Three Episodes of Mourning Exercises
Chen Wan-Yin (Scriptwriter) x Hsu Che-Yu (Artist)
Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, Taiwan
The solo exhibition of Hsu Che-Yu Three Episodes of Mourning Exercises will open on July 21 at Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, present three latest works: “Gray Room”, “Blank Photograph” and “Zoo Hypothesis”. These three mourning exercises deal with the body, space, and memory, and are part of an investigation into the “politics of death”. This project is finalized by working with a special scanning team that assists police authorities in the collection of forensic evidence. The team scans crime scenes as well as fragmented and decomposing bodies for identification. Using scanner technology, the three mourning exercises explore the representations, constructions, and alienations of memory and death as an intimate event. The exhibition will remain on view through October 29.
Single Channel Video｜20’29”｜2022
The first mourning exercise is a tribute to the artist’s deceased grandmother. The latest advances in medical research recognize the “spirit”, that immaterial and eternal aspect of every human being that consists of emotion or consciousness, as mere reactions within the nervous system – an understanding that denies the very existence of the soul. The artist recalls the experience of bodily perception in his grandmother’s house and contemplates death and memory from a material perspective.
The second mourning exercise is based on the memories of a terrorist bomber and on his brother’s suicide in the family home. The artist returns to the scene of the suicide and reenacts the event constituted by death. Meanwhile, he revisits the seashore and reenacts how he once practiced bomb-making and testing that was inspired by the suicide-prone United Red Army in Japan. By juxtaposing the suicide that struck his family with the sacrificial immolation of terrorist attacks, the artist presents death as a tension between the individual and the collective.
The third involves an animal-to-animal mourning ritual created by humans, where zoo trainers train animals to kneel and perform worship gestures to commemorate animals that have died due to warfare. A scriptwriter and a performer discuss how to reenact this mourning ritual and they attempt to conceive a mourning script about the animals. In this conversation, the relationship between “gestures” and “terror” is discussed.
About the Artists | Hsu Che-Yu
Hsu Che-Yu was born in Taipei in 1985. He graduated from Graduate Institute of Plastic Arts of Tainan National University of the Arts in 2013. His recent solo exhibitions include: “Three Episodes of Mourning Exercises”, Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei (2023); “Sketching that Head, and the Stories of Its Body”, Liang Gallery, Taipei (2022); “An Unusual Day”, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai (2020); “No News from Home”, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai (2016); “Microphone Test”, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei (2015). His recent group exhibitions include: “Bienal de São Paulo: Though itʼs dark, still I sing”, Parque Ibirapuera, São Paulo, Brazil (2021); “Seoul Mediacity Biennale: One Escape at a Time”, SeMA – Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea (2021); “IFFR International Film Festival Rotterdam 2020”, Bright Future Short, Rotterdam (2020); “Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin 2020”, Louvre auditorium, Grand Palais auditorium, Paris (2020);“HUGO BOSS ASIA ART”, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2019); “Forget Sorrow Grass: An Archaeology of Feminine Time”, Times Museum, Guangzhou (2019); “Proregress”, Shanghai Biennale, Power Station of Art, Shanghai (2018).