The composer composes the future so that the composition leaves the traces of the future which the future won’t leave


On October 20, TheCube Project Space is pleased to present the seventh installment of the thematic exhibition Re-envisioning Society: Hong-Kai Wang’sThe composer composes the future so that the composition leaves the traces of the future which the future won’t leave. This is her first solo exhibition in Taiwan following her participation in the Taiwan Pavilion exhibition at the Venice Biennale (2011).

The Exhibition

Hong-Kai Wang’s exhibition The composer composes the future so that the composition leaves the traces of the future which the future won’t leave builds on her research into listening and sound as forms of perceptual, cognitive organization.

Concerned with the modality of “collective listening,” The Composer… is structured as a polyphonic space consisting of two reconfigured recent collaborative projects and a live performance, leading visitors through works by the German classical composer Johann Sebastian Bach and the American avant-garde composer Robert Ashley, as well as the sounds produced by sugar factory workers in Huwei, Yunlin (Taiwan).

In collaboration with Taisugar’s Huwei-based sugar plant, Music While We Work (2011) invites a group of retired factory workers and their spouses to return to the factory to make a soundscape as assisted by a series of recording workshops, while the current employees are at work. Within this special situation, all of them explore a shared experience of listening, recording, and production.

At the invitation of the Taipei Women Rescue Foundation, Wang conceived Watching Dust (2010) as an adaptation of the American avant‐garde composer Robert Ashley’s opera Dust (1998) for the surviving Taiwanese comfort women. Originally presented at Guling Street Theater, Watching Dust explores how we could learn to identify the pain of others in a collaborative effort to translate into our own language – both musically and linguistically – a New York-based fictitious scenario to Taipei.

The Broken Orchestra Live in Taipei (2012) uses the Austrian modern composer Arnold Schönberg’s famous quip “My music is not really modern, just badly played” as its formal performative directive, by inviting several professional musicians to reinterpret a childhood recording of Bach’s ‘Ave Maria’ as performed by Hong-Kai Wang and her brother. The work shares an impromptu discussion, rehearsal, and performance as the audience witnesses the construction of a unique musical space. Performers include Pei-Yao Wang(pianist/assistant conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, New York), Lu Keng Feng (chief violinist of the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra), Luo Chao Yun(avant-garde pipa soloist), Wolfgang Schwabe (guqin soloist/professor in philosophy of Fo-Guang University) and Bo-Wei Chen (composer/activist).

About Hong-Kai Wang

Born in Yunlin, Taiwan, Hong-Kai Wang received a BA in Political Science from National Taiwan University (Taipei) and an MA in Media Studies from The New School University (New York).

Wang’s work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto (Kumamoto, 2012), the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University (Montreal, 2012), Museo Pietro Cononica (Rome, 2012), Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain (Luxembourg, 2010), and La Casa Encendida (Madrid, 2008). She has participated in such important exhibitions as Membra Disjecta for John Cage (Vienna, 2012), Taiwan Pavilion, the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), International Incheon Women Artists’ Biennale (2009), La Noche en Blanco (Madrid, 2007), Taipei Biennial: Dirty Yoga (2006), and the Yokohama Triennial (2005).

Wang will be a resident artist at the Iaspis International Residency Program (Stockholm, 2012-2013). Upcoming projects will be shown at Arnold Schönberg Center (Vienna, 2013), and elsewhere.


Exhibition: Oct. 20, 2012 – November 4, 2012 (Hours: Wed. – Sun. 2-8pm)
Opening: Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. 3-6pm
Performance: Oct. 20, 2012. 4pm (The Broken Orchestra Live in Taipei)

Address: 2F, No. 13, Aly 1, Ln. 136, Sec. 4, Roosevelt. Rd., Taipei, Taiwan
(MRT: Gongguan Station, exit no. 1, East side of Shui-Yuan Market)

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