Chia-Wei Hsu’s Huai Mo Village + Ruins of the Intelligence Bureau: A Screening and Discussion

Thursday, November 1, 2018
Asia Art Archive in America
Video documentation by Asia Art Archive in America

A screening of Chia-Wei Hsu’s Huai Mo Village (2012, single-channel video, 8’20”), and Ruins of the Intelligence Bureau (2015, single-channel video, 13’30”), followed by a conversation with the artist moderated by curator and critic Christopher Phillips. Their discussion touches on the artist’s exploration of filmmaking as a performance art and Taiwan’s complex relationship with other countries in the region.

Huai Mo Village takes place in an orphanage in Chiang Rai, Thailand and tells the true story of a troop of Chinese Nationalist soldiers who retreated to the border regions between Thailand and Myanmar at the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1950. In this film, the founder of the orphanage, who is a pastor and former intelligence officer, recalls the plight of these homeless, stateless soldiers who remained in Thailand rather than return to China or join the Nationalists in Taiwan

The pastor appears again in a second film, Ruins of the Intelligence Bureau, to expand on the story he began in Huai Mo Village. Set in the remains of the demolished Intelligence Bureau, this film features a performance of a traditional Thai puppet show. Narrating the performance is the pastor, who recalls personal memories and recounts the legend of Hanuman—a monkey general who leads his troop to battle and helps a prince return to the kingdom from which he was exiled.

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HSU Chia-Wei (b. 1983, lives and works in Taipei) is interested in the untold histories of the Cold War in Asia. His work often takes the form of films and installations, weave together reality and myth, the past and the present. Hsu’s work has been presented in many museums, including Van Abbemuseum, the Centre Pompidou, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, and Reina Sofia National Museum. A Hugo Boss Asia Art Award finalist in 2012 and the Grand Prize winner of the 2017 Taishin Arts Award—a major accolade for artists in Taiwan, Hsu has also been included in many biennials and festivals, such as the 39th International Film Festival Rotterdam, the 2012 Liverpool Biennial, the 2018 Sydney Biennial and Gwungju Biennial. He will also participate in the upcoming Shanghai Biennale.

Christopher Phillips is an independent curator and critic. From 2000 to 2016 he worked as a curator at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York. He has organized many exhibitions that explore modernist photography of the early 20th century as well as contemporary Asian photography and media art, including ”Heavy Light: Recent Photography and Video from Japan” (with Noriko Fuku, 2008); “Wang Qingsong: When Worlds Collide” (2011); “Han Youngsoo: Photographs of Seoul 1956-63” (2016); and “Life and Dreams: Contemporary Chinese Photography” (2018). His books include Photography in the Modern Era: European Documents and Critical Writings, 1913-1940 (1989), Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China (with Wu Hung, 2004), and Life and Dreams: Contemporary Chinese Photography and Media Art (with Wu Hung, 2018). He teaches in the Photography and Imaging Department at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Image caption: Chia-Wei HSU, Huai Mo Village, single channel video, 8 minutes 20 seconds, 2012. Courtesy of the artist.


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

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ARTISTS, CRITICS, CURATORS, AND OTHER CONTRIBUTORS

Aisha Khalid, Aki Onda, Aki Sasamoto, Alexander Keefe, Alexandra Chang, Alexandra Munroe, Alf Chang, Ali Van, Amy Lien, Amy WOOD, Annysa Ng, Anthony Tino, Anthony Yung, Arin Rungjang, art history, art institutions, artist interviews, Ashley Billingsley, Ashok Sukumaran, Bahar Behbahani, Bahar Behbani, Bani Abadi, Bani Abidi, Barbara London, Beatrix Pang, Belinda Q. He, Benjamin Moskowitz, Beth Citron, Betsy Damon, Bing Lee, Birgit DONKER, Boon Hui Tan, Boris Groys, Brinda Kumar, Cai Guoqiang, CAMP, Cao Fei, Casey Tang, Chang Chao Tang, Chang Yuchen, Chen Chieh-jen, Chen Tong, Chen Wei-ching, Chen Xiaomei, Chihoi, China, Chitra Ganesh, Chris Wu, Christoph NOE, Christopher Ho, Christopher K. Ho, Christopher Phillips, Chương-Đài Võ, Cici Wu, contemporary art, Cooperativa Cráter Invertido, Cosmin Costinas, David Smith, Desire Machine Collective, Diana Campbell Betancourt, Dinh Q Le, dmp editions, Dooeun Choi, DREAMER FTY, Ei Arakawa, Eleanor Heartney, Elizabeth W. Giorgis, Enzo Camacho, EPOXY Art Group, Erin Gleeson, Eugene Wang, exhibition history, Fang Lu, Farah Wardani, Fei Dawei, FENG Yuan(馮原), Franklin Furnace, Frédéric Dialynas Sanchez, Fully Booked, Furen Dai, fwf, Gaku Tsutaja, Gao Shiming, Gianni Jetzer, Glenn Phillips, Go Hirasawa, Guan Xiao, Hajra Waheed, Hammad Nasar, Heman Chong, Herb Tam, Hiroko Tasaka, Hitomi Iwasaki, Ho Tzu Nyen, Hồng-Ân Trương, Howie Chen, Hsu Chia-Wei, Huang Chien-Hung, Huang Hua-Chen, Huang Po-chih, HUANG Xiaopeng, I-Hua Lee, Iftikhar Dadi, Il Lee, Ingrid Chu, Interference Archive, Jaeyong Park, Jaishri Abichandani, Jane DeBevoise, Jean Shin, Jean-Hubert Martin, Jen Hoyer, Jen Liu, Jennifer Davis, Jewyo Rhii, Joan Lebold Cohen, Joanne, John Pirozzi, John Tain, José Maceda, Julian Ross, Jun Yang, June Yap, Kaho Albert Yu, kate-hers RHEE, Katherine Grube, Ken Lum, Kim Yong-Ik, Kimia Maleki, Kit Yi Wong, Koki Tanaka, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Laurel Ptak, Lê Thuận Uyên, Lee Kit, Lee Mingwei, Lee Weng Choy, Lesley Ma, Levi Easterbrooks, Li Ming, Li Ran, Li Shi, Li Xiaofei, Liang Jianhua, Lin Yilin, Linda Huang, LinDa Saphan, Lisa Ross, Liu Ding, Liu Shiyuan, Louiza Ho, Lynn Gumpert, Lyno Vuth, Maika Pollack, malaysia, Maline Yim, Mao Chenyu, MAP Office, Margaret Lee, Margo Machida, Mariam Ghani, Martha Wilson, Marvin Taylor, media art, Meghan Forbes, Meiya Cheng, Mel Bochner, Miao Ying, Michelle Wong, Michelle Yun, Midori Yoshimoto, Ming Fay, Minoru Yoshida, Miwako Tezuka, Moe Satt, Morgan Wong, Mukaddas Mijit, Murtaza Vali, Museum of Unknown, Nadim Abbas, Naeem Mohaiemen, Nate Hun, new media, Nico Baumbach, Nikhil Raunak, Nonny de la Peña, Nora Taylor, nos:books, Ocean Leung, Onejoon Che, Ou Ning, Pad.ma, Pak Sheung Chuen, Pan An-yi, Park Chankyong, Passenger Pigeon Press, Patty Chang, photography, Pi Li, Polit-Sheer-Form Office, Prem Krishnamurthy, Qiu Anxiong, Qiu Deshu, Qiu Zhijie, Rabbya Naseer, Rania Ho, Raqs Media Collective, Rebecca Karl, regionalism, Reiko Tomii, Richard Vine, Rina Banerjee, Risha Lee, Rob Smith, Roslisham Ismail a.k.a. Ise, Ruijun Shen, Ryan Lee Wong, Saadia Toor, Sabih Mohd Ahmed, Sadya Mizan, Sam Hart, Samita Sinha, Samsom Young, Samson Young, Sareth Svay, Sean Anderson, Sen Uesaki, Shaina Anand, Shanta Rao, Sharmini Pereira, Shauba Chang, Shen Xin, Shiraga Kazuo, Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Simon Leung (梁碩恩), Simon Wu, singapore, Sming Sming Books, Sohl Lee, Son Ni, Song Dong, Sopheap Pich, southeast asia, Stephanie Comilang, Stephanie H. Tung, Stephen Teiser, Steve Locke, Su Hui-Yu, Su Yu-Hsien, Sung Hwan Kim, Sunghee Lee, Svetlana Kharchenkova, Tabaimo, Takahiko Iimura, Takako Tanabe, Takeshi Ikeda, Tammy Nguyen, Tang Kwok Hin, Taro Hanaga, Teresa Kwong, The Dunhuang Foundation, The Otolith Group, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Tiffany Chung, Tishan Hsu, Tobias Madison, Tom Looser, Trần Minh Đức, Tsherin Sherpa, Uli Sigg, Umber Majeed, video art, Việt Lê, Vivian Sming, Wang Gongyi, Wang Jianwei, Wang Jing, Wang Wei, Wang Xu, Waterfall, William LIM, Work on Work, Wu Shanzhuan, Xen Nhà, Xiaoyu Weng, Xie Xiaoze, Xin Wang, Xu Bing, Xu Tan, YANG Jiechang, Yang Wang, Yin Xiuzhen, Ying Kwok, Yoon Hwan Bae, YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES, Yu Cheng-Ta, Yung MA, Zhang Hongtu, Zhang Peili, Zheng Shengtian, Zhenzhen Qi, Zhou Tao, Ziying Duan, Zoe Butt