Harmonielehre ─Ting-Jung Chen Solo Exhibition

Following its cooperation with Vienna-based Taiwanese artist Chen Ting-Jung in the online broadcasting programs of the Talking Drums Radio in 2020, TheCube Project Space is pleased to invite Chen Ting-Jung again as an artist-in-research residency who will present her Taiwan first solo exhibition Harmonielehre this year.

Initiated in 2016, TheCube’s research residency program has annually supported artist(s) and curator(s) to Taiwan or foreign countries for their respective research projects. In 2021, TheCube invited Chen Ting-Jung, the winner of the Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2018, back to Taipei for the four-month research residency. Orientating her research toward the subject of “sound as a tool for identity and community construction,” the artist is going to stage her solo Harmonielehre that treats surround sound, sculpture, and image as the media. Visitors are welcomed to this exhibition where they can immerse in the mesmerizing world of sound waves interlaced by the real and the virtual.

Harmonielehre is also the launch of the second phase of TheCube’s Sound Meridians-Cultural Counter-mapping through Sound project. It is scheduled to be on view from 4 September (Saturday) to 7 November 2021, during which the artist will deliver related talks, dates TBA.

About Exhibition

I am smiling; I cannot help smiling; a splinter has been taken out of my head and I feel so light, so empty! To be more exact, not empty, but there is nothing foreign, nothing that prevents me from smiling.                                                                                                               —We, Yevgeny Zamyatin

Harmonielehre is my solo exhibition focusing upon my research into memory, identity, and their vectorial relations to political propaganda, power system, and message transmission.

As a physical phenomenon, “the harmonic distortion” refers to the distortion of an original waveform caused by the incomplete conversion of energy signals as sounds are amplified and transmitted. Such a glitch and deformation highlight the commonalities among different distorted waveforms as well as their periods of oscillatory motion. This phenomenon ergo brings the listeners a peculiar, mysterious “synesthesia of harmony and warmth.” The greater extent to which a signal is amplified, the more conspicuous distortion its representation shows. To put it another way, it will give the listeners a stronger harmonic and warm feeling, as if they were embraced by the depth of sounds. Following this trace, we might conceive that “distortion” generates an ideal wave.

Taking this physical phenomenon as its intro, this exhibition seeks to discuss the receiver’s synesthesia, projection, and transference/empathy evoked by the distorted and flawed information fragments in the message-dominated contemporary society. Meanwhile, the exhibition tries to explore the “ideal form” and “reality” pictured in the receiver’s mind.

“Transmission,” as the keyword of the exhibition, is presented in a trimmed form in the venue: Within the framework of violence, messages are dead ringers for unilateral monologues written and recited in homogenized lyricism, and eventually turned into documentary evidence and scale of simplified knowledge. In this metrological scheme from which the Other is excluded, “We” become “Us.”

Revolving around the textual studies on sonic warfare and broadcasting, I sample and imitate artifacts in history and reconfigure them into sculptures, images, sound, and a spatial installation. Therefrom I bring the collective body, instrumentalization of characteristic, Fremdkörper (foreign body) cognition, and omniscient narrator up for discussion. They will trigger the visitors’ perception and collectively build an experiential circuit in the exhibition space.

The term “Harmonielehre” can be translated as harmony training. It is also the German title of the composer Arnold Schönberg’s monograph (Theory of Harmony in English) intended to topple the traditional edifice of harmony. I invite the visitors to examine their respective emotional structures through the experiences of harmony and disharmony they undergo in the venue, and cogitate on the discrepancy and compensation between perception and cognition as well as the paradox of knowledge production and construction. What is thus being provoked is a reaction against the constructed violence of asymmetric power relations toward identity.

About Artist

Ting-Jung Chen

(b. 1985 in Taipei) After her Bachelor’s study in philosophy in Taiwan, she went to Hamburg and Vienna, where she obtained her Master’s degree in Fine Art. Now she lives and works in Vienna and Taipei.

Ting-Jung Chen’s art practice includes various critical-theoretical formats which relate to language and historiography, often with a performative approach. It is rooted in multilayered investigations into cultural differences, political semiotics, and hybrid synesthesia. By reproducing acoustics and artifacts of the culture industry and their relationship to human beings, she discusses “transformed identity” within the context of globalization, commodity fetishism, and mobility society. Habitus, insignia, rhythm, gestures, rhetoric. Or, objects, images, sounds, and textuality. Combining material and immaterial into complex spatial installations, she performs multiple social transcriptions and the overlapping culture minglings into a spatial atlas.

Ting-Jung Chen obtained the Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2018, and she is the recipient of the MAK-Schindlers-Scholarship 2019 from MAK Museum Vienna. She has been awarded various prizes, scholarships and fellowships, including the Visual Arts Grant 2020 from Federal Chancellery of Austria; the Visual Arts Grant 2020 from Taiwan National Culture and Arts Foundation; the “MIT” Fellowship 2020 from the Ministry of Culture of Taiwan; the Koganecho residency fellowship 2017; the Judges Award of the Taipei Arts Awards 2015; the Deutschlandstipendium 2015; the Karl H. Ditz Scholarship 2014, and several other fellowships and project funding fellowships. Her works have been shown in numerous venues internationally, including Belvedere 21erHaus, Vienna, Kunsthalle Wien, Kunsthaus Hamburg, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei Fine Art Museum, Parallel Vienna, Koganecho Bazaar 2017, Yokohama, Japan, MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, and 18 Street Art Center, Santa Monica, U.S. among many others.

Artist Website: www.info-tingjungchen.com 


*Work Material

The material of the work are listed below:

Revolutions Per Minute: 13 declarations of victory issued by leaders with divergent political positions at different time points during the Second World War:

9. May. 1936    Benito Mussolini  
1. April. 1939   Francisco Franco  
6. Oct. 1939     Adolf Hitler 
8. Dec. 1941    Emperor Shōwa Hirohito  
8. Dec. 1941    Hideki Tōjō  
15. Feb. 1942  Franklin Delano Roosevelt  
25. Aug.1944   Charles de Gaulle  
8. May, 1945    Winston Churchill  
8. May. 1945    King George VI  
9. May. 1945    Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin  
15. Aug.1945   Chiang Kai-shek  
15. Aug.1945   Douglas MacArthur  
2. Sep. 1945     Hồ Chí Minh 

G03489: The title “G03489” is derived from the serial number of the film jar of the GIS aerial photographs of the U.S. air raid on the area near the Minxiong Radio Station (Minxiong Broadcasting Bureau) during the Second World War.

If She Is Not Sitting In The Room: A remix of more than 30 patriotic songs and banned songs in Taiwan from the 1930s to 1970s; all of them are composed and written by males and performed by female singers: Longing for the Spring Breeze, The Mother Earth is Calling on You, Rainy Night Flower, Honorable soldiers, Naomi, Sorrow on a Moonlit Night, The Soldier’s Wife, My Love Goodbye, Sayon’s Bell, Sûn-tsîng-hue Sa-iông, Moonlight Serenade, Farewell Song, A Bag of Sympathy, When Will You Return, Wish You Come Back Soon, Waiting For You, Lonely Flower, I’m Waiting For You, The Evening Primrose, Azaleas in Bloom, Jasmine, Age of Blossom, Pondering Dream, Three Years, Autumn Wind Midnight Rain, Peach Blossom River, I Want You To Be My Baby, Give Me A Kiss, Tonight Nobody Goes Home, Sunflower, The Plum Blossom, Peach Blossoms Dancing In The Spring Breeze

Date | 4 September 2021 – 7 November 2021 (Wed-Sun, 2-8pm)
Opening | 4 September 2021 (Saturday, 3-6pm)
Venue | TheCube Project Space

Booking | https://forms.gle/KpixVHymYogdXJqQ6

Organizer | TheCube Project Space
Exhibition Sponsor | National Cultural and Arts Foundation, Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government
Production Sponsor | National Cultural and Arts Foundation, Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government
Research Residency Sponsor | Winsing Arts Foundation

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