofa, 2018, 97x130cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, Five Circles, 2018, 162x130cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, “Please lower your voice,” the dinosaur says., 2018, 162x130cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, War between the Moose Plane and the Cake Man, 2018, 162x130cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, A Volkswagen Beetle in Search of Milk and Honey, 2018, 80x100cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, A Car Hidden in Thick Undergrowth, 2018, 130x97cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, The Iron Man flips the bird, 2018, 130x97cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, The Omnipresent God, 2018, 130x97cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, Beneath the Beauty, 2018, 100x80cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, The Money Game, 2018, 130x97cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, The Price of Luxuries, 2018, 162x130cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, Mickey Mouse’s Fantasy, 2018, 162x130cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, Marilyn Monroe stretches herself, 2018, 130x97cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, The Tank Man, 2018, 80x100cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, Splendid Firework, 2018, 130x97cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, A Thumbs-up Sofa, 2018, 130x97cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, Parking Meter, 2018, 130x97cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, God is light, 2018, 162x130cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, Fragments of the victory, 2018, 162x130cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, The Medal of Dishonor, 2018, 162x130cm, Acrylic on Canvas


Tan Kai-I, A Billowing Skirt, 2018, 80x100cm, Acrylic on Canvas



m Space - m Series - Tan Kai-I "Monroe Series"

The m Space is established for online display and retail. It collects and collates the artists’ creative philosophies as well as the contexts and details of their works, allowing prospective collectors to purchase them without doubting the authenticity of their origins.

Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) was the most celebrated exotic beauty in the 20th century. Integrating his real-life experience with Monroe as the creative symbol, Tan Kai-I created a riveting painting series that brought a humorous touch of tragedy to the viewers.

Comprising a total of 39 pieces of work, the "Monroe Series" included Tan’s works presented at the Art Taipei 2012 and two of his solo exhibitions, respectively titled "Strip off, Marilyn Monroe" (2012) and "Monroe in 6 min 30 sec" (2013).

→more Monroe Series