"Art is the crystallization of the love between gods and human beings, with humans being the ones who benefit most from the relationship as they lose themselves in the gods' embrace. And the process whereby this takes place is a secret that cannot be divulged." (Kuo Chwen)
Kuo Chwen's early works have an eerie quality to them. Huge insects, animals etc. appear amid familiar, ordinary buildings and spaces, with 'theatrical' devices used to bring across Kuo's critique of various aspects of the world as it exists in reality, or to express his sadness in the face of human stupidity. Despite being depicted with great realism, Kuo's insects and animals are also incomparably magical and beautiful; Kuo's sublime brushwork and detailed, smoothly executed compositions embody a rich surrealist lexicon.
Starting in 1997, Kuo's art began to undergo a pronounced transformation. While Kuo continued to take his subject matter from the natural world, the protagonists of his paintings were now skeletons that symbolized the essential aspects of the human being. Through his interpretation of human consciousness and spiritual emptiness, Kuo explored themes relating to human psychology and the meaning of existence, applying an artist's perspective to the cold-eyed observation of the combination of the real and the imaginary that is the essence of human existence, and using the artistic lexicon of surrealism to create a discourse on the birth and extinction of desire, the value of existence, and other questions relating to human life.
Kuo Chwen once said that he sought to achieve "a fresh, unconventional kind of perception. The experience of the human inner life is not one of fantasy or delusion; the meaning lies in the abundant depths of unknown, vigorous, sacred energy that lies behind the world of the senses." These remarks formed part of Kuo's comments on his own work for the "Floating Mind" solo exhibition of his work that was hosted by the Eslite Gallery in 2007. This particular piece was one of the works included in that exhibition, Kuo's last ever solo exhibition. It fully reflects the artist's painstaking exploration of the psychological and spiritual depths of both the individual and humanity as a whole.