Co-organized with MoCA Taipei, TheCube Project Space is pleased to present the Liquid Love & Sound Meridians international group exhibitions which will take place at MoCA Taipei. The joint exhibitions, under the sponsorship of the 2018 Production Grants to Independent Curators in Visual Arts from the National Culture and Arts Foundation, will open to the public from 14 November 2020 and run through 24 January 2021.
Curator | Jeph Lo (Taiwan), Dayang Yraola (the Philippines), Chee-Wai Yuen (Singapore), Sow-Yee Au (Malaysia)
Artist | Chao-Ming Teng (Taiwan), Ujikaji (Singapore)
The title Sound Meridians owes its inspiration to the concept in traditional Chinese medicine, claiming that human life is sustained by the energy circulating around the meridian system in the human body. In Western anatomy, there is no convincing evidence of meridians, yet there has been empirical verification in the practice of Chinese medicine. Invoking such a view of corporeality as an imagery metaphor, this exhibition presents the sound cultures in Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia and addresses the question as to how sound cultures can become the media and materials for a topology of history that responds to the historico-cultural development endemic to a place.
- The Taiwan section features Rainy Night Flowers and the Evolution of the Sound Apparatus in Taiwan, curated by Jeph Lo. It consists of three parts, including Talking Drums Radio, a chronology of modern sound development in Taiwan, and artist Chao-Ming Teng’s ongoing work After All These Years, aiming to portray the coevolution of sound-technical objects and human minds.
- the Philippines section invites scholar Dayang Yraola to present her project Taginting, A Resonant Community of Sound Practice, which illustrates studies on the history of modern experimental sound in the Philippines with audiovisual archival documents.
- The Singapore section foregrounds Melantun Records Pop-up: Electronic Dreams of Tsao Chieh, curated by musician Chee-Wai Yuen. Singaporean artist Ujikaji is invited to represent his work Melantun Records, which introduces the oeuvre of electronic musician Tsao Chieh, otherwise long since consigned to oblivion.
- The Malaysia section highlights Silver Noise: Sound Circuits of Peninsula Malaysia in Parts, on Exile, curated by artist Sow-Yee Au, showcasing the emergence, rheology, and different versions of Malaysian national anthem.
▍About Liquid Love
Curator | Amy Cheng
Artist | Hassan Khan (Egypt), dj sniff (Takuro Mizuta Lippit)(Japen), Hito Steyerl (Germany), Hao Ni (Taiwan), Yu-Chen Wang (Taiwan / UK), Chi-Yu Wu (Taiwan), and Chung-Han Yao (Taiwan).
The group exhibition Liquid Love invites seven artists from Taiwan and the international world. The exhibition seeks to explore how networks, algorithms, big data, and massive messages profoundly affect modern people’s life in today’s telecommunication society dominated by the flow of financial capital and advanced technologies.
The title of this exhibition is derived from the book by Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, in which he analyzed the nature of telecommunication in network society, using “liquidity” as the concept to describe the post-industrial modern world, the evolutionary new interpersonal relationship, as well as the new relationship between humanity and the world.
In the “liquid modern world”, people relish the merits and sense of speed brought by technological development. However, due to the concomitant expansion and boundary-blurring of the real and the virtual, people also needs to continuously adapt to the new situational volatility both physically and mentally.
In the age when the relationships between individuals and groups are flowing, liquefied, ephemeral and unstable, this exhibition treats the artistic creation an as an alternative way for communication between individuals by encouraging ruminations on this liquid world, envisaging the future with which we are about to confront.
Introduction to the exhibition artists and works
Egyptian artist Hassan Khan’s work The Infinite Hip-Hop Song is an algorithmic product. Once the computer boots up, it produces an endless, non-repetitive stream of hip-hop songs. The artist derives the vocals from the pre-recorded tracks by many hip-hop singers. This automatic composing system bears more than a passing resemblance to an autopoietic “organism.”
In his work Drinking from the Spring of Liquid Love, Japanese musician/artist dj sniff (Takuro Mizuta Lippit) collected songs with the title “Liquid Love” from a large volume of online information. The length of the “collected data” amounts to about half a day. The artist remixes these songs into a “new work,” and then plays it via the reconnection of a set of repurposed sound objects like turntable, cassette player, spring, and amplifier. After layers of deconstruction and reconstruction, the source material becomes unintelligible to the visitors as “sound signals” and a new song engraved onto vinyl.
German artist Hito Steyerl’s work Liquidity Inc. can be interpreted as a survival strategy for individuals in face of the unstable and uncertain future (e.g., financial and market fluctuations or economic recession) in the liquid world. Bearing the signature of Steyerl’s message-based image, the protagonist in this work is a financial analyst who has been unemployed since the global financial crisis and implied to embody Bruce Lee’s philosophy of life: “Be water.” Steyerl also created an “immersive” environment for the visitors, as if they were temporarily sitting on the seats “amidst waves” to experience this work.
Chung-Han Yao’s work Feel the Space seeks to investigate the parallel evolution of the real world and the cyberspace. The artist recorded several outdoor DJ performances in Taipei, and these recordings are played back in the exhibition venue between the same hours of a day as those of the real events. Nonetheless, the visitors can only hear the ambient sound in the exhibition venue. They must go on the Internet via their smartphones to attend the “scene of performances” if they want to listen to the music played by the artist. Their visual and auditory senses thus simultaneously overlap each other and become displaced in the real world and the cyberspace. Ergo, the visitors shuttle between two disparate worlds by means of changes in the way of listening.
Hao Ni’s work Structure Study VI is a six-channel video work. The artist firstly edited the video footages of events such as disasters, conflicts, factory machines, explosions, and running animals he collected from YouTube into three parts. Then he invited three drummers to imitate the situations that the images indicate. The artist edited these video footages in a way as if he were “composing music,” producing a symphony of impassioned, fierce images and sounds with a subtle touch of order. This work allows the visitors to feel the powerful impact of massive images in the cyberspace.
Yu-Chen Wang’s multimedia installation If there is a place I haven’t been to follows her consistent surrealist style, offering astute observations to the industrial development and scientific thoughts of all stripes in the contemporary society, and meanwhile interpreting them in a wonderfully imaginative fashion, insofar as to engage in dialogues with memories, histories, as well as different people, events and things. Wang’s painting features an ecological system composed of gorgeous creatures and machines. She ingeniously blends the files, images and sounds she collected into the multiple storylines and perspectives of this work, shaping a concatenation of autobiography-like “temporal landscapes” that engulf visitors.
Chi-Yu Wu’s work The LED Future is a black futurist sci-fi image. The artist created a world in his imagination where the natural source of light (i.e., the Sun) has completely burned out, and we have no choice but to depend on the artificial source of light (i.e., LEDs) for survival. Apart from serving as the source of light and representing images nowadays, the extensively used LEDs have become the primary terminal interface for messages and signals—LEDs replaced God-created light, becoming the fountainhead that shapes memories and consciousness. The artist utilizes such imagination to reflect on the development of human history and civilization.
Organizer | MoCA Taipei, Taipei Culture Foundation
Co-organizer | TheCube Project Space
Exhibition Sponsor | National Culture and Arts Foundation (2018 Production Grants to Independent Curators in Visual Arts), Tung Ho Steel Enterprise Corp., and RC Culture and Arts Foundation