If the greatest impact to the social state is considered to be martial law, then what is it for our generation, born after martial law was lifted?
The exhibition applies the concept of "language variant" as defined in linguistics usually to refer to regional dialects of a single language that derive and develop in different localities to "historical variant” of historical narratives composed of words and phrases as a contemplative basis, and using this as an analogy for the unrestricted publication of textbooks post-martial law, where historical narrative was no longer a single official version. Points of genesis begin to diverge, and a continually state of change and turbulence results from the variations in written history produced by the editorialization of textbooks. In these conditions, how do we shape our subjective cultural identities? How does the generation who lived through martial law reconstruct as they confront the numerous cognitive upheavals of the past after the lifting of martial law? Here, we must first clarify that the production of history necessarily accompanies the writer's subjectivity and underlying ideologies. The process of selection as a writer culls and presents historical materials is precisely consciousness at work. Those who hold the right to historical discourse simultaneously have a grasp on the format and dissemination of power-consciousness.
As the right to generate and write history is opened up, history is no longer dependent on national identity; the process of the collapse of national identity compels us to confront history and necessitates an inspection of the accumulated historical materials and archives of the past, and to begin to read the underlying ideologies so it becomes a historical perspective that individuals can weave and learn anew. We have found that this process of weaving, whether in overturning past narratives through historical realities, or dismantling then re-telling these narratives, does not stray from the central core of "How we imagine the self." For this exhibition, three Taiwanese artists JAO Chia-En, LIU Chihhung, TENG Chao-Ming; and two Malaysian artists residing in Taiwan, AU Sow-Yee, Yannick DAUBY; have been invited to begin with the production of a historical framework in an endeavor to deconstruct and dismantle the process of historical production, and attempt a mutual response and cross-dialog through these works.
In the writing of history, the writer's consciousness is often reflected in the word choices. In confronting a reading of history, are we able to consistently maintain a self-awareness to excavate the underlying ideology in writings of the master writer? Through TENG Chao-Ming's work, A Monument for the (Im)possibility of Figuring it Out, the exhibition discusses how narratives may be deconstructed; and combs through the contexts of dismantling and the process of self-dialogue, while putting forward questions regarding the future direction of monuments. With the "Grand Narrative" on the brink of collapse Yannick DAUBY and LIU Chihhung gradually initiate and excavate the existence of indigenous "small narratives" through the works Taipei 2030 and Sound Geography Kaohsiung, Hengchun, Coastal Area of Tainan¸ Beitou. The attempt to create various viewpoints of understanding and to encompass various sensory potentials, these collected/edited records both reflect a localized present moment as well as extend our imagination of each region. In recent years, JAO Chia-En's work has explored in depth colonial culture and cross-cultural issues in the Asian Pacific region. His new work continues the discussions on the Kus Kus Tribe from his 2017 work Counterclockwise, and analyzes the economic and cultural research on developing local tourism. The imagined consciousness and identity of the background context is interrogated. The work A Day without Sun in Mengkerang (Chapter 1), by Malaysian artist AU Sow-Yee, who has been residing in Taipei, constructs a imaginary utopia in Mengkerang. Participants in the narrative relay construct an imagined Eutopia of the imagination. During the exhibition period, artist CHEN Fei-Hao will held a seminar and special screening. The Shinto shrine acts as a connective arena of Taipei City between the Japanese colonial era and the arena of today. Four places in Taipei that correspond with CHEN Fei-Hao's four creative project showcases the evolution of landscape and social changes from Taiwan of Japanese colonial era to present-day Taiwan.