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Taiwanese artist's works featured in German art museum

06/05/2024 05:16 PM
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"Ruins of the Intelligence Bureau" by Hsu Chia-wei. CNA photo June 5, 2024
"Ruins of the Intelligence Bureau" by Hsu Chia-wei. CNA photo June 5, 2024

Berlin, June 5 (CNA) Taiwanese artist Hsu Chia-wei's (許家維) works are being shown at Hamburg's Hamburger Kunsthalle in an exhibition themed: "Untranquil Now: a Constellation of Narratives and Resonances," according to the exhibition website.

Hsu specializes in film and contemporary art, often revealing "connections between humans, materials and places that have been overlooked or omitted in conventional historical narratives," according to his blog.

His showcased works for the exhibition -- "Ruins of the Intelligence Bureau," "Huai Mo Village" and "The Actor from Golden Triangle" -- encapsulate his skillset.

"Ruins" was inspired by the historical events of ROC (Republic of China) intelligence officers stationed at Huai Mo Village, located at the Thai-Burmese border, to spy on the communist party during the Cold War.

"Huai Mo Village" relates the story of orphan children interviewing a priest at the village who had been a former secret informer during those times.

Corinne Diserens, a French art historian and curator of the exhibition, said that Hsu's works comprehensively portray the geopolitics of Southeast Asia.

Although they have a clear theme, they are not accusatory in tone but create space for audiences to contemplate, she added.

Diserens told CNA that Taiwanese artists are known for being adept at converting history into works combining audiovisual, bodily and spatial elements, creating a new form of an artistic language that infuses art, poetry, and politics.

She also said that during an extensive stay in Taiwan during which she curated the Taipei Biennial in 2016, she met and exchanged ideas with many Taiwanese artists, including Hsu.

French art historian Corinne Diserens. CNA photo June 5, 2024
French art historian Corinne Diserens. CNA photo June 5, 2024

Meanwhile, "Untranquil Now" focuses on "artworks, artefacts, performances, figures, and events that authorize complexity," where perceptional modes and bodies "become the agents of contradictory states and troubled histories." This helps the mind unlock and "explore heterogenous narratives," according to the exhibition site.

Museum Director Alexander Klar said that the exhibition was the museum's largest in terms of area, adding that it was full of interactive and dynamic elements that enabled visitors to experience artworks from multiple perspectives.

After displaying Hsu's works, the exhibition will subsequently showcase a retrospective of Taiwanese artist Chen Chieh-jen's (陳界仁) works.

The exhibition will run from May 31 to Jan. 19, 2025. It will also cooperate with the International Summer Festival held by Kampnagel from Aug. 7-25, and the exhibition will expand outside the museum into the city of Hamburg.

The Hamburger Kunsthalle holds art collections spanning over eight centuries and ranks among Germany's most substantial public art collections, according to its official website.

(By Lin Shang-ying and Wu Kuan-hsien)


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