Broken Spectre

 

 

The three commissioned video installations by Hsu Che-Yu, Su Hui-Yu and Yu Cheng-Ta in this exhibition respectively echo three archives of Taiwan’s cultural history in the 1990s, including the Taipei Breaking Sky Festival (1995), the plays by the Taiwan Walker Theatre in its early days, and an article featuring a discussion on the queer body in Isle-Margin, a magazine of cultural criticism. This exhibition gazes again at the physical function-based cultural practices shaped by wrecked body, sensual pleasure and unmaterialised utopia during that period of time.

 

The historical texts underpinning the three works were somewhat unorganized at first glimpse, yet they coincidentally embodied a kind of playful, interfering, hybridised and vernacular cultural practices that contrast starkly with the eloquent, systemised discourses of the mainstream culture. In the exuberant underground scene after the lifting of martial law (1987) and the Wild Lily Student Movement (1990), the broken corporeality metamorphosed into various little narratives. They have crept up on the liberation of Politics as its shadow, and have been transformed into a counter-culture strategy, which also inspired the imagination about periphery and rebellion throughout the 1990s.

 

Broken Spectre, the title of this exhibition, not only refers to the keyword (broken / to break) of Taiwan’s underground culture in the 1990s, but also insinuates the term “Brocken Spectre,” a phenomenon which occurs when the sun shines from behind the climbers who are looking down from the peak into the mist. The sunlight projects their shadows that are enlarged through the mist, which had been mistaken for spectres. This exhibition managed to turn this huge, ghost-like silhouette erecting in front of us into a historical metaphor—it is a projection of the human body like yours and mine on the one hand, and resembles a ghost summoned out of the physical body by necromancy on the other.

 

This exhibition is dedicated not so much to representing historical facts as to capturing the spectre of cultural history. In addition, the three commissioned works are not simply the terminal lucidity of the broken corporeality, but also the tribute to as well as the adaptation and re-imagination of Taiwan’s modern cultural archives.

 

Participating Artists | Yu Cheng-Ta, Hsu Che-Yu, Su Hui-Yu

Curator | Yu Wei

Curatorial Team | ET@T

 

  • Hsu Che-Yu

      Earning his master’s degree from the Graduate Institute of Plastic Arts, Tainan National University of the Arts, Hsu Che-Yu works as a freelance artist who primarily creates animations, videos and installations that feature the relations between media and memories. What matters to the ...
  • Su Hui-Yu

      Su Hui-Yu was born in Taipei in 1976. He obtained an MFA from Taipei National University of the Arts in 2003, and has remained active in the contemporary art scene ever since. Su is fascinated by the intricate tapestry interwoven by images, media, history, and daily life. In his videos, he e...
  • Yu Cheng-Ta

      Born in 1983 in Tainan, Taiwan, Yu Cheng-Ta earned both an undergraduate and a master’s degree in fine arts from the Taipei National University of the Arts. He was a recipient of the Taipei Arts Award in 2008 and the Beacon Prize at Art Fair Tokyo in 2012. Yu participated in the 6th Ta...
  • Yu Wei

      Art writer and curator. Born in 1976, Yu obtained his MA in Art History and Art Criticism from Tainan National University of the Arts in 2003, and has served as an editor for Artco magazine in Taiwan from 2005-2007. Covering Taiwan’s art scenes and visual culture in post-war era, he ha...
  • ET@T

      Funded and established by artist Huang Wen-Hao, ET@T has explored all possible art forms and nascent states of production in digital culture since 1995. ET@T's organizational mission is to blend concept and practice in a cooperative working environment and objectively observe and reach o...