The Taipei Fine Arts Museum of Taiwan is pleased to announce that Hong-Kai Wang and Yu-Hsien Su will represent Taiwan at the 54th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. The Taiwan Pavilion, at the Palazzo delle Prigioni, will host a two-part exhibition, The Heard and the Unheard – Soundscape Taiwan, curated by Amy Cheng.
The Heard and the Unheard explores Taiwan’s social soundscape. “Sound,” as protagonist of the exhibition, appears both in its role as a medium and as a metaphorical site for political actions. By adopting sound as both substance and aesthetic form, the exhibition explores the non-mainstream cultural context of contemporary Taiwanese society through the work of two artists and the inclusion of the Sound Library/Bar.
In Music While We Work, Hong-Kai Wang investigates the collective experience of listening and recording at a specific social space of labor and production. Returning to her hometown Huwei, Taiwan, Wang collaborates with an over 100-year old sugar factory and invites a group of retired workers and their spouses to return to the historic industrial site. Through recording workshops they learn to take charge of the microphone and to later record sounds found at their former workplace.
Sounds of Nothing, by Yu-Hsien Su, is about the lives of common people, including foreign boatmen, a scavenger, and a vagrant. Invited participants make their own “music” and Su compiles their recordings into albums under his newly-launched label, indi-indi. These albums, with people’s unpracticed and dissonant music, highlight the existence of individuals.
The Sound Library/Bar outlines the evolution of Taiwan’s history and society, by providing a narrative for the sound of social movements and of sound production since the lifting of martial law in 1987. In this casual space visitors can become better acquainted with Taiwan’s socio-historical context and numerous social sound events and recordings that were the impetus for social and political change in Taiwanese society.
From May 31 to June 3 there will be a series of performances at the Sound Library/Bar. The program will feature three artists and performers: Fujui Wang, Chi-Wei Lin, and DJ @llen, Chi-Wei Lin, and Fujui Wang.
Hong-Kai Wang (b. 1971) received a BA in political science from National Taiwan University (Taipei) and an MA in media studies from The New School University (New York). She primarily works with sound as a conceptual means to investigate social relations and explore the construction of new social spaces.
Yu-Hsien Su (b. 1982) is currently a student at the Graduate Institute of Plastic Arts at Tainan National University of the Arts (Taiwan). Su’s work focuses on the subjective space between the object and the subject, whether it is the distance between the self and the other or between life and media. To Su, this subjective space grants sudden and subtle enlightenment that leads to self-confidence. In his work he seeks passion and humor in this resulting self-confidence.
54th International Art Exhibition
la Biennale di Venezia
The Heard and the Unheard – Soundscape Taiwan
Artists: Hong-Kai Wang, Yu-Hsien Su
Curator: Amy Cheng
Desgneir: Kuo-Chang Liu
Content researchers and organizers
Tieh-Chih Chang, Jeph Lo