We need to degenerate and crawl on our limbs to accompany the giant crocodile of history.
Scenario #6 of Portrait Portrait could be seen as a topological attempt to connect several periods and spaces in Asia. Instead of a panorama that reveals the powers and technologies delineating Asian modernity, it draws out the flow and the leaps of contestation via different projections, transformations, pushes and pulls to ask “How can we reshape the cartographic processes imposed by the existing powers?’
Sound Route: Bengawan Solo (Wu Chi-Yu+Shen Sum-Sum+Musquiqui Chihying) employs a song that passed through three eras. Its different adaptations bring three romantic cinema stories from various political backgrounds with their respective social and cultural pressures together in a narrated radio play. Bengawan Solo (1953) talks about the failure of Japanese Militarism in Asia; Love Parade (1963) addresses the boundless modernity shaped by European colonization; while Bengawan Solo (1971) outlines US power in Asia and the ongoing effects of cultural colonialization in the post-Cold War era. The project contemplates how different colonial powers intertwined into a new hybrid force to shape Asian modernization, and how artists unfold the geopolitical landscape to seek the contemporaneity that belongs to a global sense of time.
Chang Xin Dian is a city driven by Chinese modernization in Li Mo & Kong’s narration, struggling with the confrontation of modern technology of the trainline and the equally modern politics of the proletarian revolution. They present a contour of the expressions of people and streets to remap history, through memories and their storytellers instead of geography. Liu Hojang’s project flips the relation between the measurement of subject and object, objecthood and materiality, through microscopic analysis. Both projects demonstrate the untradeable but inter-exchangeable positions—the motion process as means for sculpture.
In Marta Roberti’s These time are strange and strange things are happening , she adapts a photographic image of a female parachutist from The Grand Sight of Formosa Exhibition for the Commemoration of the 40th Year of Its Foundation Under Japanese Rule, which manifested the militarism and colonization as a carnival. This photograph from 1935 was intended as a global image of Taiwan’s role in the narrative of modernization of its colonial ruler. Roberti plays a fictional twist: she changes the military uniform into a traditional kimono with post (or hyper) historical connotations. The Japanese Emperor’s authority acquires an artificial, yet absolutely sublime image to accompany its unchallengeable power. However, the meeting of parachute and kimono folds into a critical niche to represent how colonial power enters the local. The symbol of the landing female parachutist in kimono exactly addresses the soft mobilization of affection for the empire, and reveals the dialogues of body and power in different kinds of covering and folding actions.
LI Mo & KONG
LI Mo & KONG studies the connection between theoretical speculation and architectural techniques. The studio explores new horizons for urban design and its related art through “Calligraphic” interpretations. Their public projects, brings the community attention, thinking, conversations and experiments to build up the margin method which leads a new set of values formed within and the local launch of a new production pattern constructed at a locale. Calligraphy Architecture Studio is based in Beijing.
Hojang Liu’s works and projects extend beyond questions of image-making or technology quality. His peculiar artistic practice exposes the social context and politics behind the surface. Be it via an object, a place, or a community, his works shed light on their peculiarities and differences. In this relation between the visible and the invisible, he articulates an authentic narrative to the social functions and sensibility of art to transform the values of human networks. And, in turn, employs these forces to sustain art production. Liu lives and works in Taipei.
Marta Roberti’s poetic imagery and speculative philosophy are articulated through hand-drawn installations and animations that investigate how Western culture relates to what defines other and opposite to itself: in particular the animal, the nature and the east felt like exotic. A miniature of gloomy darkness can be seen in her work applied through the vague dialogue between the nature and the artificial, in order to provide alternative figures to express the contradictions between what we have become and the language we use to represent ourselves. Roberti lives and works in Rome.
WU Chi-Yu＋SHEN Sum-Sum＋Musquiqui Chihying
Sound Route is a collaboration between Wu, Shen and Musquiqui Chihying.
WU Chi-Yu’s practice focuses on the recording and reproduction of oral histories and local rumour. Through the process of deconstructing and reconstructing these narratives, he aims to reconnect with a post-modern society which has become detached from history and community. Wu lives and works in Taipei. SHEN Sum-Sum’s interests lie in how imagination and perception is evoked by the experience of listening through the symbolic and narrative character of sound itself. Shen lives and works in Berlin. Musquiqui Chihying focuses on the relationship between the human body and the public domain, as well as how capital production twists everyday routine. Musquiqui Chihying lives and works between Taipei and Berlin.