2018 Art Basel Hong Kong
29 – 31 March, 2018
Art Basel HK ’18 Galleries, Heidi VOET, CHANG Chao-Tang, Yin-Ju CHEN, Chien-Chi CHANG, PENG Hung-Chih
If, as American philosopher Judith Butler suggests, “to desire is to err, but to err necessarily,” how can we tell when desire is a necessary, productive deviation from the norm, and when it becomes a dangerous, counter-productive force? If there is an uneasy relationship between desire and the “erring” away from, or transgression of national, social, cultural, and sexual boundaries, how do we distinguish between “healthy” or “normal” desire and “deviant” or “abnormal” desire?
Chi-Wen Gallery is pleased to participate in Art Basel Hong Kong 2018 with a selection of exceptional works by artists whom each in their own way address the subject of Desire and Transgression.
Taipei-based Belgian artist Heidi Voet uses the pages of Chinese pornographic magazines to fold bouquets of beautiful flowers, creating a sense of desire, whether it’s for love or money. Heidi’s works are infused with a wry humour that plays between material properties of everyday objects and the connotations they carry.
Photographer Chang Chao-Tang was the cinematographer of Director Chiu Kong-Chien’s experimental erotic period movie about spirituality and desire Tang Chao Qi Li Nan (1985). About the difference between film and photography, he says: “Motion pictures are about time lines. They represent the strength of continuity. Photography is about a moment. It is more liberal, simpler and independent. Thus it is more difficult to capture an unique moment, especially one with meaning or imagination.”
Yin-Ju Chen’s installation Notes on Psychedelics (2015) is a survey of drugs, consciousness, and the soul. It investigates the motivations behind the consumption of psychedelic drugs. Encompassing philosophy, religion, medical science, art, and cults, Yin-Ju’s practice daringly and rigorously assumes that the universe has its own consciousness, and that as human beings we all seek our own paths that seem ostensibly different, but eventually return to the universe.
In his seminal work Double Happiness (2003-2009), Chien-Chi Chang explores the business of marriage brokers who recruit young Vietnamese women in search for a better life, to marry Taiwanese men. The black and white photographs show a series of scenarios following the marriage process: selection, application and paperwork, wedding ceremony.
Peng Hung-Chih’s Jesus in Jesus (2006-2018) displays a bust of “Jesus” mounted on the wall. But this statuette is not what it at first appears to be. A Taoist Priest has performed a Taoist ritual on God’s son and has located Jesus in heaven and invited him to inhabit his own sculptural representation. As a result of a simple action, Western and Eastern religions are provocatively moulded together, thereby shedding light on the fact that very different rituals, ceremonial procedures and iconographies fundamentally are grounded on similar, if not the same, human desires.
Art Basel HK ‘18 Kabinet Section, Yu Cheng-Ta ‘Yu Cheng-Ta Store’ 2017-2018 (Installation)
Separately and as part of the Art Basel Kabinett Section, video artist Yu Cheng-Ta will create a Monument of his 1.5 year’s film project in Manila. This special installation is a life size copy of a Sari-Sari (convenience) store that his film character David gifted to the ‘Marketing Boy’ Junio as exchange for his help during the film production, combined with the showing of the film “Tell Me What You Want – The Shop”.
The tile of the project “Tell Me What You Want”, refers to a sort of a greeting in the red- light district of Malate in Manila, which in turn refers to the local transactional structure used on the streets. This transactional structure can be described as a kind of an exchange or barter system. The artist’s relationship of exchange started when he was on a street in Malate, where as a foreigner he engaged the local small-time hustlers, referred to as “Marketing Boys”.
Art Basel HK ‘18 Film Sector, Chien-Chi Chang ‘Escape from North Korea’ (2009) and ‘The War That Never Was’ (2017)
In ‘Escape from North Korea’, Magnum photographer Chien-Chi Chang travels with defectors from North Korea to document their darkest journey along what is known as Asia’s Underground Railroad from northern China all the way to Laos, crossing the Mekong River, to Thailand and finally to South Korea.
In the video ‘The War That Never Was’, Chang interviews his mother, who was born in 1938 in a poor region of Taiwan. His questions are about her life as a wife, a mother and a labourer. With her life dedicated to survival, global affairs have little meaning to her and she never heard of the Cold War. The questions juxtapose important family moments with historical events during the Cold War, presented as archival photographs, film and sketches.
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