VIDEO BOX 2024

Intimacy: the moments of social skin, a program curated by Yipei Lee

For this upcoming edition, our focus shifts dynamically to the vibrant cultural landscape of Taipei. At this moment, Taipei stands as a paramount hub for a burgeoning community of emerging digital media artists. In collaboration, these artists will embark on a transformative project that not only mirrors the avant-garde spirit of the new digital artistic generation but also underscores the influential and emergent role that Taipei’s artistic scene is currently playing.

This endeavor aims to encapsulate the dynamism and groundbreaking creativity emanating from the Taipei region, spotlighting its profound impact on the global art stage. As we delve into the project, we anticipate unraveling the rich tapestry of ideas and expressions that define the powerful and compelling narrative of Taipei’s flourishing artistic movement.

Through the theme ‘Intimacy: the Moments of Social Skin‘, the exhibition delves into the intangible forces of geopolitics, gender, power, and culture that have shaped Taiwanese contemporary social development since the 1990s. It dismantles the social structures and historical imprints of human existence through the narrative of images depicting the nation, the city, the tribe, and the family.

The body is interpreted as a text that can be read, with human beings akin to the skin and texture attached to the surface of society. Whether traditional or contemporary, the existence and transformation of the body carry subjective and objective meanings, directly and indirectly expressing cultural ideologies (and anxieties), racial prejudices, social statuses, and the identities of groups.

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Anthropologist Terence Turner coined the term ‘social skin.’ It ranges from ornaments, hair styles, make-up, cover-ups, clothing, tattoos, piercings and scratches, to bodybuilding or slimming, muscle development and cosmetic surgery. Whether natural or artificial, extreme or seemingly whimsical, social skin is meaningful to the times we live through and is always influenced and represented by the socialization of human behavior.

In conclusion, as demonstrated by the exhibition titled ‘Intimacy: The Moments of Social Skin,’ our society is a rich tapestry woven from the diverse threads of different generations, each reflecting unique dimensions of social interaction and identity. Despite coexisting within a vast and interconnected environment, we often find ourselves unable to fully grasp its entirety. Yet, this very incompleteness is an integral aspect of the beauty of society, as it embodies the intricate rhythm of human existence and interaction.

Within this intricate web, images serve as invaluable artifacts of what we might term ‘futuring typology’—capturing not only moments frozen in time but also hinting at the potential trajectories of our collective future. Through the narrative use of video imagery, Taiwanese artists participating in this exhibition offer poignant insights into the nuances of regional and global development, particularly in the realms of pluralism and social status.

As we draw closer to these depictions, we find ourselves increasingly immersed in the authenticity they convey, forging deeper connections with the realities they portray. Thus, by bearing witness to, portraying, and memorializing these pivotal moments, we contribute to a richer understanding of the complex interplay between individuals, societies, and the evolving landscapes of our shared world.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS

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CHEN CHIEH-JEN

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WU CHI-TSUNG​

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HSU CHE-YU​

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CIWAS TAHOS (ANCHI LIN)

CHEN CHIEH-JEN ​

Born in 1960 in Taoyuan, Taiwan, Chen Chieh-jen currently lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan. Since 1996, he has collaborated with unemployed laborers, day workers, migrant workers, foreign spouses, unemployed youth and social activists. In order to visualize contemporary reality and a people’s history obscured by neoliberalism, Chen embarked on a series of video projects in which he used strategies he calls “re-imagining, re-narrating, re-writing and re-connecting” to further his goal of generating dissent and starting a second wave movement.

Starting in 2010, Chen began actively focusing on the fact that many people around the world have been reduced to working temporary jobs and lost sense of existence due to the corporatocracy’s pervasive control technology. Chen refers to this near universal plight caused by automation as “global imprisonment” or “at-home exile.” Employing the Buddhist methods of transforming desire with desire and detoxifying illusion with māyā, he considers how this pervasive control technology can be qualitatively changed.

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A Field of Non-Field, 2017

Medium: Single Channel Video
Size: 61’07”

Under the development of financial competition and technological capitalism, which has developed a global manipulation that is more penetrating than previous forms of governance, not only are more people being reduced to the status of pan-dispatched workers under “global imprisonment and local exile”, but it is also more difficult to open up the desire structure, sensory structure, and way of thinking of contemporary societies which have been encompassed and penetrated by the post-internet era’s global manipulation technology. This puts the survival of contemporary societies into the battlefield for each other. 

“Is there any other way out for human beings? In response to this difficult question, to which no simple answer is possible, the artist rethinks the topic of “emptiness” in “Zhongguang Xue” created by Avalokiteshvara, and puts into practice the “Middle Way” method with its spirit of multi-dialecticism. In order to embody and practice how to establish other epistemologies, modes of thinking and values of life in a world that is encompassed and penetrated by the technology to qualitatively change the way of life. This is one of the ways to qualitatively change the global manipulation technology.

Wu Chi-Tsung

Wu, Chi-Tsung was born in 1981 in Taipei. Wu received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Taipei National University of the Arts in 2004. He currently lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan and Berlin, Germany. His work, in which he devotes great attention to the methods used in producing and interpreting images, spans across different media, including photography, video, installation art, painting and set design. He combines traditions and contemporary art forms from the East and the West. Daily objects and phenomena are great inspiration for his work, what he transforms into poetic imagery. He received the top prize of the “Taipei Arts Award” (2003), the “WRO Media Art Biannual” (2013) – Award of Critics and Editors of Art Magazines”, the “Liu Kuo Sung Ink Art Award” (2019), short-listed for the “Artes Mundi” (2006), and the “Prudential Eye Awards” (2015).

His recent artworks exhibited at Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, U.S.A; The 9th Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen). His Cyano-Collage Series was featured in Shangxia’s FW23 couture collection which debuted at Paris Fashion Week.

The central locus of his creative work has always been a discussion as to the real nature of images; how they are produced, perceived by viewers and the impact they have. However, the way in which this is executed has never been particularly disciplined or scientific, resembling something more akin to a game. Sometimes he experiments with just one part, or exchange some of the elements to see what changes that causes in the creation of images and whether there is anything of interest hidden inside.

A great deal of the depth of illusion created by pictures or images comes from the single point of perspective. In other words, all straight lines not parallel to the picture disappear into some point in the distance, almost as though space is being sucked into a bottomless hole. It was this view point that made him wonder what the viewable world would be like if there was no point of disappearance.

‘’I guess it would be really flat.’’

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PerSPECTIVE VIDEO, 2008

Medium: Single Channel Video
Size: 06’07”

Hsu Che-Yu

Hsu Che-Yu (b. 1985) is an artist based in Taipei and Amsterdam. Previously, Hsu obtained a master’s degree from the Graduate Institute of Plastic Arts, Tainan National University of the Arts (Taiwan). Since 2019, he has participated in different residency programs Hsu Che-Yu works as an artist who primarily creates animations, videos, and installations that feature the relations between media and memories. What matters to the artist is not simply the history of events traceable through media, but also the construction and HSU Che-Yu visualization of memories, be they private or collective.

Hsu has solo exhibitions at Fundació Joan Miró (Barcelona, 2023), Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève (2023), Vernacular Institute (Mexico City, 2023), Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts (Taipei, 2023,2012), Liang Gallery (Taipei, 2022), Vanguard Gallery (Shanghai, 2020), Taipei Fine Arts Museum (2015), SAT Society for Arts and Technology (Montreal, 2012). He has participated in the Theater der Welt (Frankfurt, 2023), Bienal de São Paulo (2021), Seoul Mediacity Biennale (2021), Sonsbeek20→24 Quadrennial public program (2021), Techniques of Becoming (Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, 2021), VIDEONALE.18 (2021).

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A glove puppetry performer reinvents and reenacts the movements of a dead rabbit, which ended its life in a laboratory. Rabbit 314 questions the manipulation and appropriation of animals by humans. The project was initiated by the death of a laboratory rabbit, and was inspired by the artist’s family memories. The artist’s grandma served in an animal laboratory for thirty years, during which, due to the particularity of her job, she had to dissect living animals for observation and experiments.

RABBIT 314, 2020
Medium: Single Channel Video
Size: 7’17”

Ciwas Tahos (Anchi Lin)

Ciwas Tahos (Anchi Lin) is a visual artist of Atayal/ Itaṟal and Taiwanese Hō-ló descent. Ciwas’s body-centered practice weaves the Indigenous Atayal worldview through performance, moving images, cyberspace, ceramics, and kinetic installation to claim a self-determined queer space, her work is an exploration of cultural and gender identity, using her body as a medium to trace linguistic and cultural experiences of displacement to seek out new forms of understanding. Ciwas’s most notable art project is mgluw tuqiy na Temahahoi (Finding Pathways to Temahahoi), she completed an MFA in New Media Art at Taipei National University of the Arts (Taiwan) in 2024 and BFA in Visual Art at Simon Fraser University (Canada) in 2015.

Most recently, Ciwas presented her work at Arts House in Naarm (Melbourne), and the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) in Brisbane, Australia. She was awarded the Biannual Prize of Pulima Art Award and was selected as the inaugural Artist for the Australia-Taiwan Friendship Year Arts Exchange Partnership for 2023. In 2023, their work was exhibited at the 2023 Arts Electronica Festival in Austria, the Taiwan Austronesian Art Triennial in Taiwan, and Proto-zone13 at Shedhalle in Switzerland. 

Pswagi Temahahoi connects different methods of artistic imagination to explore the space of Temahahoi; it’s oral storytelling among Atayal people of a place where only women and gender non-conforming people live who can communicate with bees and become impregnated by wind. This video work combines documentary and audio-visual performance to weave a hybrid video installation piece.

The documentary follows the path taken by Atayal Elder Yumin, who uses a technique named pswagi, utilizing sunlight as an embodied tool to trace the locations of wild bee hives and also as a way to find Temahahoi, alongside a staged performance piece with a self-invented and assembled ceramic instrument, the wind (breath) blowing from the queer bodies goes into the genderless ceramic instrument to relocate the fluid space of Temahahoi through sound.

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Pswagi Temahahoi, 2022

Medium: Single Channel Video
Size: 12’00” Edition:1/4