James Ming-Hsueh Lee
Cinthia Marcelle & Tiago Mata Machado
Quiet Riot explores how to engage in social practice in a nuanced and subtle manner, and to develop it into an art form of social intervention, in the face of the current social predicament of anxiety, uncontrollability, and threats. In a seemingly conforming, but in fact tactful and adaptable preparatory state, the works on view embody the artists' observation of the encroaching global capitalism in today's unstable political situation. The exhibition re-examines our familiar state of affairs and objects from diverse points of view, investigates the construction and camouflage of the everyday, as well as our perception of contemporary life and the inconsistencies therein. Featuring six (group) artists, respectively from Brazil, Korea, Taiwan and Japan, this exhibition adopts an indirect and lighthearted - rather than critical - approach in an attempt to identify disorder within order, to react and adapt, to manifest a tenacity and a reactionary spirit, in the hope of finding possibilities for systematic change, reasons for existence, and ways for coexistence.
In the covert corners of life, encroached by anxiety and disturbance, radical rebellion may lead to forced repression, but alleviated voices that resist flexibly could elicit prolonged thinking. Brazilian artist Cinthia Marcelle and director Tiago Mata Machado coproduced the video The Century, 2011, reflecting social injustice and lost ideals. In the video, countless everyday objects are thrown out from the street corner, to reveal the filthy and fragile sovereignty of our time through their violent beats and strikes. The video resembles a piece of music of social practice that condemns the rapid development of Brazil. James Ming-Hsueh Lee has long been known for his humorous revisits of objects in life's surroundings and his new venture on established meanings and values. His work Imperceptible Violence studies the bounded seesaw relationship and tense situation of men and objects, of objects and objects in varied spheres. The new work of Liu Hojang, titled Premixed Cement, collects unresolved questions such as the substitution of artistic expressions, the beginning and ending of ecological collapse, and the unceasing uncontrollability of the material. The unset concrete is analogous to the restless equilibrium system, striving for final resistance before solidification. Chiu Chen-Hung's new work light trail aims at enhancing the possibilities of encounter between everyday objects and space. The natural light in the exhibition space fuses with the light and shadow created by the artist, hiding our perception of the space underneath various temporal and spatial grooves. The work preserves a direct but gentle confrontation, mistily scattered around the exhibition area.
The artists investigate actions of social practice taken against Capitalism through everyday materials. They also expose how habitual thinking in contemporary life responds to the radical changes in society and then proceed to self-introspection in search of the value of existence. Nobutaka Aozaki's Value_Added #240950 is an ongoing performance. It questions the daily system of consumption, trying to find a limited space of imagination within the mechanism through the artist's intervention. The artist takes a can of corn to 110 supermarkets and repurchases it. In the hyper-marketed product circulation and the orderly structure, the system is severely ossified and we cannot identify where the item belongs. The selling price of the item at different locations reveals the economic structure of the city. Korean artist Euyoung Hong's installation (Un)balanced explores the changing meaning and function of objects in particular relation to the system of value in the regime of capitalism. Commodities of equal price but unequal quantity are placed on two ends of the steel plates to achieve a fragile balance. The value of the products fluctuates according to complex social and economic factors such as wages, labor maintenance, technological innovation, the price of land use, and market conditions. The asymmetrical structure of economic domination and the unbalance of value system denotes the origin of social injustice in capitalist society.
Through different cultural upbringings and experiences of intervention into daily life's mechanism, the five participating artists examine and respond to the social, economic, and political unbalances triggered by globalization. They counteract formalism and bring art into contact with our life at the moment through subversive and informal practices, various aesthetic operations, the appropriation of urban spaces, and the creation of new languages. In addition, they propose the possibility and necessity of systematic revolution, and the condition of our coexistence, regarding the privilege of philosophical expression and discursive language, as well as how to manifest our reflexive spirit outside of the existing discourse.