No News from Home
Artist: Hsu Che-Yu
Duration: 5 November – 25 December, 2016
Address: Rm204, Bldg 4A, 50 Moganshan Rd, Shanghai Vanguard Gallery
Tel: 86 21 62993523
The exhibition continued the style of “Microphone Test – Hsu Che-Yu Solo Exhibition” held last year at The Taipei Fine Arts Museum and it is also the artist’s leading creation of the 2018 exhibition plan. The exhibition revolves around “Family Image”.
In the video No News from Home, the artist used his typical creation skills to reconstruct the animation of family image photographed by him and his family, but this time the protagonists are artist’s 37-year-old brother and his son Hsu Li-Wen less than 1-year-old. In the reality and fiction that reference and intertwine with each other, the protagonist’s private memory of life becomes a probe of the social structure where he lives in. The deviant behaviors of his brother before the age of 20, such as involved into fights, getting under arrest, exposure to drugs and selling counterfeit money are exactly products of the dissonance between the culturally defined goals and the institutionalized means in Taiwan society. From the artist’s perspective, his brother appeared to be the protagonist in movie “Stranger than Fiction”, who can only be forced to live a life as a “Writer” settled by the pre-determined arrangements in the movie: fortuneteller’s instruction, parents’ expectation, society’s requirement… These aspects are as if the “Writer” in the movie, writing brother’s first half of life, while his brother repeatedly struggled and compromised these year in between. Now Hsu Li-Wen was born,
the once ‘underage rogue’ rebellious brother, now has become the ‘Writer’ for his son as a father.
The photo in A Letter to Su Wanqin originally was the souvenir photo of Chen Wanyin’s grandfather. This is a kind of technology popular in the 1970s. People can choose the pictures that have already been painted in the photo studio and then synthesize the photo by clipping figure’s headshot. Due to the production method, the same body and background will appear in different families’ souvenir photos. “Su Wanqin” is the first same souvenir photo from Internet. Mr. Su Wanqin, 103 years old now, is a witness of Taiwan history who participated the war in China as a Japanese soldier when he was young and now is the oldest Nationalist Party member alive. Hsu Che-Yu found the history memory from the beginning of family photo of Chen Wanyin. The artist copied the letter written by Chen Wanyin to Su Wanqin and showed it with the souvenir photo without figure’s headshot.
Photo Album Clips came from Yuan Zhijie, a friend of the artist. When he was a child, Yuan’s father left him and had a new family . Yuan’s estranged grandfather suicided at last. Yuan got in touch with his sister who is totally unfamiliar to him via Facebook and invited her to copy and upload family photos with which he can piece together the memories. To Yuan, the sister is a virtual “data person” in a system, but the childhood memories is still romantic.