Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei
10AM - 6PM
EXHIBITIONS & EVENTS
2021 / 09 / 04 Sat.
2021 / 11 / 07 Sun.
10:00 - 18:00
Erica Yu-Wen Huang /
"The World is yet to Come" Curator
FENG Hsin /
"An Uncharted World" Curator
Biung Ismahasan /
"Resurgence and Solidarity: Indigenous Women’s Art Across the Borders " Curator
South HO Siu Nam
Working Hard (KUO Po-Yu, SHE Wen-Ying)
Marita Isobel Solberg
The second exhibition of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei 20th Anniversary Exhibition Series invites three curators, Erica Yu-Wen Huang, FENG Hsin, and Biung Ismahasan, to present Tomorrow, Towarding. After the first exhibition Chrono-contemporary, reviewing the museum's exhibitions and activities over the past 20 years, we wish to explore the diverse futures of contemporary art, through the perspectives of the three young curators.
Chrono-contemporary starts with the concept of "exhibition" and explores the museum's development over the past 20 years; while Tomorrow, Towarding turns its attention to an important presence in contemporary art—"curators". Through the history of the curator’s identity starting as a keeper of cabinets of curiosities, the emergence of the museum's collection and exhibition functions, and the gradual departure of a curator from the museum system in the 1960s to the role of an independent curator, the curator has become an indispensable focus in the contemporary art world. With the multifaceted roles of a contemporary curator, ranging from knowledge producer, exhibition collaborator, and art mediator for the audience, it requires qualities of both professionalism and versatility. The curator's unique insight and questioning of the world, reminding, subverting, or speaking boldly, guides the audience to see the world through different lens.
At the present of making history and observing generational perspectives, this exhibition invites three young curators, each with their own specialties and focus issues, to co-construct the exhibition Tomorrow, Towarding. One of the curators Erica Yu-Wen Huang, studied in the UK, worked and did curator residencies in several countries, shows sensitivity in observation and international perspective. The exhibition The World is yet to Come intends to create the possibilities of the future of history narratives through diverse perspectives with individual experience. Biung Ismahasan, who also studied in the UK, presents Resurgence and Solidarity: Indigenous Women’s Art Across the Borders through his academic training and his observation as an Indigenous person. He intends to adopt a contemporary viewpoint to re-interpret the value of Indigenous culture and the extraordinary power of women. FENG Hsin studied in Taiwan and worked in galleries. Her exhibition An Uncharted World focuses on the impact of digital technology on people's lives of the Z generation, capturing the balance between the virtual and physical worlds.
Each present moment is slowly moving into history, and each present moment is also progressive. This joint exhibition is a limited-time movement that the museum intends to write for the future, hoping to invite everyone to a diverse tomorrow through the questions of the modern society that the new generation curators pose. 【The World is yet to Come】 Curator｜Erica Yu-Wen Huang
We live in a time that upholds pluralist values; but does pluralism really exist? Or is it simply the elephant in the room that no one dares to point out? As human desires are overexpanding and different values collide, some people have chosen to ignore specific information. We are now living in a “post-fact” era. After a year of pandemic-free life, Taiwan seems like the last paradise on Earth, or as some people call it, the ark on the Pacific Ocean. However, could we have veered away from natural selection in the process of evolution, and the entire island would soon be wiped out when the next variant of the virus intrudes? We have been fighting against this increasingly insane world, and the virus is an invisible enemy. Nevertheless, what really brings us down is suspicion, delusion and fake news. I often ask myself repeatedly: Is there an inevitable historical pattern inherent to this world that leads to the repetition of history? Yet, is the history that we have learned absolutely true?
The pandemic has accelerated the arrival of new forms of technology, education and everyday life. The old world has become the past, but the new world has yet to be fully established—we are caught in a transition period between old and new worlds. Meanwhile, due to the pandemic, the safety of human life is now prioritized over human rights and freedom; and the image of human has been reduced. Whether one has been vaccinated becomes our way of recognizing one another rather than personal experiences and interpersonal relations. The forest fires in Australia and the locust infestation in Africa have all become short-lived memories that are soon forgotten. Will we remember “Stop Asian Hate” that took place at the same period as “Black Lives Matter”? Will we notice that one particular newspaper disappeared from newspaper shelves in convenience stores? Indeed, society is not made of just one voice. There are a couple ways to avoid such oblivion: to find past footprints and to document the present reality. History is a grand narrative, but all grand things inevitably leave out small yet important truths. The method to break this cycle of history is to find new pathways, unveil diverse perspectives and create an open space for discussions. The World is yet to Come aims to engage the audience in a discussion about future possibilities. Will the future fall again into the cycle of history? Or will it reveal a chance for an equal and just world? Five artists/art collectives from Taiwan and Hong Kong respectively present their critiques of capitalism-driven urban development and mainstream history, uncovering issues and aspects buried in archives and records that have not been noticed or widely discussed. At the same time, they also employ personal experiences or begin with themselves to shape and introduce a horizon for re-understanding the past and reflecting on the future. 【An Uncharted World】Curator｜FENG Hsin
“A boundary is not just an imitation of the real world, it is actually a fictional molding of the real world.”——DUNG Kai-cheung, The Atlas: Archaeology of an Imaginary City
An Uncharted World utilizes the notion of “mapping” as the starting point of reflecting on varied information that manifests through the process of boundary formation. It’s noted that a given location can denote different information from various perspectives, which further transform into cartographic visual variables,
while each mapmaking practice also reflects specific cartographic techniques and viewing angles of the time. Nowadays, as our life becomes more and more mediated by internet and smartphone, Google Maps has been served as our alternative understanding of the real world on the virtual sphere. How does a tool invented out of human needs, through the accumulation of habits, in turn define and change human’s behaviors? Posing such question, An Uncharted World aims to respond to the impact of tool use on our perception of quotidian life, while delineating the condition where the minutiae of everyday practice and our modes of thinking are constantly mediated between offline realities and online virtual world.
In this exhibition, six groups of artists—namely, LIU Chihhung, CHEN Wei-Chen, CHEN Hsiangfu, NANONANO, WU Sih-Chin, HUANG Wei-Hsuan—are invited to tackle varied dimensions of cartography, including the relationship between user and information, the interference of digital perspectives on our spatial perception, the power dynamics behind the cartographic process and boundary formation, the way our perception and physicality navigate through the real world and virtual maps, and etc.
Today the cartographic process no longer aims to visually (re)present a physical world through drawing; instead, the data-driven approach becomes an alternative act of drawing. In the past, the history of cartography has been largely dominated by authoritative entities, such as the government. As the tools and interfaces have gradually changed and evolved, cartographer can’t be simplified as an entity or individual as it used to be. Now, cartographer and user have taken up the overlapping roles, while those who have power can turn cartography into a systematic practice. When we indulge ourselves in the convenience of using and retrieving data, it’s often negligible that using and contributing information or data is simultaneously an act of drawing, which constantly interferes and redefines the real world through our daily practices. As the title of the exhibition “An Uncharted World” implies, such act of drawing has formed an ever-vacillating relationship with the real world. Living under the aforementioned circumstances, how should our physicality and perception respond and navigate through layers of mediation? With each work of the six groups of artists exploring different themes and dimensions, An Uncharted World seeks to illustrate and materialize such inexplicability of our everyday experience. 【Resurgence and Solidarity: Indigenous Women’s Art Across the Borders】Curator｜Biung Ismahasan
A woman’s voice is like a drop of water, and the voices of a group of women can be condensed into a power resembling a cultural river that amplifies their individual voices to bloom collectively in a space. The female body is the first dwelling place for human beings in this world. Women’s energy is strong and gentle. In every generation, they exist quietly and solidly. Through the powerful objects in their hands, they project their authentic inner states as well as lived and subconscious experiences that are gradually pieced together in their life journeys, responding to the texture of ethnic cultural memory and to drastic changes in the environment.
“Across the borders” does not merely refer to borders that divide nations but also those that separate urban tribes and Indigenous communities, different groups and cultures—in short, borders form the boundary within each individual. However, as any individual group can no longer be independent from the collective today, the world has indeed become a community of life. Although every one of us lives in a different environment and culture, we all face and need to overcome the same issues. Observing cultural loss in Indigenous communities and noticing Indigenous migration and diaspora in cities, Indigenous women artists realize that underneath the seemingly dissimilar issues and concerns is a common feeling of uncertainty ensuing the awakening of Indigenous Peoples despite their varied environment. Cultural loss is not only caused by colonization; it is also resulted from a changing environment. Each one of us might pay attention to different issues, but every individual is a voice that is waiting for feedback and resonance, the sparks that are created by our “encounters.”
At the core of this exhibition is the need for women’s “togetherness” because we need to unite. Resurgence and Solidarity: Indigenous Women’s Art Across the Borders serves as a way to utilize both collective power and individual thinking. Whereas one woman artist might not be able to detect all problems in her environment and from her perspective, each of the women artists employs a different approach and direction to demonstrate their viewpoints about their concerns through artistic creation, exploring the same issues in varying ways or engaging in different issues through similar approaches. Working through togetherness, this exhibition aims to present the knowledge, values and methods of these Indigenous women artists and gather their physical experiences and life stories to further initiate an alternative culture and usher in new solidarity for generating resonance and locating the roots in a global space of disorder, obscurity, uncertainty and awakening.
Resurgence and Solidarity: Indigenous Women’s Art Across the Borders, through Indigenous communities, cities and regions in Northern and Southern hemispheres, explores conflicts, thoughts and concerns surfacing in Indigenous migration, in the reorganization faced by both humanity and nature after changes occur, as well as in uncertainties following the post-colonial awakening of Indigenous Culture. Featuring four Indigenous female artists from Taiwan and one Sámi female artist from the northern coast of Norway, the exhibition investigates the artistic processes “across the borders” from their creations involving personal experiences, life memories, and cultural changes. The exhibition asks how time and history might be compressed and condensed into a spatial model of women’s unity through lived experiences in the gendered body. Questions about the disappearance of class and culture, women’s right to speak, and environmental care are of vital importance to many female artists, and their art with a familiar backdrop of reality offers both a response to and an escape from inner struggles.
This exhibition consists of four subthemes: 1. Power, One’s Right to Speak and Unity; 2. River and Landscape; 3. Walking as an Art Practice; and 4. Mutual Reciprocation Between Humanity and Environment. These subthemes respond to the core spirit of the entire exhibition. Through the works of the Indigenous Taiwanese artists, including CHANG, En-Man, Eleng Luluan, Aluaiy Kaumakan, Idas Losin, and the Sami artist, Marita Isobel Solberg from the Norwegian coast, the exhibition integrates their concerns over varied issues into these subthemes through their careful, deep exploration, offering new aspects and perspectives through the activation of female artistic unity.
The practice of Kai-Chung LEE (b. 1985, Hong Kong) focuses on historical events, political regimes and ideologies. Seeing that the Hong Kong government manages historical archives in a tedious way and refusing to establish an “Archives Act,” the artist utilizes a series of actions, research, images and installations to respond to existing ways of how histories are delivered and compiled. Lee’s work centers on revealing the emotional side of history and places an emphasis on emotional values rather than information consciousness. In 2016, he founded the independent group “Archive of the People” to extend creative engagement in issues related to history and archives to collaborative projects, education and publication. Since 2017, he has started an art series featuring the topic of “migration and displacement,” based on historical and social implications in the Pan-Asian context to explore population and material changes as well as geopolitical discourses. The first project The Retrieval, Restoration and Predicament (2017-19), examines the material and ideological changes displayed by Hong Kong’s public statues; the second project The Narrow Road to the Deep Sea (2019-20) on view in this exhibition discusses the “repatriation” policy implemented by the Japanese colonial government during its occupation of Hong Kong.
Yin-Chieh LIN (b. 1994, Taiwan) creates mixed media installations that reflect her attentive observations of moving and dwelling in different places. Through her practice, Lin aims to build unexpected and imaginative contexts from universal experiences. Through mise-en-scène, material reading and subjective participation, she transforms the space into a unique site that prompts the audience to intervene and engage. This process reveals the artist’s dialogues between herself, the space and the surrounding environment. In the meantime, consciousness is incorporated and embedded into reality to generate a momentum of perception.
The work of Yao-Chung LIU (b. 1981, Taiwan) is created with intuition and a sense of humor. Moving through memory, experience and information, he converts everyday messages from the internet, TV, music and books into a database for extracting messages when creating his work, bringing to the mind Proust’s approach of writing about the past through a stream of consciousness. Utilizing a playful, game-like form, LIU uses familiar, daily things as a starting point and engages in repeated translation and mass culture dialogue to introduce different aspects of social observations, while critiquing society with his humorous parodies that subvert quotidian life.
The art practice of South HO Siu Nam (b. 1984, Hong Kong) began with photography and has since evolved to an inclusion of performance, drawing and mixed media installation. His work encompasses the wonders and helplessness of everyday life, the spirituality of existence, as well as the socio-political awareness of Hong Kong. Preferring simplicity and pureness, he uses images to explore the nature and characteristics of things while giving his works a refined sense of abstraction that allows the spectator to further imagine. In 2013, he co-founded “100 ft. PARK,” a non-commercial art space dedicated to providing an open platform for exhibiting and sharing art. In 2019, he co-launched an artist residency project known as “Cross Harbour Terminal Art Project.”
KUO Po-Yu and SHE Wen-Ying (both b. 1989, Taiwan) launched an artistic collaboration and founded “Working Hard” in 2015. Deeply drawn to the unlimited space of imagination found in historical archives, their practice is a search of “moving identities” in history woven into different narratives. These identities are also absent others in mainstream social archives. Through them, the artist duo reflects on social realities faced by immigrants/outsiders in situations related to Taiwan’s distinctive national identity. Viewing artistic creation as a form of archiving, their work serves as a way to identify, differentiate, summarize and categorize, placing an emphasis on re-understanding matter and material to produce event-based sculptures that perceptually re-engage specific sites.
CHEN Hsiangfu (b. 1989, Taiwan) situates her work at the crossroads of space, technology, political and societal issues. Her work excels at capturing our primitive emotion in the face of system and technology, transforming our daily life experiences through a hybrid relationship between space and new media arts. She specializes in kinetic art and spatial art, highlighting a sense of control and absurdity in contemporary life.
CHEN Wei-Chen (b. 1993, Taiwan) seeks access to the creative process through observations made on everyday materials. Through practice and reconsideration of concepts such as ready-made, appropriation, and classic beauty, trajectories are extended from self-experience, cultural identity and circumstantial consciousness. Attempts are also made to allow materials under the artist’s control to be seen in ways that are different from their usual controlled and disciplined functions, meaning, and referential qualities. With ironic tone and a sense of humor, her work allows us to perceive the given subject and its reverse side, as a way of conducting inner exploration and spiritual reflection.
HUANG Wei-Hsuan(b.1989, Taiwan) explores digital and animated images in hybrid forms and various realms of arts, such as theatre projection design, audiovisual and sound art. His works concern the reproduction of an imaginary space through digital-photographing-modeled images, aiming to reconstruct the past, future, imagination and reality of people and the environment.
LIU Chihhung (b.1985, Taiwan) distills everyday experiences into a personal understanding of life where ordinary narratives are told with a nuanced perspective. He straddles across a wide range of mediums, such as painting, installation, moving image, found objects, print publications and etc. His practice revolves around material objectness and agency, the shift between medium languages, as well as a connection to the local community.
NANONANO is an art group that founded by artist HSU Hsun-Hsiang (b.1990, Belgium）and materials engineer HUANG Yin-Hao(b.1989, Taiwan). They are focusing on the environmental future phenomenon and using the top industrial technology to create the possibility of the living future landscape.
WU Sih-Chin(b.1985, Taiwan) utilizes sculpture, installation, video and mix media, among others, to weave a joint narrative of his works. The theme of his creation often hovers between human and nature, contemporary technology and ancient skills, reality and mysteries, and establishes a set of interpretation methods to generate a certain imagination and worldview beyond time series, species and authenticity.
Interdisciplinary textile sculptor and installation artist Aluaiy Kaumakan (b. 1971, Taiwan) belongs to a leading noble family of the Paiwan Nation from the Paridrayan Community in Pingtung County. Specializing in creating sculptures with wool, cotton, copper, silk, and glass beads, she uses “Lemikalik”– a Paiwan artistic technique that consists of weaving in concentric circles– as her artistic core. Her practice is inspired by her Paiwan culture, its tradition and her role as an Indigenous woman responding to current issues, revealing delicate flows of emotions. After the particularly violent Typhoon Morakot, her people have relocated to the Rinari Community, and Aluaiy has been looking for ways to “connect” members of her displaced community through a creative process.
CHANG, En-Man (b. 1967, Taiwan) was born in the Pacavalj Community in Taitung, Taiwan. Having grown, lived and worked in Taipei, she now lives in Keelung. CHANG has focused extensively on how Indigenous Peoples in Taiwan deal with cultural, social, and fundamental conditions they are faced with throughout the irreversible process of modernization. Based her practice on such a focus, she then extends outwards to explore and delineate the world to seek the transformative power that art embodies.
Eleng Luluan (b. 1968, Taiwan) belongs to the Kucapungane (Haocha) Community of the Rukai Nation in Pingtung County, and has been living and making art in Dulan, Taitung. A member of “Tribe of Consciousness,” an artist commune in Taitung, the artist upholds the ideal of being close to nature and uses plain, natural materials in her sculpture, installation and land art to unfold an intense self-pursuit and exploration of her feelings towards nature. Her artistic spirit informed by natural “materials” and natural “philosophy” has given her work immense dramatic tension and force of life, making her an internationally and academically recognized contemporary artist in recent years.
Idas Losin(b. 1976, Taiwan)belongs to the Ulay Community in New Taipei City. An artist from both the Atayal Nation and Truku Nation, her mixed Indigenous identity gives a depth of ancient, traditional cultures to her art. Idas’s work is informed by a poetic contemporary language comprising pure images, precise lines and a bold palette. However, her Indigenous soul that always looks up to the eye of the ancestral spirit has led her to discover the beauty created by the Indigenous Nations in Taiwan. From the red of the Atayal Nation, the white of the Truku Nation, the black of the Ulay Community and the azure ocean of Lanyu, ancient weaving, hunting, totem and tattoo have all become indispensable elements in her painting.
Solberg was raised in Manndalen of the North-Troms and, through her upbringing, she has been surrounded by meaningful materials and objects closely related to nature, craft and seasonal work. In addition, the Riddu Riđđu Festival seemingly brought the whole world to Manndalen, where she grew up. Solberg is interested in the intimate dimension of the interactive contact between viewer and artwork. While describing the performative Indigeneity of relational works, she addresses a collective human race and culture. She attempts to remind us of our basic essential condition and her search for Indigenous ways of articulating the individual body in relation to the shared body constituted by mainstream society.
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