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Traveling Backwards to the stories we left behind

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Post date:2021-12-01

Updates:2021-12-07

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Traveling Backwards to the stories we left behind
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NO.39,Chang-An West Road, Datong Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C
Imagine art as a train that moves along the progression of time and evolves into diverse forms with the development of media instruments. We, in this case, are passengers that hop on the train from different stations. This train carries memory of the past and anticipation of coming stations. To create the future, artists gather fragments along the railroad as well as passengers who have missed the train to create re-deployment of memory.

Traveling Backwards—to the stories we left behind on view on the second-floor galleries of MoCA Taipei is a journey unveiled with Hsu Su-Chen’s An Owl in Time Differences that engages in a dialectic of time through a dialogue between an owl and the artist/us outside the frame as well as Wang Ting-Yu’s paintings that juxtapose cross-media and cross-period images on canvases reminiscent of constellation maps/atlases. Sitting at different class carriages with their own luggage, each passenger experiences different views from their respective seats… With the individual contrast with the larger era, as history changes and system builds, power and politics have determined those to be seen as well as those to be excluded. Chen Che-Wei focuses on the power systems of representation in modern national regimes, especially the subjectivity and complex circumstances of mental patients. His work Spear features an actor friend suffering from dissociative disorders, who performs his own memories in a video interweaving and colliding different layers of reality. Liu Han-Chi’s video installation, On Patrol, features a night shift security guard who appears to have much free time between the uncontrollable intervals of coming and leaving cars. In fact, his so-called free time is determined by others and might be interrupted anytime.

Contemporary political propaganda often assumes the forms of cultural and entertainment trends that are repeatedly broadcasted on diverse media and has further infiltrated people’s life comparing to military threats. The “AK47 Girls” in Chen Ching-Yao’s painting are depicted as pretty girls in uniform as a military army that is ready to attack their next target. Hsu Che-Yu’s Re-rupture draws inspiration from Wu Chong-Wei’s unsuccessful project proposed for the “Taipei Breaking Sky Festival” in 1995. Although Wu came up with such a project that embodied the anarchist spirit, his father was an artist who served the authoritarian regime. In Re-rupture, therefore, we seem to glimpse the relationship between two generations in the politically influenced society of the post-war Taiwan. Throughout the construction of history or civilization, those who are excluded are sacrificed or silenced—eventually, they become taboos. Li Yi-Fan’s Boring Gray utilizes a large amount of video game materials and stock image models to create a large-scale projection installation, with which he discusses the taboo of “seeing.” In many cultures, one might even be cursed upon breaching a visual taboo. In the contemporary era, the advancement of computer graphics seems to become another visual curse. As we constantly push the visual limit, we are also approaching the edge of the curse.

Throughout the development of history and civilization, many concealed, vernacular-speaking or failed individuals have been scorned, even stigmatized and consequently viewed as taboo or incompetent by the mainstream. The works showcased in this exhibition have reconstructed the image system to give it a new will, shifted the lens to focus on personal life history and contrast with the grand history, or bared what was viewed as failures. With the artists’ re-interpretation or investigation, we are able to search again for the excluded heterogeneous voices, which seem to manifest the zeitgeist that has spilled over and the contemporary that has emerged too early.

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