Witnesses — Yang Tzu Hung Solo Exhibition
● 開幕時間 Opening：2015.01.10 (Sat.)
● 展覽時間Date：2015.01.10 – 02.01 11:00－18:00 (週一公休 Closed：Monday)
● 展覽地點Venue：台北國際藝術村百里廳 Taipei Artist Village Barry Room
● 藝術家名稱Artist：楊子弘 Yang Tzu Hung
「見證」 By 楊子玄
The exhibition was realized in Yokohama, Japan in 2014 during my residency at BankArt1929 supported by the Artist-In-Residence Taipei. The exhibition reflected two major incidents I came across during the residency: one of them being the Sunflower Student Movement, and the other a city enshrouded in snowy thunderstorm, which posed immense natural, cultural, and geographic shocks to me instead of emphasising my own creative context.
How does one connect art and social movements when he is away from hometown? And how does one picture himself in the actual scene and related to it? The name of the event originated from a newsfeed titled “witness” from my brother’s Facebook page in response to the mass police attack on the protesting throng with fierce water streams on March 25, 2014.
I am a father of a boy, who is one and a half years old. The night I saw the Executive Yuan being occupied, I dropped a quick message for my wife and left in no time for the scene. I also summoned a herd of my fellow pals and called my boss for permission of a long leave, which was a firm request for a strike though. Many people were curious about my impulse, given I am a man with a family to take care of. They wondered why I didn’t just kick off a sit-in protest at NCKU.
The night provided crystal answers to skepticism of many. If I weren’t there, I wouldn’t have realized how rusted this country is. If I weren’t there, I wouldn’t have recognized how much valor it took to participate in the Formosa Incident 3 decades ago. If I weren’t there, I wouldn’t have been touched by the deep, firm value and belief shared by thousands of my fellow people. It takes only a second or two to dismiss a person. The goal of our sacrifice is a dawn of hope.
If I weren’t there, I would have opened my democracy account and deposited valuable spirits in it, which I then could pass on to my offspring.
Yang Tzu Hhsiuen
I included all the facts, online messages and personal feelings with the crystallization of my aesthetic knowledge as ingredients of my paintings. Whether the audience have been in the scene or not, they are asked to hold candles, as those Japanese religious practitioners paying tribute and care in caves, as witnesses of the entire democratization experience. The saga would have lost its historical significance without the witnesses, illustrating the proximity between democracy and the citizens. The exhibition Witnesses is now back in Taiwan, serving a testimony of the past and recounting the spiritual repercussions with a dance performance at the exhibition opening.
On February 8, just before the Student Movement, I came across a storm in Japan, which was considered by local media the most atrocious in the past decade or so. It was the first time I was ever stuck in a city covered by snow. The snow changed everything I felt familiar with and refreshed my memory, invigorating the loneliness of an artist living abroad on his own. I then interpreted my imagination of snow through creation.