The 2019 Asian Art Biennial will be on view at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts this October. Taiwanese artist Hsu Chia-Wei and Singaporean artist Ho Tzu-Nyen are invited to curate this prestigious exhibition. The museum’s expectations regarding the two “artist-curators” are threefold: (1) bringing the process of artistic production into the curatorial horizons; (2) advancing research at different levels and introducing transdisciplinary curatorial practice through a more flexible and adaptive exhibition installation; and (3) carefully exploring the cultural issues and formal hybridization exclusive to Asian arts from multiple dimensions and perspectives.
Both curators focus their respective oeuvres on excavating, encrypting and reconstructing critical events in Asian history, in which a diversity of issues are touched upon. Hsu’s artistic practice has revolved around Asian history in the Cold War era. Featuring the imperceptible agency of images, Hsu’s works tend to recount events beyond the scope of his camera lens, thereby making themselves connected with the figures, things and places excluded from official records. Hsu’s recent curatorial projects included the 2018 Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition, ThaiTai: A Measure of Understanding, and so forth. Based on rigorous historical research and relying heavily on extensive references from literature, philosophy and art history, Ho’s works are intended to inspire alternative narratives and imaginations about Southeast Asia’s culture, history and geopolitics via a riotous profusion of media and vocabulary ranging from film, video, animation and theater to installation, sound and text.
Against the background of the Anthropocene and the information society, this biennial will investigate the possibility of the intersection between technological issues and politico-historical propositions, thereby addressing the question as to how contemporary artists re-interpret humanistic and technological issues simultaneously in terms of politics, history and economy. By virtue of its non-human orientation, this biennial will also shake off the shackles of mainstream narratives, insofar as to spark broader imagination and discussion. We plan to invite a total of 30 artists/artist groups from Asia to accomplish this great achievement with concerted efforts.
Graduated from Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains, France, Chia-Wei Hsu stresses specifically on the actionability underneath image creation when comes to the practice of art, while linking up the relationships of humans, materials, and places omitted in the narrative of the conventional history through establishing the incidents beyond camera. Hsu has thrown solo exhibitions including, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2018), Hong-Gah Museum, Taipei, Taiwan (2016) and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands (2015). He has participated in exhibitions such as Eye Filmmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2019), Biennial at Shanghai, Gwangju, Busan and Sydney (2018), 2 or 3 Tigers at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany (2017), Taipei Biennale, Taipei, Taiwan (2016), HUGO BOSS Asia Art at Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2013) and The 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezi at Palazzo Ducale, Venice, Italy (2013). He is also the curator of Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition at Hong-Gah Museum, Taipei, Taiwan (2018) and ThaiTai: A Measure of Understanding at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Bangkok, Thailand (2012).
Ho Tzu Nyen
Ho Tzu Nyen makes films, installations and theatrical performances that often begin as engagements with historical and philosophical texts and artifacts. His recent works are populated by metamorphic figures such as the weretiger (One or Several Tigers, 2017), the triple agent (The Nameless, 2015), the traitor (The Mysterious Lai Teck, 2018) under the rubric of The Critical Dictionary of Southeast, an ongoing umbrella project which uses the fuzzy outlines of the heterogeneous and contradictory region as a generator of narratives. His solo exhibitions include: Kunstverein in Hamburg (2018), Ming Contemporary Art Museum (Shanghai, 2018), Guggenheim Bilbao (2015), DAAD Galerie (2015), Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2012). He represented the Singapore Pavilion at the 54thVenice Biennale (2011). And recent group exhibitions include the 12thGwangju Biennale (2018); 2 or 3 Tigers at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2017); the 10th Shanghai Biennale (2014); the 2nd Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2014). His theatrical works have been presented at The Kampnagel, Hamburg (2018); TPAM (2018); Asian Arts Theatre, Gwangju (2015); the Kunsten Festival des Arts (2018). His films have been presented at the Berlin Film Festival; Sundance Film Festival; Cannes Film Festival; Venice Film Festival; Locarno Film Festival and Rotterdam.