当人们在被日光灯管照亮的树脂玻璃箱中，见到昆斯（Jeff Koons）将全新的胡佛电动吸尘器置入其中，歌颂拜物情结在消费主义的年代，延续了人们对于艺术灵光（aura）的渴望；当勒梵（Sherrie Levine）将他人的艺术杰作视为现成物（ready-made）而加以挪用，翻拍成为自己的艺术作品，并大胆地宣称原作的正统性（authenticity）将在图像传播的社会里不复存在；艺术创作早已从表面形式与造型意义的竞技中退场，转而成为对于既存物体与符号的再利用与再诠释。艺术家得以透过挪用与嫁接的手段，切断物体自有的历史意义与实用价值，而使其原先存在的目的与权威在新的文本意义中消失殆尽。拼贴、转印、再制成为更直接有效的工作方法；这样的复制过程破除了原有物体「内藏（inherent）」的神秘性，而将观看艺术作品的意义，指向图像与文字「直观（comprehensible）」对照下的矛盾、幽默与讥讽。
达达运动（Movement of Dada）、普普艺术（Pop Art）与偶发艺术（Happening Art）所追求的随机性与趣味性，为艺术家带来更绝对的创作自主与自由，并且消弭了现代主义（Modernism）所不断高筑的艺术藩篱，开启了后现代主义多元并呈的艺术景观。多样元素的随机聚合，使得艺术的价值除了视觉上的审美要件之外，更增加智识性观念的趣味。从杜象（Marcel Duchamp）以降，前卫艺术便开始以「反艺术（anti-art）」或「无艺术（non-art）」的姿态出现，拒绝延续既有的美学标准，使得当代艺术必须重新面对「品味」的定义与选择。从这样的角度出发去看待范姜明道一路以来的艺术创作，便能够以更开放的视野去面对其作品之中略带「做与不做」、「变与不变」的态度与精神。
Infinite Lines The Formation and Liberation of Ideas
Lucien Y. Tso
When seeing Jeff Koons' electric vacuum cleaners placed in plexiglass boxes and lit with florescent lamps as a eulogy to fetishism in an era of consumerism and a clear extension of the mass desire for aura of art, and when having artists such as Sherrie Levine, who views the masterpieces of others as ready-made objects and then appropriates or directly copies them as her own work, boldly declaring the authenticity of the originals to no longer exist in a society where images proliferate, in such a world, art since stepped away from a technical focus on form and its meaning has moved in favor of the reuse and reinterpretation of existing objects and semiotics. As a result, artists often use appropriation and grafting to separate objects from their historical contexts and practical value, utilizing new textual meaning to eliminate the original reason for their existence and authority. In this way, reconstitution, transference or reproduction is considered by many to be a more direct and effective artistic approach. In addition, this process of reinvention of meanings destroys the inherent mysticism of the original object, firmly directing the meaning of viewing art toward the contradictions, humor and satire found in contrasting but comprehensible imagery of images and words.
The randomness and appeal so beloved of the Dada Movement, Pop Art and Happening Art give the artist more freedom and autonomy in a more creative way, while tearing down the divisions between genres created by modernism. The result is a more diverse post-modern artistic landscape. The random amalgamation of diverse elements adds knowledge conceptualization to visual aesthetics in defining artistic value. Ever since Marcel Duchamp, Avant-garde art has embraced such ideas as "anti-art" or "non-art," refusing to extend existing aesthetic conventions and thereby forcing contemporary art to reconsider its definition and choice of "taste." If we view the work of Marvin-Minto Fang from this perspective, it is possible to be more open-minded about the "made/not made" "change / no change" attitude and spirit that infuse his pieces.
With Fang's grass-growing installation at the 47th Venice Biennial in 1997, he utilized the most primitive method possible to showcase the developmental relationship between nature and civilization. Wheatgrass seeds on white china plates, symbolizing Chinese culture, were placed throughout an outdoor plaza, where they grew from nothing, gradually covering the plates in lush greenness before withering away. Marvin-Minto Fang follows the methodology of nature, passively allowing things to take their own course as a way of organizing the dialectical process that underpins the relationship of the nature of manufactured and conceptual art. However, the execution and realization of this artistic concept is not dependent on the permanence of the man-made object, but rather the presence of the concept within the minds of viewers during the display. Martin Heidegger offers the following explanation: "A work without gazing has no impact, because art is the creative way in which the truth of a work is observed. Art is the unity of creation and appreciation."
"Infinite Lines" is a neutral description that led to Marvin-Minto Fang choosing it as the title of this exhibition. Perhaps his original intent was focused more on inviting viewers to participate in an open self-reflective question-and-answer journey. The word "lines" broadly refers to the surface appearance and structural composition of a displayed work in this show and can therefore be used to semantically analyze and deconstruct a piece both externally and internally. "Lines" strengthen imagery and semantic hints, so that viewers in the real world can look at works that resemble branches and flowerpots and know with certainty that "although the piece has a natural fa?ade, it is based on a non-natural construct," a realization that causes hesitation when reflecting on one's basic understanding of the work. However, it is this hesitation that frees viewers from the real world and allows them to re-examine possible messages in the work separate from formal meaning.
Works in this exhibition consist of sculptures made of plywood, which is an economical substitute for logs. Plywood fails to keep and separates from its nature in the process of manufacture. This truth becomes Marvin-Minto Fang's inspiration to play with the grain of plywood in various permutation and combination with his intent to bring this material back alive frozen in the time. The article of accumulation and scattering of lines then becomes a two-way-opened interpretation meaning the loss of plywood's nature but at the same time its rebirth in the given shape. The conversation between nature and life plays a critical part in Marvin-Minto Fang's body of work and lights up the long time exploration in and curiosity of the meaning of life. His flowerpot sculptural work composed of lines filling up the absence when life leaves illuminates the fact that there exists no eternal life in any object in the real world. However, here comes a euphoric imagery with life abundance found in Fang's work through his play with found objects. What is the true value in life transforms to a more intangible experience. Perhaps the formation and liberation of ideas is then the ultimate purpose that Marvin-Minto Fang wants to deliver when wandering in his infinite piles of line.