Excuse me, een social escaping tool

CinemAsia is delighted that Taiwanese design artist Yi Fei Chen 陳儀霏 exhibits at CinemAsia On Tour TAIWAN FOCUS with her art object, called Excuse me. “This object, a chair, is a metaphor for my excuse for a limited time of social interactions. My chair is an object to visualize my hidden need for a break,” says Yi Fei Chen.


From 12 to 30 October in Natlab Eindhoven.

excuse me-chair-detailCommunication is the art of conveying thought and a fundamental form of interaction. While verbal communication accounts for barely 7% in the pie, tone and body language attribute the remaining 93%. However, geographic and cultural variance induces significant inconsistencies. Broadly speaking, (West) European candour versus an highly inhibited and conservative Asian disposition is one such example.


Excuse me, is a mechanism that could be a metaphor to showcaseexcuse me-chair-inflated indirect Asian traits. It does not imply failure to communicate or a lack of straightforwardness, rather an alternative way of expression. It entails that Asians have weaved into their communicative fabric the ability to deduce meaning from past suggestions and established truths – a means to decipher the “code”. An exaggeration of this cultural difference is manifested in bringing the excuse (the chair) to life. This stool behaves like a needy pet that will emote anger, thirst and excretory urges too. This rather fictitious poetic illustration captures the creative ability of people to formulate an array of “white lies”. Some while being outright ridiculous, none of them intend or result in harm.

Humour as a universal lubricant

Although there are several dis-similarities across various cultures, the designer has aspired to encapsulate the commonalities amongst them. By creating this crazy chair and amusing people from various cultural and geographic backgrounds, she concluded that humor is not only a great lubricant in people’s social lives, but also a universal language and gateway to understanding these multifaceted cultures.

About the design artist Yi Fei Chen 陳儀霏  

Yi Fei Chen 陳儀霏Yi-Fei Chen is a European-based artist born in Taipei, Taiwan. She received her bachelor’s degree in industrial design in Taiwan and her master’s degree in Social Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Her early explorations were focused on the relationship between people and their environment and discussed the significance of mass production of industrial products and challenge the existing workings of society through satiric approximations. Introspection and cultural reflection have since then become the central fundament of her work, her recent projects approach cross-cultural identity and the generational anxiety experienced by herself and her generation. In her work, she reinterprets existing (and often invisible) social conventions from the perspective of the individual and create objects that manifest these strong internal and external dynamics in a powerful visual metaphor. Her work has sparked interest and controversy worldwide at community forums. Her oeuvre has been exhibited in countries like The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Taiwan, and Dubai.


2009     Shortlisted, Soulangh’s Design Award

2009     Shortlisted, Young Designers’ Exhibition

2013     The best of the best – 【W HOTEL / Trash Re-design】

2014     Delta Electronics Foundation


2009   Young Designers’ Exhibition / Taipei

2013   Taiwan Design Expo x Taipei Design & City Exhibition / Taipei

2016   DAE graduation show in Dutch design week / Eindhoven

2016   “100 years of Dutch design” / Taiwan Design Museum

2017   “Where form meets art” / Antwerp

2017   “The principle of least effort” / Kunstvereniging Diepenheim

2017   “Translation error” / Dutch Design Week 2017

2017   “Change the System” / Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

2017   “Global Grad Show”/ Dubai Design Week 2017

2018   “Change the System” / Boijmans museum / Rotterdam

2018    “Line of sight” / Mudac museum / Lausanne