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'Dogs Lay Eggs. That's what it's called,' says artist Hsia Tsu-liang, referring to the installation commissioned by the Kaohsiung Children's Museum last year, working alongside Liu Yun-min and Kuo Way-xian. 'It was the Lantern Festival and the Year
of the Dog, so we combined the two themes to make it even more festive,' says Hsia. Using plasticine and plastic bottles, the three moulded 50 'dogs', fixing light sockets to their rears to make it look as if they were laying eggs, a sign of fortune.
Setting up the exhibit the night before the show, the plan was to install their light fixtures on the walls and ceiling, screw in the light bulbs and turn on the switch. Instead, the three had to painstakingly wire up each dog and connect the cords to the mains - while trying to avoid getting electrocuted. 'When we finished, we saw the black cords made the hallway look like our dogs were trapped in a giant cobweb. It was amazing when we turned on the switch and all the eggs lit,' he says.
Humour was evident in Hsia's earlier works, too. In Anybody at Home? (2004), he converted a guard post that had become a dumpsite at the Chiayi Railway Station into an installation. 'There was dog s*** and garbage next to a lamppost, but I saw potential,' he says.
Hsia's latest installation involved cutting large slots into the ceiling of a Mini Cooper shell and sticking surfboards into it. 'I wanted to make the car look like a flying fish, so I painted it with waves,' he says.
It's on display at the Kenting Ping-tung Ban Dao Art Festival until today. A collection of Hsia's paintings will go on display in January in his solo exhibition, Space Frame, at the Chiayi Judiciary Courthouse Gallery.