“The Journey to the West”  西遊記

 

2010~

Mix media installation

{All materials were collected from different antique market in London}

Dimensions variable

 

 

Since 2008, I moved to London from Taiwan, the cultural impacts and hardships in daily life are everywhere. I started to be aware of my native context and difference, meanwhile I gradually realized how I was seriously influenced by the so-called post-colonal phenomenon and Western cultural in Taiwan. From way of thinking, lifestyle, values, esthetics (especially in the contemporary art context) to mentality toward West… the influence of 100 years actively Westernization has extended to the whole Taiwanese society. I started to wonder where my authenticity is? Furthermore, what is actual support behind my Taiwanese cultural identity? I started a journey to find myself.

 

I intended to create a scene of oriental study room, but the owner is absent and we can only see his collection and investigation. I was spending two weeks in different antique market to collect all of the material/object of this work and each of them is represented different period western interpretation toward East. None of them are coming from China originally and the whole installation seems to become a very simplistic representation of Edward Said theory on orientalism.

 

However, except of criticizing the tradition of Orientalism, introspecting my own contradictions about Taiwanese/Chinese culture has became main motivation of this piece. The whole collecting process is a very important; it represents my personal journey of seeking out identification with Taiwanese/Chinese culture from Western perception. It is also like experiment, there is no certain standard of selection and all depend on my intuition, finally I placed everything properly and presents a seems professional but actually problematic study. It is impossible to be specific (era, authenticity…)as a result; the idea is showing the conflicts between each objects at a time and every mistakes are literally represents all my messy confusion of identification while I face these Western proception of East. I am a actual owner of this study room

 

Finally, the triangle relationship between the camera, empty glass dome and the clapping monkey image on the monitor is the question I leave with the viewer and myself. The clapping monkey image is more like my interpretation of myself and Asia (Taiwan), rather than Western. 100 years ago when Taiwan decided to Westernize, they consider it is as ‘evolution’. However, what Asia has been doing is imitating human behavior, just like circus monkeys and finally had forgotten who they are? Moreover what I am doing and criticizing is just like the clapping monkey, trying to make massive noise in order to prove my irreplaceable existence. But in fact, could not get off the glass dome (the whole power structure).

2010~

綜合媒材裝置(所以物件蒐集自世界不同跳蚤市場)

尺寸一場地可變

 

自從到英國唸書之後,我逐漸意識到所謂後殖民與西化文化在我身上所產生的影響,不論是思考、生活、價值觀、美學品味到對西方的態度,我不禁懷疑到底是什麼支撐我台灣人/中國人這個文化身分,我身上還殘有多少部分緣於東方文化?

我企圖重現出一個東方研究學者的研究室, 觀眾只能看到研究還有收藏,學者本人卻不知去向。事實上這裝置中沒有一個物件/收藏是來自於東方的,它們是我從倫敦不同的古董市場收集而來,每一件都代表了西方在不同時期對中國的詮釋。某方面整件作品似乎成了薩伊得東方主義的佐證,尤其是看似專業但其實混亂不堪的研究內容與擺設(不論物件的年代、來源、真伪)。

 

但除了反諷東方主義的傳統,呈現與反思我個人對於所謂台灣/中國文化認同的矛盾才是我主要的企圖。搜集物件的過程是作品很重要的環節,代表了我從西方詮釋文本中尋找自身文化過程;它也像是一個實驗,選擇沒有特別的標準,全憑我的第一印象,最後再全部加陳設,呈現出一個看似專業但其實錯誤百出的研究。總總錯誤與矛盾反映了我面對這些西方製造的中國印象的困惑與不確定,也成了我希望觀眾發現並思考的線索。我才是這個研究室真正的主人,但多少人(不論東西)能發現錯誤,其實這樣西方山寨版的詮釋和我們自身的認知間有多少差距呢?

 

最後空的玻璃罩、拍攝中的攝影機還有攝影機連接到電視後的敲鑼馬戲團猴子影像這個三角形關係是這間作品中我所提出的問題。 敲鑼馬戲團猴子是我對台灣與中國的詮釋,如果當初人們視西化為進步,那超過一百的積極西化與現代化後,我們是否只是像馬戲團猴子一味模仿人類(西方),但最終卻忘記自己的原本的身分?是否我企圖藉由創作批判與的行為也只是像敲鑼猴子一般,無力地製造刺耳噪音以彰顯自已自身存在,但終究還是無法逃離我們這代人(藝術家)早已全面被西方文化建構的事實(不論手法,邏輯,與美學)。

 

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