Bar Code Language Dino Digitizing and picturizing have been two main elements in Tsai’s creation, both of which characterize symbols and signs. In a time when the functions of operation and storage are rapidly progressing, symbols and signs are now seen almost everywhere. The innovations in the computer age extend far beyond this. There are microchips that accelerate data processing on an exponential scale, lasers that allow data to be read without delay, and optical fibers that speed up data transmission from one processor to another. These inventions made possible a revolution of operation, access and communication, causing a fundamental influence on bio-organisms that live in this upto-date but capricious technology epoch. Therefore, it is crucial for us to recognize and accept the signs and digitization that surround us. In Tsai’s coming exhibition, he continues to use “bar codes” as his subject matter. With his investigation and exploration beforehand, Tsai manipulates one characteristic of art—symbolic sign, selects principles of aesthetic appreciation to be the medium, and then displays human emotion through his artwork loaded with symbolic forms. Tsai’s work is no doubt one of the best representations in the twenty-first century aesthetics as well as modern art, not to mention the artist’s unique insight into contemporary social movements.
Everyone is labeled with various codes and numbers from the moment they are born. These codes and numbers, intentionally given by human beings or randomly generated by computers, are arranged in order, as shown in formal and informal bar codes, ID, chips, and disks. They serve as marks of human passage across certain times and spaces. As a result, multifarious information is woven uniformly and the complicated world is institutionalized and systematized by digitization. Living in a modern world full of bar codes, Artist Dino Tsai confronts the reality that his experiences are constantly rearranged and reconstructed. Instead of being overpowered by popular trends, he chooses to brave them by trying to reveal the life lessons hidden behind each bar code. In such an attempt, he intentionally creates sets of codes to represent one’s life, surroundings, or relationship. In Tsai’s creation, bar codes are used as an artistic form to construct an entire biosystem. At the same time, they encode all artworks. In other words, Tsai employs bar codes in his work to portray an event, a relationship, and an action. At first glance of Tsai’s works, it seems that human individuality is nonexistent among massive numbers and symbols. However, the artist’s abundant life experiences are chronicled by the combination of images, numbers, and bar codes in his works. As Tsai focuses on recording every occurring yet transient image in his work, the artist’s desire and secret inner world are incidentally revealed.