Liang He
Five-In-A-Row

reconnect2 - Liang He.jpg
reconnect1 - Liang He.jpg
reconnect3 - Liang He.jpg

Five-In-A-Row is a modified strategy board game based on the original Five In a Row, also called Gomoku or Go. In the original game, players alternate turns placing a stone of their color(black and white) on an empty intersection on a Go board, and the first player to form an unbroken chain of five stones (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally) wins. In contrast, my game no longer distinguishes the color between two players’ stones while the original victory condition persists. New rules encourage separation at the early stage of the game because going straight towards 5 stones in a row risks losing when reaching the 3 stones. Under the competitive framework, a tacit agreement between rivals is formed, in which the safest strategy to win the game will be to put stones spatially separate from others and find ways to form a chain when there is no more space for separation. The Go board is a metaphor for our society under the COVID-19 pandemic and stones represent individuals who have been isolated and seeking to reconnect with each other.

Art Statement

In a poetic narrative, my works ask viewers to be sensorially involved with the natural and social landscapes through touching, seeing, smelling, and hearing. Employing prepared systems with instructions, I create scented objects, games, and inviting installations that provoke empathy and contemplation of social issues and natural landscape with ease.

Play grants us not just knowledge but also sensory memory, which is the ephemeral memory collected by sensation. It represents our impression of the physical quality of the world. My works provide an alternative opportunity to refresh our sensory memory in the joy of play.

Being raised on electronic media, I desire to be close to nature, and thus I am obsessed with Land Art, which is an art movement in the 1960s experimenting with the earth as an art medium. Following the trajectory of land artists, I return to nature in search of potential materials that evoke the sensory memory common to all humans.