Chen Yin-Ju & James T. Hong, END TRANSMISSION, 2010; DVCPRO HD, black & white, stereo, 15' 40

Chen Yin-Ju & James T. Hong, END TRANSMISSION, 2010; DVCPRO HD, black & white, stereo, 15′ 40

Chi-Wen Gallery presents Spectres of the Past, a group exhibition by Taiwanese video artists Yao Jui-Chung, James T.Hong & Chen Yin-Ju and Jawshing Arthur Liou.

Artworks in Exhibition:

I. END TRANSMISSION | Chen Yin-Ju & James T. Hong, DVCPRO HD, black & white, stereo, 15′ 40″, 2010, 40th International Film Festival Rotterdam -Tiger Award nominee for short film

A decoded, alien environmental message, structured as a hypnotic experimental film, forcefully and poetically warns us of their return and the planet’s re-colonization.

Text from Netherlands Media Art Institute (NIMk):

Strange messages are sent to humanity. They are frightening and poetical at the same time; they report of a takeover and the end of it all. The messages alternate with ominous black-and-white images of lifeless cities under control, frozen industrial landscapes, sterile laboratory ma- chinery and nature in an abandoned state. “We were here before you”. “Fear is natural”. A final warning: the planet is re-colonized, and human life only seems possible in the protected, artificial and enclosed environment of a large-scale indoor resort.

Stephen Hawking once wrote, “If aliens ever visit us, the outcome will be much as when Christopher Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans”. In this case, who are the colonizers and who are the natives?

Yao Jui-Chung, Long Long Live (Wan Wansui), 2013; Long Long Live (Wan Wansui), 7' 20

II. Long Long Live (Wan Wansui)| Yao Jui-Chung, Single-channel video, color, sound, 7′ 20″, 2013

This piece are associated with the Taiyuan Incident, a prison uprising that took place on the Feb 8, 1970 in Taiyuan Prison, Taidong County. The incident involved 150 people, including six political prisoners, 50 prison guards, as well as aboriginal youth sympathetic to the cause. Five prisoners were later executed under personal order of Chiang Kai-Shek on April 27, 1970. According to recently disclosed documents, the Taiyuan Incident was no mere prison riot, but a deliberate act against the ruling Kuomingtang regime and for Taiwan Independence.

In the aftermath of the incident, the “Oasis Villa” on the Green Island was built to strengthen the overall control over the island’s political “otherness”. All political dissidents were without exception sent to Oasis Prison. This is the departure point for Yao Jui-Chung’s video work, a personal reflection on the place, its people and the nature of suppression as well as a satire on the ruling dictatorship that never failed to dream of a “Long, long Live”.

Jawshing Arthur Liou, Saga Dawa, 2012; Four-channel video, color, stereo, 55' loop

III. Saga Dawa|Jawshing Arthur Liou, Four-channel video, color, stereo, 55′, 2011-12

Saga Dawa — meaning ‘fourth month’(on the Tibetan calendar) — is the most important Tibetan Buddhist festival. It is the time of the year when believers celebrate both Buddha’s birth and the day he died and attained Nirvana. Presenting it across 4 screens, Arthur Liou takes us into the mise-en-scene of the festivities, following pilgrims and tourists as they flock towards an incense-burning stupa. The footage is slowed down and defused by a soft focus and incense smoke. Colourful prayer-papers offset the sepia images. Every now and then direct sunlight catches the lens making the revolving scene even more hypnotic. Uniform police is everywhere, and solders stomping around the stupa get caught in the view-frame. It is a reminder that in the political environment of the region such festivities are sensitive days. The gathering of groups—small or large—is treated as a potential of political rebellion by the authorities.

About the exhibition

Duration: 20 Dec 2014 – 31 Jan 2015

Venue: Chi-Wen Gallery

Courtesy of the artists and Chi-Wen Gallery, for further information please visit

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