chaomingtengstudio at gmail dot com
A Monument for The (Im)possibility of Figuring It Out. (2012)
Painted sculpture, documents, vinyl text and sheet, newspaper clipping.
Commissioned by Taipei Biennial 2012, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan.
One of the seminal films from Taiwan, produced right after 1987 lifting of the martial law and ending of the White Terror period, "A Brighter Summer Day (1991)" by Edward Yang (1947-2007) dramatized a real murder incident happened in Taipei in 1961, to illustrate how he views this murder as an inevitable, given the social-political environment in the 50s and 60s in Taipei.
In this piece, the final murder scene is further dramatized by it being turned into a dark-grey sculpture, to alleviate this moment of "claiming agency while at the same time losing it" to a level of a monument; an object for memory and empathy. By extracting that point of empathy out, the narrative of the film is left with a network of individual events/facts, which is listed down in the form of "Who did What Where When" to show a probabilistic/algorithmic view toward historical narratives.
The impossibility of figuring it out, to me, is how the structure gains its power and asserts its violence. Hence the title.
Below are three magazine spreads for contribution to the ACT magazine, using archives and images and sketches and production notes and emails to construct multiple spaces of reading the process of making the piece.