I Feel the Sam(e) Way — Esther Yi-Chun LIN Solo-exhibition


Artist|Yi-Chun LIN

“Why am I so attracted to smells?” Undoubtedly, smells possess an extreme sense of personal nature while also holding a subtle dominion over the collective social order with a consensus and stabilizing force. Through my experiences with smells from the past to the present, I have discovered the most unique aspect of smells: they continuously unearth forgotten moments of consciousness — those unknown, insignificant, and unexpected fragments of experiences. In contrast to my self-perceived vivid memory, smells always evoke a sense of “Ah, so this moment existed” or “Ah, you (the smell) were also there” — these experiences open up a desire within me to reexamine the meaning and functionality of “memory/images.”

“Smells are witnesses of events/worlds.” The key lies not in how the smell tastes or what substances it consists of, but in the memories that occur in the presence of the smell. When a smell is present, it becomes a sort of audiovisual recording device, silently capturing every subtle bodily, psychological, spatial, and non-spatial perception, swiftly transporting them to a moment in the future. This characteristic provides me with another path to contemplate and document personal and historical archives of memory: if I were to “experience” and review images and files from the perspective of smells, would a different world be presented before my eyes?

This exhibition encompasses various mediums such as videos, sculptures, and installation objects to depict (still lingering in the body) personal memories, (ghostly) collective history, and (attached to material carriers) historical archives. It explores how they are continuously transmitted across the barriers of the past and future, material and non-material, interweaving into a certain aspect of contemporary everyday spaces through smells.

“I Feel the Sam(e) Way” will create a scenario of an “alternative travel” , where the audience visiting the exhibition will feel as if they are participating in a dreamlike journey. This dreamlike journey navigates between reality and imagination, the past and the future. During the journey, the audience is not alone but becomes another “medium” or focal point, substituting for visible/invisible molecules in the air or time, thus traveling and perceiving.