Yao Jui-Chung

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Yao Jui-Chung
Yao Jui-Chung

Article

Comic Crusades

Taipei-based artist Yao Jui-Chung works in photography, performance and installation. Creating bold, irreverent works, he challenges traditional orders and ideologies, re-interpreting historical narratives and re-presenting them anew. At the heart of his enquiry are themes of Taiwanese national and cultural identity, the country´s historical relations with China and other colonial powers and the representation and movement of cultures in the contemporary world.
‘The historical destiny of humanity has a certain incurable absurdity.’

‘Art, no matter whether a reflection of social reality or a vehicle for one to escape from second nature, is inevitably charged with ‘politics’. In this connection, art failing to criticise ‘the political’ will then become political propaganda.’

Yao Jui-Chung is a prolific young artist whose bold photographic work, installations and performances consistently deconstruct, subvert and challenge the established order with sharp irony and a keen sense of absurdity. Focusing on Taiwan’s history and its troubled relationship with China, he re-interprets and re-presents long-held political ideologies and definitions of national and cultural identity. Re-enacting and re-recording history, he often integrates his own image into a historical framework.

In ‘Territory Manoeuvre’ (1994), for example, Yao Jui-Chung ceremoniously urinated on six historic sites reminiscent of the occupations of Taiwan in the past by the colonial powers of the Ching rule, Holland and Japan. After photographing himself quite literally marking his territory, Yao enhanced the photographs with a yellowish hue to make them look as though they were taken during those periods of colonial subjugation. The series, displayed in public as ‘A Pictorial Exhibition of A Great Man’s Deeds: Yao’s “Territorial Manoeuvre”’, generated much controversy among many Taiwanese politicians involved in the drawing of the national map today. As J. J. Shih has written, ‘by artistically poking fun at its subject, this work seeks to avoid sad reflection on, or criticism of, the uncertainty and ambiguity of Taiwanese identity and status’.

In ‘Recovering Mainland China’ (1996/1997), Yao ridicules political authority by carrying out supposed orders to extreme and illogical conclusions. On the cusp of the hand over of Hong Kong from Britain to China, and at a time when the Taiwanese government no longer talks about counterattacking mainland China, Yao secretly filmed his one man show in which he played fanatical follower of the slogan in order to deride the dream of ‘recovering the nation’ that once dominated Taiwan. As Shih explains, ‘Yao, in his early thirties, is the last generation to have passed through an educational system that focused on Counterattack and Nation Recovery. He has witnessed an historical sea change that rendered the mighty slogan of Recovering Mainland China at once obsolete, stripped of its role as the Supreme Guiding Principle of the nation.’

For Shih, this work not only declares the leap of Taiwan’s new generation in to a new reality dominated less by strictures of nation state than the flows of information across borders. Rather it is arguably an act of ‘historical environmentalism’ for, as Shih writes, ‘although the slogan “Recovering Mainland China” has long since been consigned to the “historical garbage tip”, Yao has found a way to recycle and reuse the slogan. Despite the fact that his obvious intent is to offer an historical and political critique, the anachronistic shouting of the slogan and the silliness of putting it into practice provide one with a kind of entertainment, turning the most serious call for a national crusade to a light-hearted end.’

For his photographic series of 1998–2000, Yao travelled to San Francisco, Taipei, Paris, London, Brisbane and Yokohama to photograph himself standing in front of the ubiquitous red gates that symbolically mark the entrance to Chinatowns around the world. Using the inscription ‘World is for All’ commonly seen on the gates in Chinese characters as the title of this work, Yao parodies the absurd fabrications of ‘Little Chinas’ outside China in our supposedly borderless new world that in fact is carved up into so many faux cultural quarters.

More recently, Yao has created ‘dazzling landscapes’ through photographic installations, which explore the seemingly random beliefs and strange energy that make up Taiwanese folklore. Works such as ‘Celestial Barbarians’ (2000), ‘Savage Paradise’ (2000) and ‘Heaven’ (2001) expose the gilded traditions as part of a false and superficial reality. In his latest works, Yao has also turned his penetrating eye to the use of the image of China’s Long March in installations such as ‘Long March: Shifted The Universe’ (2002).

Bio

Yao Jui-Chung(1969~) was born in Taipei, Taiwan. Graduated from The National Institute of Art with a degree in Art Theory (1994), Represented Taiwan in ‘Facing Faces – Taiwan’ at the Venice Biennale (1997), and participated in the Asia Sanpo Exhibition in Japan(2000). Also participated in numerous other large international exhibitions. His solo exhibitions including ‘The World is for All – China Beyond China’ at the MOMA Contemporary in Japan (2000), ‘Libido of Death’ in Toronto (2002) and many others. Participated over hundred exhibitions in Taiwan and abroad. Include Venice, Beijing, Seoul, New York, Hong Kong, Victoria, Vancouver, Japan, Paris, London, Wellington, and throughout Australia. Used to been working in theatre, Film, TV, Radio broadcasting, Photography, Art history and Art criticism. He was been Selected the Golden Horse Award for best artistic director for his work on Edward Yang 1994 film “A Confucian Confusion”. In 1997 he attended Headland Center for the Arts (San Francisco) and Artist in residence at Gasworks Studio(London,2001). He is a member of the famous Taiwanese art group ‘IT Park’ .

Focus on photography, installation Art and Art theory. The themes of his work are varied, but most importantly they examine the absurdity of the human plight. As he said “The historical destiny of humanity has a certain incurable absurdity”. Representative works include his Action Series which examines the subjective problems of Taiwan- “Military take over”(1994), subverts the modern Chinese political myths in “Recovering Mainland China” (1997), and examined the post-colonialism in “The World is for All “(1997-2000), all of these works examined the absurdity of History. At present he is Investigating the use of the image of China’s “Long March”. In recent years he has created photographic installations, ‘dazzling landscapes’ which combine the random beliefs and strange energy that permeate Taiwanese folklore, expressing a falsity and superficiality specific, a ‘cold reality’ which are specific to Taiwan. Representative works include the series of works “Celestial Barbarians”(2000), “Savage Paradise” (2000) and “Heaven” (2001).

Yao Jui-Chung is an artist, critic and curator. His essays have been published in many specialist publications. And Published some books, Including “Installation Art in Taiwan since 1991-2001” (2002)、” The New Wave of Contemporary Taiwan Photography Since 1999”(2003)、 ”Ream the Ruins of” Taiwan” (2004) and “Performance Art in Taiwan 1978-2004” (2005).All are comprehensive analysis and systematic list of the styles of contemporary Art in Taiwan.

Works

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS 1995–2006

Exhibition / Installation,
2006
2006 ´Islanded : Contemporary Art from New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan´, ADAM Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand 2005 ´International Triennale of Contemporary Art YOKOHAMA 2005 : Art Circus - Jumping from the Ordinary´, YOKOHAMA, Japan 2005 ´Shanghai Cool´, Duolun MOMA, Shanghai, China 2004 ´Ruins and Civilization´, Eslite Art Space, Taipei 2004 ´Reality Spells - Exhibition of Chinese Conceptual Photography from 90´ ´, Central Library, Hong Kong 2004 ´The Era of Contention : Contemporary Taiwanese Visual Culture´, Johnson Musuem of Art, Cornell University, USA 2004 ´Step Beyond Reality - Taiwan Contemporary Photography´, Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong 2003 ´2003 asia City-net-Transition of Identity´, Seoul Musuem of Art, Korea 2003 ´A Strange Heaven - Contemporary Chinese Photography´, Rudolfinum Museum, Prague, Czech Republic 2003 ´Taiwan Art - Film´, Lothringer 13, Germany 2003 ´ The New Photography of Asia´, Photology, Mailand, Italy 2003 ´Bologna International Art Fair´, Bologna, Italy 2002 ´Pingyao International Photo Festival´, Pingyao, China 2002 ´The Long March Project - A Walking Visual Display´, China 2002 ´The Realm of Illusion - The New wave of Taiwan Photography´, Main - Trend Art Space, Taiwan 2002 ´Toronto International Art Fair´, Toronto, Canda 2002 ´Hanam International Photo Festival´, Hanam, Korea 2002 ´The Gravity of The Immaterial : Contemporary Art from Taiwan´ Total Musuem, Seoul 2002 ‘Dream 02’, Red Mansion Foundation, Oxo Tower, London 2002 ‘Culture Resolution’, A & D Gallery, London 2001 ‘Asia Sanpo’, Art Tower Mito, Japan 2001 ‘Lighting Canvas’, Lee Photo Gallery, Toronto, Canada 2001 ‘From Iconoclasm to New Iconolatry’, Eslite Gallery, Taipei and Taipei Cultural Center, Taiwan 2000 Abnormal Temple Group Show’, Taipei City Museum, Taipei, Taiwan 2000 ‘Close Up: Taiwan Contemporary Art’, Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design; Charles H. Scott Gallery; Victoria City Museum, Canada 2000 ‘Very Fun Park’, Hong Kong Art Center, Hong Kong 2000 ‘China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Video Festival’, Museum of Site, Hong Kong 1999 ‘Magnetic Writing Marching Ideas, Works on Paper’, IT Park Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan 1999 ‘Face to Face - Contemporary Art from Taiwan’, Gold Coast City Art Gallery 1998 ‘You Talk / I Listen’, Taipei City Museum, Taipei, Taiwan 1998 ‘Taiwan New Photography’, OP Gallery, Hong Kong 1998 ‘IT Park Group Show’, Taipei City Museum, Taipei, Taiwan 1998 ‘Taiwanese Contemporary Art: The New Identity’, Mitsubishi Jisho ARTIUM, Fukuoka, Japan 1997 ‘1997 Roam Finale’, Abnormal Temple, Taipei, Taiwan 1997 ‘Virtual Fable’, Galerie Pierre, Taizhong, Taiwan 1997 ‘La Biennial di Venezia XLV II Esposizione Internazlonal d´Arte’, ‘Facing Faces: Taiwan’, Taiwan Palazzo delle Prigioni’, Palazzo Ducale S. Marco, Venice, Italy 1995 ‘IT Park Gallery´s 7th Anniversary Special Exhibition,’ IT Park Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

Exhibition / Installation,
2006
2006 ´Everything will Fall into Ruins´, Taipei Fine Arts Musuem 2005 ´The Cynic´, Taipei MOMA 2004 ´Long March-Shifted The Universe´, IT Park, Taipei 2003 ‘Elysium’, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, UK 2002 ´Libido of Death´, Toronto 2000 ‘The World is for All: China Beyond China,’ MOMA Contemporary, Fukuoka, Japan 1998 ’Beyond the Physical State’, Taipei Photo Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan ‘Taiwan´s Contemporary Art Series, Vol. 4: Yao Jui-Chung,’ MOMA Contemporary, Fukuoka, Japan 1997 ‘Recover Mainland China: Prophecy and Action, History Manoeuvre Sequence Series’, Dimen Foundation for Art Education, Taipei, Taiwan 1996 ‘History Manoeuvre Sequence: Recover Mainland China’, IT Park Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan 1994 ‘Territory Manoeuvre’, IT Park Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan

Curator

Exhibition / Installation,
2006
2004 “Spellbound Aura-The New Vision of Chinese Photography”, MOCA, Taipei 2003 “King-Kon Never Dies:The Contemporary Performance & Video art in Taiwan”, Dog-pig Coffee, Kaohsiung 2002 “The Realm of Illusion-The New wave of Taiwan Photography ”, Main-Trend Art Space, Taiwan

Public Collections

Exhibition / Installation,
2006
2003 MOMA Contemporary, Fukuoka, Japan 2001 Kaohsiung Musuem of Fine Arts, Taiwan 2000 National Museum of Taiwan, Tai-Chung, Taiwan 1998 MOMA Contemporary, Fukuoka, Japan 1998 Dimension Endowment of Art, Tapei, Taiwan 1998 Taipei Fine Art Museum, Taipei, Taiwan 1992 Chinese Photography Develop Association, Taipei

Long March: Shifted The Universe

Exhibition / Installation,
2002
Installation

Libido of Death

Exhibition / Installation,
2002
Photographic installation

Heaven

Exhibition / Installation,
2001
Installation

Savage Paradise

Exhibition / Installation,
2000
Photographic installation

World is for All

Exhibition / Installation,
2000
Installation 1997–2000

Barbarians Celestine

Exhibition / Installation,
2000
Photographic installation

Beyond the Blue Sky

Object,
1998
Drawing

Beyond the Physical State

Exhibition / Installation,
1998
Photography

Recover Mainland China: Prophecy and Action

Exhibition / Installation,
1997
Installation

Recover Mainland China: Preface and Military Service

Exhibition / Installation,
1996
Installation

Territory Manoeuvre

Exhibition / Installation,
1994
Installation

Publications

Published Written
2005 ´Performance Art in Taiwan 1978~2004´, Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., Taipei 2004 ´Taiwan Ruins´, Garden City Publishing Co, Taipei 2003 ´New Wave of Contemporary Taiwan Photography Since 1999´, Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., Taipei 2002 ´Installation Art in Taiwan since 1991~2001´, Ecus Publishing House, Taipei 2000 ´World is for all-China beyond China´, MOMA contemporary, Fukuoka, Japan 2000 ´TAIPEI 2001´, Photography Director. Taipei city government 1999 ´Recover Mainland China-Prophecy & Action´, Dimension Endowment of Art, Taipei 1998 ´100 Reasons to live in Taipei´ Locus, Taipei 1997 ´Tain-Da-Na Experimental Group 1993~1997´, Tain-Da-Na, Taipei

Merits

2001 Artist in residence, Gasworks Gallery, London
1997 Represented Taiwan at ‘La Biennial di Venezia XLV Esposizione Internazlonal d’Arte’, ‘Facing Faces: Taiwan Taiwan’, Palazzo delle Prigioni, Palazzo Ducalle, S. Marco, Venice, Italy
1997 Asian Cultural Council Taiwan Fellowship Program, Headlands Center for the Arts
1996 Nominated for the 7th Iranian Photo Exhibition
1994 Nominated as Best Art Director at the 31st Golden Horse Award for the film ‘A Confucian Confusion’ directed by Edward Yang

Www

Gasworks Gallery

Yao Jui-chung´s residency at Gasworks

Long March Foundation

Artist´s participation in a project organised by the Long March Foundation, New York and The 25000 Cultural Transmission Center, Beijing to take contemporary Chinese and international art to a sector of the Chinese public that is rarely exposed to such work.

Aspex Gallery

Yao´s 2003 show at Aspex Gallery
images
Yao Jui-Chung
Chinese
Yao Jui-Chung
Libido of Death
Yao Jui-Chung
Roaming around the Ruins III
Yao Jui-Chung
Barbarians Celestine
Yao Jui-Chung
Taiwanese
Yao Jui-Chung
Bomb
Yao Jui-Chung
Dim Light I 300cm ×550cm 2006