How do artists think about the longevity of their live performances? What are their hopes for the ”after-life” of an ephemeral practice, if any? What might be lost in translation if a live time-based or performative work is captured, recorded, and re-imagined in another medium?
We raised these and other questions around live art and documentation with three artists commissioned to make new works as part of the Taiwanese Pavilion for the Performa 19 Biennial, Huang Po-Chih, Su Hui-Yu, and Yu Cheng-Ta. In this panel conversation, moderated by artist and Professor at the University of California, Irvine, Simon Leung, each artist will address their relationship to their past work, current commissioned projects debuting at Performa 19, and how both might be experienced in the future.
Huang Po-Chih explores agriculture, economics, and global production; by surveying the local histories of the places he has worked—including Taiwan, the Philippines and Mexico—he charts the evolution of late-Capitalist globalization and the impact this system has on the environment. Huang’s multifaceted artistic practice ranges from fiction writing and film documentaries to farming and social enterprise. Huang has exhibited internationally at the Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textiles (CHAT), Hong Kong (2019); National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), Seoul (2018); and Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2015). His work has also been featured in the Taipei Biennale (2014 and 2016) and Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale (2014). He is a recipient of the Prudential Eye Award (2016) and the Taipei Arts Award (2013).
Su Hui-Yu is interested in the connections between media, images, body, history and everyday life. In his videos, he explores both mass media’s impact on viewers, and the projection of viewers’ thoughts and desires onto media. Su additionally draws from his experiences of being surrounded by state apparatuses and terrorism, and ideas of the self and other, and illusion and reality. Su’s works have been shown at Kunstmuseum Bonn (2019); Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2018–2019); Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Taipei (2017, 2011, 2008, 2005); Taipei Fine Arts Museum (2016, 2010); Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca (2014); Power Station of Art, Shanghai (2013); and San José Museum of Art (2010). His film Super Taboo (2017) was an official selection in the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) and was nominated in the short film category for the festival’s Tiger Award.
Yu Cheng-Ta currently lives and works in Taipei. He often involves verbal communication with the subjects and viewers in a playful manner to create the concept of “life theater.” Yu earned both an undergraduate and a master’s degree in fine arts from the Taipei National University of the Arts. He was a recipient of the Beacon Prize at Art Fair Tokyo (2012) and Taipei Arts Award (2008). Yu participated in the Shanghai Biennale (2014), CAFAM Biennale (2014), Queens International (2013), International Biennial of Media Art (2012), Venice Biennale, Taiwan Pavilion (2009), Biennale Cuvée 08 (2009), and Taipei Biennial (2008). In 2018, he presented his film project Tell Me What You Want (2015-2017) at Centre Pompidou and Kunsthal Charlottenborg.
Simon Leung (梁碩恩) was born in Hong Kong and lives in New York and Los Angeles. His work has been presented at the Gwangju Biennale, the Venice Biennale, the Guangzhou Triennial, the Whitney Biennial, as well as in venues through out the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Leung’s projects include an opera set in Griffith Park; a live/video performance addressing AIDS in the figure of the glory hole; a trilogy on “the residual space of the Vietnam War;” and an extended proposal of Duchamp’s oeuvre as a discourse in ethics. His latest project, “Introduction to Yvonne Rainer / Beijing” is currently on view at the Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum. Leung is Professor and Chair of Graduate Studies in the Department of Art at the University of California, Irvine; and co-editor, with Zoya Kocur, of Theory in Contemporary Art Since 1985, which has been translated into Chinese and Korean.
This panel was presented as part of the Performa 19 Biennial.