The Letters

The Letters​

Yu Cheng-Ta
November 8 – December 14, 2013

Selected Works

The Letters, 2013
Six-channel Video Installation, Colour, Sound, 20'08"

The Letters is a critical acclaimed piece which Yu Cheng-Ta selects six spam emails and invites participants to reenact the content of its description, in order to help audience visualize the global enterprises which these letters represent, as well as associate faces, ways of speaking and political realities with those represented by the letters.

‘All of the emails for this work were selected from artist’s spam email folder. He then invited participants that matched the physical description of those letters’ senders to read the letters aloud sitting at a desk in front of a green backdrop with an image of the Earth. Reading aloud transforms the letters into oral accounts, and simulates a mutually imagined scam with the reading participants playing the roles of the imaginary letter writers, such as a dying Kuwaiti widow, one of Libyan prime minister’s sons who is in need of help, an Asian woman affecting a British accent, an Irish salesman under an assumed name, and an African international banker inviting the reader to join an international financial crime. From these letters, viewers are inspired to imagine the other parts of the world and think further about the connections among people’s appearances, linguistics accents and political reality.