Power of Ownership
Saturday, January 9, 2016, 6 pm
January 9 to February 7, 2016
1335MABINI proudly presents Yu Cheng-Ta in a solo exhibition titled “External Observer” from January 9 to February 7, 2016.
Yu Cheng-Ta presents two single-channel video works, specifically “Fisherman’s Wonderland” (2013) and “Ventriloquists: Liang Mei-Lan and Emily Su” (2009). “Fisherman’s Wonderland” was conceived from Yu’s visit to Macau, which has been considered to be the world’s gaming capital. The video is a monologue of a man of Western-descent wearing a business suit, delivering an inspirational spiel about the power of an individual’s dreams. The self-help / motivational manner of communication used by the speaker underscores the satirical commentary by the artist on the subtle yet forceful conditioning that marketing campaigns of the entertainment industries exploitatively carry out at the expense of gullible minds – giving rise to the “conflict between artificial and cultural/historical traces” in a globalized world. “Ventriloquists: Liang Mei-Lan and Emily Su” is a documentation of two separate interviews Yu conducted with a couple of Filipino women living in Taipei. Both conversations – with one woman accustomed to English, Mandarin, and Taiwanese language while the other to English and Mandarin – are interspersed with grammatical errors and mispronunciation, characterizing the effort of the two women in integrating to a different country and culture. The dialogues concluded with each woman singing a Chinese song at the invitation of the artist, “[freeing] them from the invisible language barriers …and enabling them to savor the cultural differences reflected in the song.” These two videos exemplify Yu Cheng-Ta’s emphasis on “cross-cultural, cross-geographical, and cross-temporal relations” that call into question pervading social and economic conventions.
Yu Cheng-Ta (b. 1983) currently lives and works in Taipei. Working primarily with non-professional actors who are made to perform or enunciate in languages that are not their own, Yu creates works that deal with the interstitial gaps and humorous misunderstandings that arise when different languages and cultures collide. He has been invited to participate in FIELD MEETING at Asian Contemporary Art Week (ACAW, 2014) in New York. His recent project Practicing LIVE (2014) has been selected for Forum Expanded, a screening program at Berlin Film Festival (2015) and the 10th Shanghai Biennale (2014). The Letters (2013) has been selected for the Encounters section at Art Basel Hong Kong 2014. His works have been featured in a number of international exhibitions, such as the 5th International Biennial of Media Art at Experimenta in Melbourne, Australia (2012), Made in Asia Art Festival in Toulouse, France (2012), 6th Taipei Biennial (2010), 53rd Venice Biennale (2009), and World Selection of Contemporary Art, Biennale Cuvée 09, Linz (2009).
Yu Cheng-Ta is represented by Chi-Wen Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan