Taiwan’s exhibit addressed the rise of protest movements across Asia in the face of rapid urban development and dramatic changes to the political and economic landscape. Under the theme Invisible Calls, it brought together two artists – photographer Cheng-Chang Wu and new-media art creator Che-Yu Hsu – who used their work as a mode of protest, highlighting the underlying social problems and unspoken – or invisible – realities of Taiwanese society.
The democratisation of the Taiwanese political system over the past 30 years has seen the lifting of martial law and party bans, freedom of the press and economic liberalisation. Cheng-Chang Wu has witnessed and recorded these changes, highlighting many of the voices marginalised by mainstream values. His photography project, Visions of Taiwan, adopted the strategy of longterm field research to capture the realities of environmental pollution and land damage caused by human development. For the installation, Wu collected the stories and voices behind each diseased landscape and uses videos, music and sound effects to present the issues in a vivid, theatrical way across three screens.
Meanwhile, Che-Yu Hsu’s video installation incorporated hand-drawn animation into real-world images in an attempt to reclaim personal narratives from the manipulation of the mass media. We live in an era where real-life events are increasingly exploited by the media, dehumanising the participants and divesting them of personality and attitude. Hsu reclaimed the experiences of these people by turning them into animation characters and reconstructing events through the intimacy of personal narrations.
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Photography: Ed Reeve
National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art (Art Bank Taiwan), The Ministry of Culture of Taiwan
Cheng-Chang Wu, and Che-Yu Hsu and Wan-Yin Chen
Thousand Birds Art Co. Ltd., Mistroom
Cheng-Pu Su and Man-Yun Chung
Taiwan and Taipei Representative Office in the U.K.