WU Chang-jung

WU Chang-jung

Born in 1984, lives and works in Tainan and Pingtung, Taiwan.

Wu is doing her study in Graduate Institute of Plastic Arts, Tainan National University of The Arts. She’s the recommended new artist of Art Taipei 2010, which organized by Council of Cultural Affairs and Taiwan Art Gallery Association, and received the Selected Award of Kaohsiung Award 2010. She also participates in Art Hongkong 2010, Eslite Showcase, and the 2nd Contemporary Calligraphy and Painting Exhibition. Wu mainly focuses on new media art, experimental calligraphy painting, and multi-media installation. Her artworks are combined closely with everyday life, and she starts to produce a series daily documentary of pig-raising scenes after the depression of her own styles.

 

Documentary I – Pig Five Flower

This film is entitled “Pig Five Flower.”  I call all the healthy pigs on our farm Pig Five Flower.  In 2008, our family’s pig-feed business became a victim of problems in the larger economic environment that led to rising prices on raw ingredients.  We temporarily halted production, and focused on the pig breeding business to use up our leftover stocks of pig feed.  As a cost-cutting measure, we laid off all of the employees at the pig farm, and my mom and dad took on the work of caring for the 2,000 pigs on the farm.  I took off my nail extensions, put on my wellington boots and pitched in to help out at the pigsty.  Our family’s financial situation went through a major transition between 2008 to 2009; and I, too, went through a major transition.  I often joke that I went from being an heiress to a pigsty heiress.    

Our entire focus for every hard-working day on the pig farm was the health of the pigs.  One of the signs of healthy pigs is that they will circle around the trough as the food cylinder rotated and dispensed food.  Visually, it reminded me of a kaleidoscope.    

I documented the ideal image of healthy pigs that we’d hoped to see each day we worked at the pigsty, and edited the recorded images into the kaleidoscope that I’d imagined — a kaleidoscope that turned out herd after herd of healthy pigs, representing my family’s hope for economic recovery.  I also hope that through this documentary, this continuous kaleidoscope of healthy pigs would lessen the pressure my family feels about our financial situation.

Documentary III- Slot Machine

This film, Slot Machine, is a record of an important aspect of my work at the pigsty – the mating and breeding of pigs.

Under natural settings for mating, a healthy female pig can give birth to 6 to 9 piglets, but through artificial insemination, a female pig could easily gestate 10 to 21 piglets.  Each piglet carries a price tag of 1000 yuan.  Thus, to raise the financial returns on a pig farm, artificial insemination has replaced natural mating methods.

It takes about six months before the results of an artificial insemination effort can be determined.  Being under constant economic pressure, and wanting to maximize my own time and effort, this process of inseminating a pig and then waiting for results felt like I was playing the slot machines each time I artificially inseminated a pig.

This documentary is a continuation of my kaleidoscopic vision of the pigsty.  Here, the Slot Machine theme accurately expresses my feelings of anxiety and my imagination as I wait for results after breeding, whether from natural mating or artificial insemination — one of my most important tasks at the pig farm. 

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