The Mixed-Blood：Welcome to the Feast
Curators | Lu Wei, Tuan Mu
Artists | Wang Aymei, Siyat Moses, Kao An-Bo, Lo Wan-Yun
Date | 2020/10/31- 2020/11/30
Venue | Good Underground Art Space, Taiwan Hualien
Upon entering the exhibition space, you will notice, spread around and across, small heaps of soil. Weaving back and forth in between artworks, sometimes part of the artwork themselves, other times leading the way, they prevent the usually established circulation in the exhibition space, as if departing from the white cube, and inviting the audience to step into a space unknown yet familiar, as when treading into an unwalked narrow trail, five senses heightened, this feeling of the unknown steering you forwards. In this soil, concealed therein, past existence and present life, of people, of human civilization, identity, comprising their food, the doings of Prometheus, mixing soil and river water, shaping people to his likeness, and of Chinese tomb art, how it concealed heavens beneath the ground; today, unprocessed off its worms and spreading across the entire exhibition space, this soil connects people together. Held on this bed soil, food-based artworks, difficult to display in museums, today will come to you in the form of a tea party. This dinner party held on the ground will act as our way of understanding cross-culturalism. It symbolizes a group of people from different backgrounds, coming closer together through an art dinner gathering.
In this exhibition the word “mixed-blood” is used to indicate that the artists create work using a cross-cultural approach. Beside the blending of different cultures, the artists in this exhibition also utilize various mediums to create unique combinations as an expression of their own understanding. The artists adopt different point of view to create an understanding of the differences of cultures and have coined the term “mixed-blood people” to try to comprehend a multi-cultural combination.
In “The Mixed-Blood: Welcome to the feast”, the artists explore two aspects: one is trying to find a way to understand themselves and their own identity, the second is to build a connection with local people. Through a short-term field study trip visiting Tafalong Tribe in Hualien, the artists sought the possibility to connect with locals by presenting their work and thought process. Before the exhibition, curators and artists went on a field study to Tafalong, trying to connect with the elders in the tribe. They started with understanding how the ancestors got resources from the land, and how the locals transform everything they grew in Hualien into a part of their culture. After the field study, the artists began to think about combining what they’ve learnt from their trip with new works reflecting on their own culture, which led to experimenting using food, plants, tribe mythology and so on. The 4 artists who participated in this exhibition use different forms of art as an approach to pursue their self-identity in the modern and multicultural society.
Wang Aymei attempted a different approach from her usual media of painting/image editing when she was in Belgium, breaking fine pottery into fragments and combining them afterwards, exploring a process of memory and identity riddled with self-censorship. Wang Aymei thought about the attributes of the Tafalong kakita’an’s columns, their story as artefactual embodiments of a culture which suffered censorship from other cultures, she tried to replicate the columns’ portrait in pottery fragments and allowed them to be taken away by visitors. Through this process, she hopes to invite people to think about the relationships between fragmenting, dislocating, multiplying and sharing.
Inspired by the ghost legends in Taiwan’s mountains and forests, Kao An Bo sought to change the traditional Chinese ink landscape painting. He wanted to use his own mountain-climbing experiences to create a mysterious feeling, with the mixture of ink paint and the land of Taiwan. Kao An Bo developed his work using bamboo tubes (a tool used in daily life by the tribe) to represent the mounting specifically used in Chinese ink painting. He is trying to find the common points between Chinese ink landscape paintings and the materials.
Siyat Moses focused on self-identity problems of Aboriginals living under the rapid expansion of modernization and globalization. He is an expert in creating lithography works, featuring flatness and indirectness combined into a mixed medium. Siyat Moses derived six objects from Tafalong myths, where each object is related to his own identity. The analogy of these objects reflects their own situation as aboriginals.
Lo Wan Yun cared about the linear context in history, and the fleeting events in human society, which she extends to the experience of sensation. Focusing her work on things bound to disappear or be forgotten, she looked back and memorised the traces of these moments in fragments of human activities. Lo Wan Yun found that the eating habits of mochi in the tribe, despite similarities, were still quite different from Hakka mochi, not only in the ingredients but also in the way of eating. It further inspired her to think about how to reinterpret the forms of mochi and how to consume it. She compared the stickiness of mochi, the tedious ways to eat it, to the difficulties of cultural integration.
更生日報- 「混血人：來一場野性的餐會」 泥土上的展覽探索多元文化交融過程
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