Taiwanese artist Chen Yin-Ju exhibits Extrastellar Evaluations II, an exploration of cosmic events and human behaviour through the processes of mythology,scientific research and artistic response, at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), Manchester.

The exhibition is a co-commission between CFCCA and Liverpool Biennial to mark Manchester’s position as European City of Science 2016.

The project is inspired by and borrowed from Galileo’s book, A Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. It argues the order and the meaning of the consciousness of the solar system, through two different scientific methods: the ancient Ptolemy’s geocentrism, which asserts the Earth at the center of all the celestial bodies; and the modern Copernicus’ heliocentrism, which positions the Sun near the center of the Universe, with the Earth and other planets revolving around it.

Ancient Ptolemy's geocentrism
Ancient Ptolemy’s geocentrism
The modern Copernicus' heliocentrism
The modern Copernicus’ heliocentrism

The exhibition is focusing on the “Dialogue” between these two scientific approaches as well as combining other cosmological ideas and ancient teachings.

Considering the long description of the exhibition written on a massive wall before entering the gallery room, you unexpectedly find yourself in a confined room surrounded by audio-visual installations, accompanied by objects, texts, and drawings.

Two giant screens facing each other is the first thing someone can see in the room, which constitute the audio-visual part of the gallery and definitely, the most eye-catching one.

The room is almost dark creating a calming atmosphere and a more personal relationship between the observer and the artwork.

On the big black walls, three quotes seem to appear, raising questions, all connected with knowledge, the universe, and spirituality.

“In the Beginning was the Logos”, the first quote suggests. Hard to understand if you don’t know what “Logos” means. It is a Greek word meaning “word” or “speech”. Further research suggests that it is a technical term in philosophy, used for a principle of order and knowledge. In other words, Logos is the logic behind an argument. Logos tries to persuade an audience using logical arguments and supportive evidence.

Next, comes the quote: “Silence is the language of the universe, all else is poor translation”, and last : “Only knowing by categorizing knowledge, but not understanding how it fits together, one does not know the ‘way’ “.

The project could not neglect the display of the four elements of nature: fire, earth, water, and air.

There is also a spare wall for people to share their responses to the exhibition by sticking colourful notes with their thoughts on the wall; overall outcome: a success.


Multidisciplinary artist, Chen Yin-Ju amazingly combines the mediums of video, photography, and drawing with an interest in the exploration of cosmic events and human behaviour.

If you love the Universe and spirituality, make sure to visit CFCCA until the 15th January 2017.

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