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Residencia | Chaong-Wen TING

Chaong-Wen Ting participa de nuestro programa de residencia durante Noviembre de 2019 como parte del programa OFF SITE PROJECT 4 - POLITICAL IMAGINATION ARGENTINA curado por Chun-Chi Wang y producido por IDOLON STUDIO. El programa cuenta con el apoyo del Ministerio de Cultura de Taiwan.

About the artist

1979, Taiwan
Chaong-Wen TING graduated from the Tainan National University of the Arts in 2006, and currently lives and works in Tainan. TING specializes in mixed media installation incorporated with images and objects. Drawing inspiration from his personal experience, his works often reveal specific historical narratives created by embedding readymades in specific exhibition contexts. With surprising and innovative attempts, the artist deconstructs, extends and re-interprets the collective history while examining material culture, historic conflicts, collective memory and transnational phenomena and problems. His works have been extensively exhibited in numerous art museums and biennials, among which are Asian Art Biennial (National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung; 2019); High Tide 17—Fremantle Biennale (Artsource, Fremantle; 2017), Nakanojo Biennale 2017 (Former Hirozakari Brewery, Gunma, Japan; 2017); Citation from Craft(The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa; 2017); Taipei Biennial 2016: Gestures and Archives of the Present, Genealogies of the Future (Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei; 2016); Koganecho Bazaar 2016 (Koganecho Area Management Center, Yokohama; 2016); Urban Synesthesia (Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung; 2015); Speculative Dust (Corner Art Space, Seoul; 2015); Image/Sound: Concept and Position (Le Centquatre 104, Paris; 2014); No One River Flows (Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei; 2013).

About the project

Latin American literature boomed in the 1960s. The birth of magical realism literature is closely related to Latin America’s specific natural environment. Some contemporary Latin American writers hold that because magical realism is adapted to and rooted in the real world we live in, such literature prospered locally. Many representative writers in this vein appeared in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Cuba.

Essentially, magical realist writers aim to represent reality through magic, not vice versa. Originally recognizable characters, things and events in novels are deliberately made unrecognizable so as to make readers feel weird, unreasonable. Without reasoning, their original states are changed or mutated as if by magic so as to facilitate social criticism.

This project revolves Argentina’s magical realist literature along with its effects on Cinéma of verité, exploring modern histories about nations, traumas, political violence and memories of existence. Also born in the 1950s, Cinéma of verité came in the period of global frictions during Cold War and national liberation struggles. In ever-changing social and historical conditions, Argentina filmmakers devoted to such cinema not only recorded radical social movements in the 1960s and 1970s but also actively participated in them. Cinéma of verité of Argentina depicted and took part in the struggles with military dictatorship that repressed unions, leftist groups and social movements in the 1970s and 1980s.

Magical realism’s development in Taiwan will be traced from the angle of Argentina’s history of magical realist literature. In Taiwan, those who accepted magical realism at the beginning believed it was another experiment of language that differed from regional literature, inheriting Taiwan’s surrealist vein. As reaction to Japan colonization and White Terror period respectively, and a channel of release under repressive systems, surrealism became a preoccupation for writers in the 1930s and 1960s. Martial Law and press restriction were lifted in Taiwan in the 1980s. Given its avant-garde root, magical realism nevertheless prospered in the mid-1980s for its conformity with nationalist spirit of debates on regional literature. Although born later for 20 years than its birth in Latin America in the 1960s, magical realism in Taiwan timely solved the dilemma of regional realism.

Both Argentina and Taiwan were colonized but in different ways regarding lengths of periods, orientations and natures, leading to different cultural aspects. For more than three centuries, Latin America has been almost entirely ruled by one colonizing country (Spain). Applying the same language, culture and customs as their own over a lengthy period, colonizers underwent generation alterations and intermarriage with indigenous people. The invasive and coercive nature of their literature, culture and language were gradually rationalized through fusion to become Latin America’s subject. Rather than assimilating magical realism of Latin America with that of Taiwan, I attempt to facilitate text reading through mutations of scales and forms, especially the literary works on gaps between “history and reality”. Magical realism’s particular meaning to Latin America locally inspire scholars on post-modernism and post-colonialism, which is a basic background to be considered in approaching magical realism in Taiwan.

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