2017年12月18日 星期一

Industrial Research Institute of Taiwan Governor-General's Office

Industrial Research Institute of Taiwan Governor-General's Office
Single-channel video installation, 3' , 2017

This 3D animation is based on two photographs taken in the chemistry laboratories of the Taiwan Governor-General’s Office, the predecessor of what we know of today as the Industrial Research Institute. The 3D animation illustrates the visual ranges of these old photographs through skillful camera movements, revealing the construction of the 3D animation as the perspectives change accordingly. A TV stand is also included in the animation – showing clips of a military factory from the Japanese colonial period and views of an expo in the 30s. These recordings present the technological displays at the time and the desire to seek modernity, along with underlying Imperialism associations.




2017年12月17日 星期日

Drones, Frosted Bats and the Testimony of the Deceased

Drones, Frosted Bats and the Testimony of the Deceased
Four-channel video installation, 3' 40" ~ 8' 40", 2017

Drones, Frosted Bats and the Testimony of the Deceased is filmed at the abandoned site of Hsinchu Branch of the Sixth Japanese Naval Fuel Plant. During the World War II, the fuel plant was used to produce aviation fuel with butyl alcohol developed by the Department of Industrial Fermentation at the Industrial Research Institute. As a victim of the war, the deserted buildings reveal the stories of the past with the bullet holes on the walls as the eyewitness. The bullet holes on these deserted buildings reveal atrocities of war - scars evident of their pasts. Hsu utilizes the unique mobile perspectives of a drone, using it as exposed photographic equipment and casting it as an actor anthropomorphically in the video. Aside from the shots taken by the drone, this video also includes several different shots, for instance, a scene of frosted bats in a big chimney. Frosted bats are mostly found in the high latitudes of Japan, Korea, and North China. Yet, for unknown reasons, this northern species of frosted bats resides in the chimney of the military plant from May to July in recent years. The plant is the only place where the frosted bats can be found in Taiwan. Moreover, the video contains footages of bombers from World War II when United States allied with China to bomb Taiwan. However, this incident slowly faded as authorities shifted in the Asia-Pacific region. Hsu uses imageries of flying objects as essential elements of this video, including the original function of the fuel plant as an aviation fuel producer, drones, bats, and bombers.

The video narration originated from memoirs of factory employees at the time. Nineteen oral accounts dubbed by four voice actors in Japanese and the video archive manipulated by a computer program are arranged randomly on the playlist to constantly shift the structure of the video. As the narrator recounts: “After the War, most of the documents were incinerated. Quantity, date, people, accidents, sequence, cause and effects, evidences were all lost. Now, only the abstract and unreliable images remain.” Through the random calculations of the program, Hsu presents in this video the uncertainty of these memories and his response to the scattered historical text.

四頻道錄像裝置,3’40 ~ 8’40’’,2017



2017年12月16日 星期六


Single channel video installation, 9' 20", 2017

Takasago is a video installation combining two seemingly unrelated elements – Noh theatre and a perfume factory currently operating in Japan. Takasago International Corporation was founded in the 1920s in Japan. With the support from the government and technical assistance of the Industrial Department at Central Industrial Research Institute, it opened its first foreign branch in Taiwan aiming to expand the business, producing perfume and fragrance with local ingredients. The corporation was named Takasago for two reasons. First, owning to the fact that in old times raw materials were imported to Japan from Taiwan, Taiwan was given a Japanese name Takasago. Second, Takasago is also the well-known Noh play by Zeami Motokiyo in the Muromachi era about the lasting love between the twin pines transforming into an old married couple to express that the geographical distance will never separate them. In the work where Noh actors perform in the modern factory, the multiple references of the word “Takasago” and the moral of the ancient tale are connected through a writing beyond the script of history.



2017年12月15日 星期五

Nuclear Decay Timer

Nuclear Decay Timer
Four - channel video installation, 8' 40", 2017

For this work, Chia-Wei Hsu ollaborated with geologists to look at colonial history from a science history perspective. After the Great Kantō earthquake in 1923, Japan’s economy suffered a steep economic decline. In the hope of reviving the economy, Japanese established several benefits for the gold mining, thus resulting in a rapid development of colonial Taiwan’s gold mining industry. Meanwhile, zircon was discovered for the first time during this gold mining craze, yet it was not taken seriously at the time. It was not until the geologists discovered zircon in the riverbed of Mawudu River (Hsinchu) that it was put into research. Initially, researches aimed to survey these mineral resources in order to produce alloy and to support military’s development during the World War II, however later they realized that the output of zircon was insufficient. Although the plan ended in failure, the zircon samples from the excavation have new scientific applications for the later generations of geologists. With technological advances, such as the electron probe micro-analyzers, geologists can now determine the composition of zircon. In addition, with the help of nuclear physics, they are able to reveal intriguing information about the past. Zircon is like a nuclear decay timer that allows geologists to look at the span of time from the beginning of the world to the birth of humans.



在這個計畫中,藝術家與地質學家合作,試圖從科學史的角度重新回看殖民歷史。1923 年的日本關東大地震之後,由於日本經濟嚴重衰退,為了挽救經濟而訂定了許多金礦業的優惠條件,殖民地台灣的金礦業就此蓬勃發展。當時在採金礦的過程中,初次發現了副礦物「鋯石」,不過當時並未受到重視。直至二戰期間,日治時期的地質學家在新竹關西地區的馬武督溪河床,發現了一種特殊的鋯石巨晶,可作為合金用途,並用以支持二戰期間軍需產業的發展,於是投入研究。起初是作為礦產資源的調查,但最終其產量並不足以作為礦產資源。雖然這個計畫以失敗告終,但當時所留下來的鋯石標本,卻在不同世代的地質學家手中有了新的科學發展,透過電子微探儀定出成分,並結合核物理學的方法,讀出其中的時間資訊。鋯石成為了核衰變計時器,為地質學家展開的是從盤古開天闢地到人類誕生的時空跨度。

2017年12月14日 星期四


photography, dimensions variable, 2017

Geologists discovered zircon in the riverbed of Mawudu River (Hsinchu) during the Japanese occupation, and further investigated whether this area was suitable for mining. Now, there is a uni-resort built in this exact area. This installation consists of a few ready-made images gathered from different sources, such as a large-scale plan of the resort grounds provided by the resort, an image of the resort facilities, a geological map (Tikuto sheet) of the area used by the Japanese geologists during the colonial period, an atom simulation, and a plate subduction sketch. An image simulation of a nuclear power plant is also included in the installation, since zircon contains radioactive uranium and can be used for the purposes of nuclear research. In addition to these ready-made images, Hsu also presents a photograph of zircon under the microscope, as well as the zircon samples preserved by the Department of Geosciences at National Taiwan University in this installation. With these complex imageries, the artist intends to depict the vague impression of science and history pertained to this period of time.



2016年12月18日 星期日

White Building - Kong Nay

White Building - Kong Nay
one-channel HD video, 9' 25", 2016

Kong Nay is one of relatively few great Chapei Dong Veng masters to have survived the Khmer Rouge era. Blind from the age of four as a result of smallpox, he is very gifted in music as a singing poem. He used to live in the White Building, and now he lives in the Kampot Province, a country side of Cambodia. The artist visited Kong Nay with photographers and sound recordists and made this long take video. In this video Kong Nay performs an ancient story about Chapei Dong Veng.

高畫質單頻道錄像,9' 25",2016

貢奈是柬埔寨少數僅存的柬埔寨魯特琴(Chapei Dong Veng)大師,雖然四歲時便因染天花而雙目失明,但卻是有極高音樂造詣的吟唱詩人。在紅高棉統治期間,貢奈幸運地保存了性命,他曾經居住在白色大樓當中,現今則是居住在柬埔寨鄉下(Kampot Province)的住所。藝術家帶著攝影師與錄音師拜訪貢奈,並以一鏡到底的方式創作了這件錄像。影片中貢奈唱述一段有關柬埔寨魯特琴遠古的故事。

2016年12月17日 星期六

White Building - Sisters

White Building - Sisters
one-channel HD video, 1' 50", 2016

Yon Davy and Yon Chantha are sisters born in the White building and have been living there since then. Davy specializes contemporary dance while Chantha specializes in traditional dance Apsara. The artist invited them to perform in a new-built building in Phnom Penh. During these years Phnom Penh has seen rapid development with various modern buildings built, whereas the old White Building is facing dismantling. The scene in this video reflects the changing faces of a city. In this video, the sisters are having a body conversation via two different type of dances in the construction site.

高畫質單頻道錄像,1' 50",2016

Yon Davy與Yon Chantha是一對出生於白色大樓的姐妹,至今仍然居住在白色大樓內,Davy的專長是當代舞蹈,而姊姊Chantha專長是阿帕撒拉(Apsara)傳統舞蹈。藝術家邀請兩人在金邊的一棟新建大樓中表演。近幾年金邊快速發展,各式高樓平地而起,但老舊的白色大樓卻面臨即將被拆除的命運,這個拍攝場景反映了都市變遷的面貌。影片中,姊妹二人在建築工地中,透過兩種不同類型的舞蹈,進行一場肢體的對話。