In the summer of 2023, Hong-Gah Museum is proud to present the solo exhibition of video artist Ciou Zih-Yan. Ciou often draws inspiration from his upbringing in Miaoli’s Hakka region to reflect on the historical memories of the Martial Law period and consistently contemplates how to use video storytelling to address our experiences and comprehension of Taiwan’s history. His works attempt to transcend the framework of grand history and individual life experiences, embarking from the aesthetics of Taiwan’s New Wave Cinema during the 1980s, and adopting neo-historical visual narratives to address Taiwan’s fragmented historical consciousness.
The exhibition’s title,「 」(Blank Quotation Marks), refers to the artist’s creative approach of “Filling in the Blanks,” in response to one’s comprehension and recollection of Martial Law history. Born two years prior to the lifting of Martial Law, Ciou Zih-Yan has been deeply influenced by Taiwan’s New Wave Cinema since his days as a student. To the artist, the films produced in the 80s and 90s precisely responded to the historical context of the Martial Law era. Liberated from the constraints of Martial Law and censorship, Taiwanese New Wave films deliberately reconstructed past historical scenes, revisiting and reinterpreting historical experiences through an authentic lens. However, for filmmakers and artists born before and after the era’s cessation, while they possess knowledge of Taiwan’s politics and Martial Law history, they lack the firsthand encounters and emotions tied to that period. This rupture in historical experience and void in historical memory compelled the artist to contemplate how to evolve from the aesthetics of Taiwan’s New Wave Cinema and create visual narratives that resonate with their own circumstances, resulting in the series titled “Filling in the Blanks”.
This exhibition continues the artist’s contemplative exploration by presenting three brand-new video works: The Railcar, Mandela Memory, and Man on the Rails. These three works use different cinematic languages and narrative structures to delve into the historical memories of the Martial Law era, oscillating between set scenes, live-action, realism, and fiction to create imagined historical scenarios. Through dialectical narratives and filling in the blanks, the artist explores the gaps in Taiwan’s historical experience from a unique perspective. These works not only demonstrate the ambiguity of collective memory through fictionalized scenarios but also interweave the historical reminiscences and life politics of the Martial Law era to reflect different individuals’ experiences and perspectives, presenting varied interpretations of the period’s historical memories.
Organizers: Chew’s Culture Foundation, Hong-Gah Museum
Sponsors: Ministry of Culture, National Culture and Arts Foundation, Hakka Affairs Council, Taipei City Government Department of Cultural Affairs
Special Thanks: RenZhiChu Kindergarten, You Don’t Know Me At All, Oh.oo Studio, Mothra Productions, Chih-Feng Chien
Director: Zoe Yeh
Exhibition Producer: Daisy Li
Exhibition Coordinator: Ho-Ching Fan
Public Relations: Jessica Chen
Visual Design: Ni Xiang
Interns: Lin Wen-Ling, Weng I-Yun, Danson Wong, Sam Wang, Lin Shiu-Hao, Ke Sheng Wei, Chew Yu-Rong
Technical Installation: Middle of Nowhere Art
Onsite Production: Dahan Interior Design Engineering Co., Ltd
Projector Sponsership: Optoma
Opening & Guided Tour｜2023.08.12 (Sat.) 15:00
Artist Talk｜2023.09.02 (Sat.) 15:00
Speakers｜Ciou Zih-Yan, Ni Xiang, Chih-Feng Chien