Sub-zoology: 2020 Taiwan Bienniaal (Satellite Events)
Duration: Sep 26 2020 – Nov 11 2020
Opening: Sep 26 2020 (Sat.) 19:00 – 21:00
Artist Talk: Oct 31 (Sat.) 15:00 – 17:00
Venue: VT Artsalon (B1, No.17, Ln.56, Sec. 3, Xinsheng N. Rd, Taipei City 104, Taiwan)
Paul Gong (b. 1988, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA) is a speculative designer, artist, and curator. He is currently Assistant Professor Rank Specialist of the Department of Industrial Design at Shih Chien University in Taipei. He holds a BA in Industrial Design from Chang Gung University in Taipei, and an MA in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art in London. He sees design as a research method and thinking tool to explore different possibilities, to criticise the past and the present, and to speculate the future. Design should stimulate debate, imagination, and reflection for people. It is also interesting for him to explore the aesthetics of the representation for possible futures. He attempts to use installation, text and image, conceptual objects, performance, and exhibition to create a kind of scenario for people to imagine and explore.
Kuang-Yi Ku was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, recently based in the Netherlands. He has graduated with triple master degrees with social design from Design Academy Eindhoven, dentistry from National Yang-Ming University and communication design from Shih Chien University. He is a former dentist, bio-artist and social designer. He also co-founded TW BioArt (Taiwan bioart community) to stimulate the fields of BioArt and Science+Art in Taiwan. His works often deal with human body, sexuality, interspecies interaction and medical technology, aiming to investigate the relationships among technology, individual and environment.
Taipei based artist Meuko! Meuko! is an experimental music producer and live performer. She started performing solo in 2015 and then in 2017 under the monocle Meuko! Meuko! with A/V sets created in collaboration with Taipei Based Visual & Installation group Naxs corp. The Audio-Visual project <Ghost Island> has then be presented in festivals and clubs such as Sóna(HK), Premavera Sounds(ES), Transmediale(DE), Berghain(DE), Sonic Acts Academy(NL), Wiener Festwochen Hyperreality(AT), SoftCentre(AU), touring more than 20 cities in the past years.
NAXS Corp. is a Taiwan based, network embedded art collective founded in 2015. Focused on the accelerated transformation of human experiences, NAXS investigates the dialectic relation between posthuman mythology, animism ritual practices, creating its fictional framework for the internet society. With their experimental development of contemporary interfaces, such as virtual reality, immersive theater, audio-visual performances, installations and webpage, each of NAXS's work is an unique attempt exploring the boundary of embodied experiences along with the digital migration.
The 2020 Taiwan Biennale put forward the proposition of "Sub-zoology" trying to start from the spread and mutation of viruses between animals and humans, using the "animal realm" of the "Six Realms of Existence" in Buddhism as the entry point, with the ten biological patterns listed in the "Diamond Sutra" reflect on the long-term plundering and dominance of natural creatures by humans, and rethink how humans face other sentient beings, thus to echo and extend the ecological topic of “Anthropocene” that global biennale has focused on in the recent years.
VT Artsalon, as the satellite exhibition location of the 2020 Taipei Biennale, opened on September 26th. The three artists who appeared in the exhibition first started expanding questions. meuko! meuko! & NAXS corp would be exhibiting the new work "Ghost Island: Beast View" to reveal that in the Internet age, the accelerated collision between individuals and collectives has triggered a new cold war in real life that is heated by the epidemic.
Artists Kuang-Yi Ku and Paul Gong both use "biological art" as one of their creative inspirations. Among them, Kuang-Yi Ku's work "Abnormal Normal, Normal Abnormal" cooperated with Dr. Joris M. Koene, Assistant Professor of the Department of Animal Ecology at the VU University in Amsterdam. Based on the research of the hermaphroditic characteristics of snails, artist Kuang-Yi Ku has created a series of art installations including dynamic images, three-dimensional models and flat surface printing. Which transforms the various sexual activities of humans and snails into several corresponding visual narratives, allowing audiences to contemplate the definitions of “normal” or “abnormal.”
As well as the artist Paul Gong has created a new bio artwork, “Sloth Effect: No. 2, The Dialogue Between Fiction and Reality", in which the artwork explores the circuit of thought experiments through the study of the three-toed sloth and human arm hair. Further, it then develops a dialogue between the artist and the viewer, conjecture the dialogue between fiction and reality, and also between imagination and scientific research. The inspiration from animals serves as the source of imagination and the possibility for humans to reflect on themselves. Thereby, can humans and animals become more than just "companion species" and develop into "communion species"?