Taiwan Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale
Never Say Goodbye
Collateral Event of the 56th Venice Biennale
9 May–22 November 2015
Preview：6–8 May, 10–20h
Opening: Thursday 7 May, 18:30–20h
Palazzo delle Prigioni
Curated by the Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Never Say Goodbye will explore the atmosphere and particular sentiments of westernization in the post-war era of Taiwan, whilst also responding to shifts in the historical regime over the past century. The new video installation Farewell, Spring and Autumn Pavilions will feature a haunting character wrapped in a sensual and seductive latex skin which is both striking in colour and dark in its ghost-like fictitious nature. The resulting work will depict haunting scenes, embedded in Wu’s interests in photographic theories, Taiwan’s complex history and culture and the history of the site itself. As well as the video piece, a series of dramatic staged photographs will evoke memories and nostalgia embedded within everyone—reflecting the lingering presences in the prison who are reluctant to leave as they are torn between love and hate for the mortal realm.
Fang Mei-ching, Chief Curator of Taipei Fine Arts Museum said, “At the show, Wu uses the flamboyant and kitsch appearances of the ghostly figures in his photography works and video installation as disguises of charm to confide in the past pains that cannot be shouldered by the individual or the entire nation. On one hand, the intricate history of post-war Taiwan is revealed, and on the other hand the romantic aspiration for the future is projected. These seemingly parallel and opposing lines have struck a balance on a perfect crossing point at the presentation, by establishing a memorable dialogue within the exhibition space and venue.”
About the artist:
Born in Changhua, Taiwan in 1956, and spending most of his time in Keelung, Wu Tien-chang is renowned for his oil paintings and digital photography which comment on the socio-political aspect of life. Wu’s work reveals the contradictions of the photographic medium, with its apparent reality, yet often contrived and fictitious nature. Since 2000, he began incorporating digital retouching and image-collage techniques in his staged photography—painting backdrops, scripting, lighting, photography, making props, and directing models by himself in order to integrate the various conflicting elements into something unique and captivating. He currently lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan and has featured in major exhibitions internationally, including the Soho Photo Gallery, New York (2010); the Hong Kong Art Centre, Hong Kong (2010); Eslite Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan (2010); Art Beijing, Beijing, China (2009); the National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China (2009); the Taipei Cultural Center, New York (2008) and MOMA Contemporary, Fukuoka, Japan (1997).
Image: Wu Tien-Chang | Our Hearts Beat as One reversal film, 2001-2015 240 x 343.2 cm © Wu Tien-Chang, Taipei.