Mending Wall，A Practice
Artist: Shih Yun Yu
Mending Wall，A Practice
In the past few years, the once seemingly faded political boundary began to emerge again. People have built boundaries in various ways around the world, whether they embody in the appeal of nations or ethnic groups, the revision of regulations or the physical wall. This exhibition is a reflection and response to such situation.
The work “Mending Wall, A Practice” which shares the same name with this exhibition is a fabrication on site. The artist builts a low thin cement wall as well as the reception room of the political prison in Taipei Jingmei Detention Center the same size of its original plan. The audience can pass through the interior space at any time, but they are likely to be tripped over by the wall-face by accident. This kind of situation is a response to the relationship between people and political power during the period of Martial Law. Other works on the spot explore how power corpus create invisible lines in daily life with voice and collective consciousness in a bid to discipline each other’s life through the objects transformed by the emergency warning sounds and drums that symbolize political power.
The video installation in the hall “Sound Recording Along the Seashore (A Proposal For Replacement of the Emergency Alarm)” shows the video of the artist and his friend recording on a political prison island: the artist takes down the common voices of the island — of waves, wind, rain, insects and birds—the voice notes of those who have been imprisoned in the past for a long time. This recording is a proposal to replace the alarm. The artist hopes that these sounds can become part of history and replace the former symbol of power in the efforts to propose the possibility of a new boundary.
Yunyu Ayo Shih (b. 1985) currently lives and work in Taipei and New York. He graduated from National Taiwan University with a BA in History in 2007 and School of The Art Institute of Chicago with an MFA in Sculpture in 2014. Since he started to make art in 2010, Shih’s work has always related closely to the space he situated; In Taipei, a city he lived in for ten years, he turn a whole building into the subject of his art. While he is constantly moving and relocating, his works are stored in suitcases and become archives, documents, and books that tells different stories. He frequently explores different appearances of memorial and memory while at the same time involving interactions between himself and state apparatus. Instead of posing a confrontational gesture, he tends to choose coexistent or penetrated attitudes to explore gray areas.
Shih’s work has been exhibited at Power Station Art Museum in Shanghai, Taipei Contemporary Art Center, VT Artsalon (Taiwan), Practice Space (NY), 4-18 Space (Bogota), Long March Space in Beijing(2016), Cultural Center Belgrade(2017) and many other space. He has been the recipient of the New Artist Society Award (2012), Taiwan National Cultural Affair Grant (2015), and The National Culture and Arts Foundation Award (2015), and has participated in the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2014), the Arctic Circle Residency (2015), and 4-18 Residency in Colombia (2015).