2018年10月18日 星期四

Black and White - Malayan Tapir


Black and White - Malayan Tapir
Four-channel Video Installation, 6’55”, 2018

The development in Southeast Asia progressed when the British East India Company chose Singapore as a commercial base and started its modernization. As commercial development took place in Singapore, Europe also rapidly started to gather data and initiate the study of plants and animals also the establishment of museums. William Farquhar, the first commandant of the British East India Company in Malacca, hired a Chinese painter to do large-scale mapping and sorting of species in Malay Peninsula. As a result, a black and white creature, Malayan tapir, was recorded.

Due to the rapid development of biology, the naming and data recording of animals and plants had become a competitive field for many naturalists. However, Thomas Stamford Raffles, the commandant of the British East India Company in Penang, and William Farquhar, the commandant in Malacca, stayed engaged in political competition and started scientific disputes. Their recorded collection of animals and plants at the time was shipped from place to place during the colonial era until it returned to Singapore to the National Heritage Board.

Black and White – Malayan Tapir, hopes to apply an encyclopedic narrative style to deal with the equality between people and non-humans, man and nature, and to explore the changes in the way modern people view images. The scenes switch from the National Gallery Singapore, the National History Museum, Singapore Zoo to search engines and multiple windows. The political relationship between the history of the zoo in Southeast Asia and the colonial era leads to the drawing of a scientific illustration, biology, civil division and the local legend of Malayan tapir.


黑與白-馬來貘
四頻道錄像裝置, 6’55”, 2018

英國東印度公司在東南亞開發之際,選擇新加坡作為商業的據點,開始了當地的現代性建設。商業開發的同時,歐洲也同時快速發展動植物學與博物館的資料搜集與建構。英國東印度公司派任麻六甲的第一任司令威廉・法夸爾(William Farquhar)曾雇用中國畫師,針對馬來西亞的物種做大規模的繪製與整理,因而記錄了一種黑白生物:馬來貘。

在生物學迅速發展的時代,動植物的命名與資料記錄成為眾多生物愛好者相互競爭的範疇。然而,英國東印度公司的檳城司令萊佛士(Thomas Stamford Raffles)與麻六甲司令威廉・法夸爾,從政治的競爭關係延燒到科學的紛爭。他們當時候的動植物紀錄收藏歷經殖民時代的海上移動,輾轉回到新加坡,收藏在新加坡國家文物局。

《黑與白-馬來貘》希望從百科全書式的敘事方式處理一種人與非人,人與自然之間,一種平等非主從的關係,並探討現代人觀看影像的方式變化。畫面在新加坡國家美術館、自然科學博物館、新加坡動物園、搜尋引擎與多重視窗的場景間移動,開展出東南亞地區的動物園歷史與殖民時代的政治關係,繼而牽引出科學繪畫、生物學、城市區域劃分與馬來貘在當地的傳說。



Black and White - Giant Panda

Black and White - Giant Panda
  Chapter 1: It's a Pug / 9’46’’
  Chapter 2: So Cute! / 12’40’’
  Chapter 3: A Communist Panda / 7’11’’
  Chapter 4: A Black and White Bear / 11’44’’
  Chapter 5: Family Reunion / 11’27’’
Single-channel video installation,2018

In Black and White – Giant Panda, a panda is used as the entry point and acts as a connection between politics, history, animals, people and non-humans to tell the history of panda diplomacy.

Pandas can only be found in the mountains of Sichuan in China. In other words, all pandas in the zoos in other countries are from China. Pandas even became an essential diplomatic tool in the 20th century. China’s panda diplomacy goes back thousands of years to as early as 685 AD when Empress Wu Ze-Tian sent a pair of white bears and seventy furs of white bear (white bear here refers to giant pandas) to the Japanese emperor. Pandas were smuggled or traded from China at the beginning of the 20th century. The panda fever started when they appeared in the United States and Europe. They played an important diplomatic role in World War II, the Cold War, and still does to this day. Pandas also linked the complicated relationship between the United States, Europe, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, and China. 

The lecture performance, commissioned by the Arts Commons Tokyo in March 2018, was performed at the Taiwan Culture Center of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan. As a result of cooperation with the Manzaishis, panda’s lovely image is used as a material for comedy performance; meanwhile, the historical and political issues of panda diplomacy are described amusingly. In Black and White – Giant Panda, performance, historical materials, and the screen window viewing experience reflect and complement each other.

黑與白-熊貓
  第一章:走私/ 9’46’’
  第二章:好可愛啊!/ 12’40’’
  第三章:共產熊貓 / 7’11’’
  第四章:黑白熊 /11’44’’
  第五章:團圓/ 11’27’’
單頻道錄像裝置,2018

《黒與白-熊貓》以熊貓做為切入點,貫穿政治、歷史、動物等人與非人之間的連接,講述一段熊貓外交的歷史。

熊貓只生活在中國四川一帶山區,換而言之,目前全世界動物園裡的熊貓都來自中國,特別是在二十世紀,熊貓成為重要的外交工具。中國的「熊貓外交」已有上千年歷史。早在公元685年,武則天就曾送給日本天皇兩隻「白熊」和70張「白熊」毛皮,此處的「白熊」就是大熊貓。二十世紀開始,貓熊曾經被偷渡或買賣交易離開中國,當他們現身美國或歐洲時,曾經席捲一股熊貓熱。他們分別在二戰、冷戰時期以及今日,扮演著重要的外交角色,也連結美國、歐洲、俄羅斯、日本、台灣與中國之間千絲萬縷的錯綜關係。

2018年3月由東京藝術公社委託製作的Lecture Performance於台北駐日經濟文化代表處台灣文化中心演出。透過與日本「漫才師」合作,以熊貓可愛的形象為喜劇演出的材料,用詼諧的言語描述熊貓外交的歷史與政治問題。《黒與白-熊貓》結合當時的表演影像、歷史材料與螢幕視窗的觀看經驗相互映照與補充,透過漫才師的敘事重新在熊貓的移動與交換拓展出歷史、國際政治的樣貌。














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.

台灣總督府工業研究所

單頻道錄像裝置,3',2017

這件作品是透過兩張1911年的老照片所繪製的3D動畫,照片拍攝地點是台灣總督府化學部的實驗室室內,此機構是工業研究所的前身。3D動畫描繪了老照片中的可視範圍,隨著動畫的運鏡,在透視轉變之後裸露出3D動畫背後的結構。動畫中崁入了一座電視架,電視中播放的是日治時期的軍工廠畫面,以及1930年代的博覽會畫面。這些畫面呈現了當時對於科技的展示,追求現代性的慾望與帝國主義背後的關聯。









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.


飛行器、霜毛蝠、逝者證言
四頻道錄像裝置,3’40 ~ 8’40’’,2017

《飛行器、霜毛蝠、逝者證言》是以海軍第六燃料廠新竹支廠遺址為背景,這間二戰時期的軍工廠,是透過台灣總督府工業研究所的發酵工業部所研發的丁醇生產技術,以生產航空器所用的燃料,在戰火的摧殘下,廢棄的建築體上有無數彈痕見證了它的過去。在這件創作中,藝術家以空拍機的特殊視點穿梭其間拍攝,一方面空拍機做為裸露的攝影機具,另一方面也作為影片中的演員,以擬人化的方式呈現。除了空拍機所拍攝的畫面之外,還包括了不同的素材來源,其一是大煙囪內的霜毛蝠畫面,霜毛蝠主要分布於日本、韓國與中國大陸華北等高緯度地區,在不知名的原因之下,近幾年此北方物種每年五月至七月皆會到軍工廠的大煙囪裡產子,也成為台灣唯一的霜毛蝠棲息地。其二則是二戰期間的轟炸機影像資料,當時美國與中國的盟軍轟炸台灣,隨著政權轉移後,這段歷史也隨之被掩蓋。藝術家將飛行物的意象作為貫穿作品的元素,包括工廠作為生產飛機燃料的原始用途,以及空拍機、蝙蝠、轟炸機。

影片旁白源自於當時工廠員工的回憶錄,總共有十九篇口述旁白,由四位配音員以日文錄製,並透過電腦程式隨機播放。影像也同樣是程式自動從影像資料庫中挑選並即時剪接,每一次的播放都會產生不同的影片結構,就如同旁白中所提到的:「大部分的檔案,在投降前夕,就已經放進燃燒爐燒掉了。數量、日期、人物、事件、前後順序、因果關係,完全沒有依據,只剩下不可靠的模糊映像。」透過程式的隨機運算,呈現回憶的模糊不確定性,並藉以回應那段難以拼湊的歷史文本。






2017年12月16日 星期六

Takasago

Takasago
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.


高砂
單頻道錄像裝置,9’20”,2017

《高砂》是結合了日本的能劇以及日本一間迄今仍在經營的香水公司兩種看似不相干的元素發展其創作。1920年代高砂香料工業株式會社成立後,為拓展業務,並受官方支持與中央研究所工業部技術協助,在台灣設廠,以本地的原物料開發製作香料。高砂香料株式會社名為「高砂」有兩個原因,其一是舊時日本對台灣的代稱,當時由於原料皆來自於台灣,於是命名為高砂。其二則是取自高砂這一詞在日本的意境,在日本室町時代的劇作家世阿彌也有部流傳至今的作品亦稱為「高砂」,其故事背景是一對化為老夫妻人形的松樹精之間的恩愛與默契,來表達地域之遙亦無法阻隔彼此。這兩個原因成為香水公司命名的由來。在這件作品中,藝術家邀請能劇演員在現代化的工廠中演出,而高砂名稱的多義與古老傳說故事的寓意也串結了一種超越歷史記事的書寫。




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.


核衰變計時器

四頻道錄像裝置,8’40”,2017

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

Uni-Resort

Uni-Resort
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.


統一度假村
攝影,尺寸依場所而定,2017

日治時期的地質學家在新竹關西地區的馬武督河床中,採集到了特殊的鋯石巨晶,並進一步研究此一地區是否有開採的價值。此地點正是今日的統一度假村。這組影像作品包含了數個不同來源的現成影像,例如統一度假村所提供的園區平面圖大圖輸出、渡假村設施的攝影、日治時期地質學家針對此地區所繪製的「竹東圖幅」、原子模擬圖、板塊隱沒示意圖。另外,由於鋯石含有放射性的鈾元素,也流傳著鋯石可作為核子研究用途的傳說,因此現場也包含一張核電廠的模擬圖。除了這些現成的影像素材外,藝術家也呈現了顯微鏡頭底下的鋯石攝影,以及台大地質系實驗室保存的日治時期鋯石標本。藉由這些紛雜的影像類型,描繪這段科學與歷史的模糊印象。