Tinkering Tinkerer: Shih Chieh Huang
Taiwanese-born Shih Chieh (“Cj”) Huang’s work focuses on exploring the unusual evolutionary adaptations undertaken by creatures that reside in inhospitable conditions. Cj creates analogous ecosystems in his installations and populates them with organic living things made from common, everyday objects.
He sources his wholly synthetic materials from the mundane objects that comprise our modern existence: household appliances, zip ties, water tubes, lights, computer parts, cheap motorized toys and the like. The objects are dissected and disassembled as needed and reconstructed into experimental primitive organisms that reside on the fringes of evolutionary transformation: computer cooling fans are repurposed for loco-motion, Tupperware serves as a skeletal framework, guitar tuner rewired to detect sound, and automatic night lights become a sensory input. Cj installed one of his “creatures” in the Tinkering Studio for Open MAKE: Plastic. He also brought into being a billowing, giant plastic tarp worm during February’s After Dark: Surreal.