Art Bank Taiwan will join the London Design Biennale for its final week this week at Somerset House. The exhibition will interpret the Biennial theme “Emotional States” in an exhibition titled Invisible Calls. The work will showcase contemporary work by acclaimed artists Cheng-Chang Wu and Che-Yu Hsu who both explore Taiwanese cultural identity through social and political commentary through an ‘invisible call’ to action.
The work will be exhibited in the ‘Taiwan Pavilion’ space and features photographer Cheng-Chang Wu and artist Che-Yu Hsu. Both artists aim to explore notions of Taiwanese collective identity.
Che-Yu Hsu’s work Lacuna touches on the theatrical over exaggeration of news media where he believes that fast-paced obsessions with drama has dehumanised stories. His work transforms hand-drawn illustrations into real-world scenarios, changing real people into deflated cartoon characters. In his short film, he tells the story of local murders that happened in his hometown through his brother’s personal experiences and animated news reports.
Photographer Cheng-Chang Wu also plays on this idea of story and memory via his work which is a rallying call for space and land that has been lost over Taiwan’s 30-year transition into its current democratic political regime. In Noise Vision of Taiwan, Wu collected the stories and voices behind each diseased landscape and used accumulated light to destroy his face to call for awareness to environmental changes. The faceless person in Noise Vision of Taiwan represents our ignorance to dying landscapes.
Discussing the significance of the Pavilion, participating artists Wu and Hsu say, “We did not pre-determine a singular understanding of our work from the international audience, but hoped that the viewer would perceive the work from their own perspective, generating resonance and discussion of artistic expressions in the localised context of Taiwan through this exhibition.”
An Interactive telephone booth titled Invisible Calls dictates communication via coloured lights (white to stand by, green to listen, red to record) as a way of connecting and exchanging secrets that transcend language. You can choose to leave a message as a speaker, or just listen to messages recorded by strangers.
The exhibition is curated by Art Bank Taiwan who aim to promote and support Taiwanese artists and collect and lease work to private and public institutions so that they can be seen in diverse spaces. Speaking about Invisible Calls, Curator Cheng-Pu Su says, “many protest movements have risen in recent years amidst Asia’s regional development and drastic changes in its political and economic landscape…[we] wish to reexamine the underlying and suppressed social issues in Taiwanese society though artistic practices”.
The exhibition takes place at Somerset House until Sept 23.