První z promítacích večerů představíme mezinárodně uznávaného umělce z Tchaj-wanu Yao Jui - Chung, jeho dvě krátká videa “Long live” (2011-2012) a Long, Long Live (2013) a dokument prezentující jeho dlouhodobý investigativní projekt o špatné politice “LSD-Lost Society Document” (2012).
Starší video “Long live” otevírá trauma ostrova Kinmen, který byl silně ostřelován v roce 1958 a byl dlouhá léta mezníkem mezi Čínskou lidovou republikou a Čínskou republikou. Druhé video “Long, Long Live” navazuje na Zelený ostrov, jenž se stal exilovým útočištěm politických věznů v dlouhém období stanného práva pod vládou Kuomintangu v čele s generálem Chiang Kai-shkem. Dokument o projektu “LSD-Lost Society Document” přináší pětiletou kontinuální koncentraci na vznikající fenomén opuštěných budov, vystavěných převážně pro politické zájmy.
Yao Jui - Chung
(1969, Tchaj-pej, Tchaj-wan)
Yao Jui - Chung je současný tchajwanský umělec, profesor, kritik a dokumentarista vyjadřující se nejčastěji kresbou, performancí, instalací a fotografií. Základní pilíř jeho práce stojí na historicko-politickém kontextu Tchaj-wanu a hledání způsobů identifikaci se s ním. Ať už se jedná o velkoformátové kresby, ve kterých umělec ctí starý a přísný řád čínské malby, v nové technice kresby perem však přináší namísto meditujícího poutníka v horách, intimní výjevy ze svého života, nebo o video-performance otevírající konkrétní události a témata, z doby totalitního režimu, jde především o Yaovo hlavní téma: “absurdita historie osudu lidstva”. Vedle klasické umělecké disciplíny se Jui-Chung již dlouhodobě a aktivně věnuje investigativnímu mapování “Mosquito buildings”(budov, kde žijí jen komáři). Metodou černobílé fotografie a rešerší skrze vzpomínky lokálních obyvatel, vládními dokumenty, google, média, ale i skrze pohledy svých studentů, kritizuje a odkrývá projekty, které se staly střetem politických zájmů, korupce a utopených peněz. Zapojení studentů do projektu “LSD - Lost Society Document” je také jejich konfrontace s místem ze kterého pocházejí a apel na občanskou zodpovědnost. Pětiletý výzkumný projekt odhaluje již 400 případů ve čtyřech publikacích pod názvem Mirage: Disused Public Property in Taiwan.
Práce Yao Jui - Chunga je zastoupena v muzeiích a galeriích na Tchaj-wanu (Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan); v Austrálii (Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane); USA (Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art Collection, Cornell University); Francii (Bibliothèque National de France, Paris); v Koreji (Art Museum of Seoul) a v mnoha jiných soukromých sbírkách. Yao Jui - Chung je současně profesorem na National Taiwan Normal University Department of Fine Arts na Tchaj-wanu, průběžně publikuje hojnou řadu knih, je členem uskupení umělců pod galerií VTArtsalon a je také jedním ze zakladatelů nezávislého uměleckého centra Taipei Contemporary Art Center. V roce 2003 se zúčastnil skupinové výstavy “Podivné nebe” v pražském Rudolfinu.
by Ron Hanson from White Fungus Art Magazine.
1.What was your age when you first were attracted by art, and under what circumstances?
Around 1987,18 years old. When I listing the pink Floyd Band and read the book of interview Marcel Duchamp and works of Yves Klein. I start to rethinking what is Art? and what is Art for?
2.Why did you choose photography?
Photography just one of my creative way, I think the photography have a power can through the reality.
3.Please select one picture from your artistic production which best represents you. Tell us why you chose it.
In 1994, I did a action works called" Territory Take Over ". Most Taiwanese artists active before my generation maintained a negative and powerless attitude toward history. I think this was more of a political stance, rather than an aesthetic one. Colonialism was undoubtedly a nightmare for the third world, but excessive indulgence in playing the victim doesn’t help anyone address the future. At the time, Taiwan was engaged in a debate over nativism, which prompted me to wonder, why nativism? what is subjectivity? With my artwork, I didn’t expect to stage an emotional rehashing of painful histories, but rather chose satire and humor, photographing myself urinating outdoors, to compare unlawful colonization to a feral dog marking territory. In Taiwan, urinating on the ground outdoors is illegal, yet urinating into your own portable toilet outdoors is fine. With the small golden toilets placed in front of my photographs and wordplay (as shit and history happen to be homophonous in the Mandarin language), I meant to suggest the self legitimatizing strategies often used by colonizers to gild their decidedly less than sterling (shitty, actually) histories. My 1994 work Territory Take Over was related to my enthusiasm for climbing mountains in Taiwan that are over three-thousand meters high. Once while climbing Jade Mountain (the tallest peak in Taiwan at 3,954 meters) I felt very confused by the imposing bronze statue of Yu Youren erected at the summit, and urinated beside it as I really needed to go to the bathroom. This gave me the idea of creating an artwork by urinating in various places around Taiwan. Later, after reading up on four-hundred years of Taiwanese history (during the martial law period we weren’t taught Taiwanese history and most people of my generation studied KMT history in school), I decided to stage this artwork in places where various colonizers first entered Taiwan. I chose to pose for the photographs completely naked to raise the verisimilitude of the results, as dogs don’t wear clothing. Being an introvert by nature, however, I struggled for several months before steeling my savage animal nature and marking territory the only way a dog can: naked and with urine. Ultimately, these smelly photographs infused my later work with its intense geopolitical flavor.
4.Could you please describe the photograph “Attacking The Mainland- Action Series” from 1996? Please make reference to its format, size, and its relationship to time and space, its style and its theme.
Basically my cynicism and irreverence in this work is a critical reaction to the view of so-called Chinese orthodoxy in Taiwan. It seems history is always written by the victors, but the historical view held by the vanquished or marginalized is often more credible, or at least has reference value. The modern history of Asia, or that of China, is a history of struggle against western colonization, and is related to complex issues of the colonizing force of modernity and wholesale modernization. I didn’t intend to discuss these issues in the works you mentioned (I dealt with this in the later series Roaming around the Ruins), but rather the work had a direct connection to my search for identity. My father was a KMT party member who retreated to Taiwan in 1949, and the sole spiritual sustenance for people of his generation lay in their plan to retake the Mainland. However, the KMT’s inability to rout the communists during earlier stages of the Civil War and Mao Zedong’s ascent during the Long March, foretold both the necessity of resisting the Mainland communists and the ultimate failure of the KMT plan. Second generation forty-niners like myself were haunted by a floating feeling caused by our long-term geographical displacement (for example, we were limited in our knowledge of Taiwanese history, and the Mainland place names we memorized in school were frozen in 1949 and thus seriously out of step with reality), and no amount of political coercion could erase our inevitable destiny or the fact that our history was not tied to the earth and defied gravity—on the contrary—it made the situation all the more absurd. In my Recovering Mainland China photographs, I am like a wandering ghost or perhaps a retired soldier on tour. Either way, the figure in each photograph is not me, but rather is meant to represent a generation which could not escape its historical destiny. Political situations suggested by the backgrounds in the photographs were carefully selected, as were the costumes, and even the distressed effect of these black and white photographs was meticulously added. In October of 1996, when I photographed myself jumping at various historical sites in Beijing, I never imagined that by jumping into the past, I would in effect be rewriting its future. While I had hoped to prevent images previously frozen by one historical reality from reconsolidating, I never imagined that preconceived notions of these historical images would be erased by the audience’s bemusement, or that my humor would result in the continual reinterpretation of these historical sites.
5.Please describe your artistic creation process. Where do you get your inspiration from? How long does it take to work on a specific thematic?
There certainly is an element of seriality on my work, but I definitely didn’t start out making the work with this in mind. It seems certain things call to me, and every time I finish an artwork another problem waiting to be solved appears. For example, I came up with the idea of urinating where foreigners made incursions into Taiwan for my work Territory Take Over (1994) when I was atop Taiwan’s highest peak thinking about Taiwan. I came up with my idea for Recovering Mainland China (1994 - 96) during my military service in air force. Feeling a certain kinship with Don Quixote because he also faced strange and changeable times, I threw myself into the torrent of modern Chinese history. Therefore the idea for this work came from China which sits across the strait from Taiwan. The World is for All (1997 - 2000) is about Chinese communities living abroad. It seems these three works follow one another, but actually are related more like the layers of an onion; peeling back one layer naturally reveals another. There is also a little theatricality, but far less than the politics underpinning the artwork. The idea of reversal in my later work Long March (2002 - 04) is also a metaphor: if history could go in reverse, then the three previous series of works wouldn’t exist. Actually history cannot be changed, but our attitudes toward the past can be changed through art. Tradition can be changed, but we must first change our ways of seeing and thinking. My installation, photography and paintings all have one fundamental aspect, and that is I use them to subvert orthodoxy and consider the margins.
Just as you observed, I don't freeze decisive moments in my performative photographs, and I imbue my work with amateurish theatricality. A big part of the work is kuso, which I deploy by freezing action in my photographs. In other words, the work is a kind of anti-performance created with simple poses and actions, rather than stunts, that anyone could perform. I urinate, jump while posing at attention, do handstands, put my hands up in surrender, goosestep, salute or wave. All of these postures tend to be political in nature as they mimic those used by politicians when dealing with the media. I don’t intend to emphasize my bodily presence at a site, but rather the absurdity of a body restricted by politics. I hope that by freezing these moments in time I can liberate those who have been frozen by history or ideology.
6.Who are the contemporary artists you take as reference? And what are the artist/s from former generations that you take interest in?
I'm interesting in any good art works and artist.
7.What can you tell us about your latest artistic production?
Last year, I did a video called "Long, long live". It's talk about the cold war in Taiwan. filmed at the "Oasis Villa"(Political Prison) in Green Island, once a reform and re-education prison to house political prisoners during Taiwan’s martial law period, examines history through reviewing Taiwan’s historical identity and revealing political conspiracies.
9.According to your opinion, what are the contemporary art trends in Taipei?
A marked characteristic of the period around the end of martial law, for example, was the use of art to alleviate depression and resentment caused by long-term oppression. Critiques of society, political issues, awakening of native consciousness, folk culture, and challenges to traditional aesthetics and values were all important topics in 1990s. Since the Taiwanese art market has yet to become over-hyped like China’s, most artists are still working diligently at their art and not being influenced by the market. While the scale of the market in Taiwan is small, its orientation is more extensive and many artists maintain a high degree of experimentalism and independence, creating work with high degrees of accomplishment and rigor. As a country that is continually suppressed by China and marginalized by the rest of the world, Taiwan is one place in the world that prizes creative freedom, and this is the main reason why I make art in Taiwan. It is in relation to this combination that we might think about the power of increased knowledge to expand concepts of the local. As for Taiwanese contemporary art under the sway of the Internet and globalization, I would agree that the young generation is indeed sparing no effort to expand our knowledge of aesthetic and perceptual experience, and in doing so, is casting off the “exalted” constructions of the previous generation. In the wake of more recent trends in globalization and digital technologies, these topics have receded, and inevitably, Taiwanese contemporary art has been impacted by consumer culture with international styles replacing local aesthetics. Most younger artists are no longer interested in grand narratives, nor do they directly challenge traditional or exalted values, but rather use gentler, more personal strategies, avoid problems (both intentionally and unintentionally), and escape into their own communities. So it could be a mistake merely to celebrate the “site” of the internet and the purity of new media. While most of this work is clever, ethereal and speaks of personal experience, this is not enough. If they cannot construct their pastiche of fragments on a fully elaborated genealogy of knowledge, then the superficiality of their project is likely to cause it to collapse. It is knowledge that expands the horizons of the local, while lending depth to the seduction of digital globality.
10.How do you see the future of your artistic creations and what are the themes you would like to work on?
I will continue creating some new works about the Historical Destiny of Humanity Has a Certain Incurable Absurdity.
pozn: vzhledem k produkčním komplikacím jsme se rozhodli reprodukovat starší rozhovor autora pro magazín white fungus aponechat ho v původním jazyce. Rozhovor vedl Ron Hanson.