“Liquid Love” and “Sound Meridians” are two exhibitions that are taking place at MoCA, Taipei, which is the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei. These two exhibitions organized by MoCA Taipei and TheCube Project Space are open to the public from November 14, 2020, until January 24, 2021.
“Liquid Love” and “Sound Meridians” discuss very important themes for the present society and they do it through art.
Actually, art has many ways of expression and it can be a “vehicle” that carries important messages.
The group exhibition “Liquid Love” hosts seven artists from Taiwan, Japan, Egypt, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The curator of the exhibition is Amy Cheng. The name of the exhibition, “Liquid Love”, derives from the book “Liquid Modernity” written by the Polish sociologist Bauman Zygmunt. In his famous book, Zygmunt wanted to express the concept of modernity using the metaphor of “liquidity”: he believed that the concept of “being modern” is something that is in constant evolution, something that flows. From this idea came the name “Liquid Love”.
The aim of the exhibition is to explore how modern society and people’s lives have been affected by networks, algorithms, and big data.
Actually, nowadays telecommunications and technology control society, and consequently people’s lives and the way they behave or act. The way of communicating with each other has changed too, due to the use of technology. In this exhibition, artistic creations are an alternative means of communication that encourages individuals to think about the future we are about to live in.
Hassan Khan proposes his work “The Infinite Hip-Hop Song” that is an algorithmic product: the computer produces an endless non-repetitive stream of hip-hop songs. The vocals Khan put in his work comes from pre-recorded tracks by different hip-hop singers. The system he represents supports the idea of an autopoietic “organism”.
Dj Sniff (Takuro Mizuta Lippit) presents his work “Drinking from the Spring of Liquid Love” which is a collection of songs he titled “Liquid Love”. He remixes the tracks and creates a “new work”: he plays it with different objects such as turntable, cassette player, spring and amplifier. The layers of deconstruction and reconstruction are so many that the original material is incomprehensible to the listeners.
Hito Steyerl exhibits his work entitled “Liquidity Inc.” which is like a strategy to survive the uncertainty of the volatile future. The protagonist of “Liquidity Inc.” is a financial analyst who lost his job during the global crisis.
Chung-Han Yao and his work “Feel the Space” explore the evolution of the real world and cyberspace, two dimensions that are developing in parallel. Listeners will “visit” two different worlds using their visual and auditory senses.
Hao Ni’s work is “Structure Study VI” which is a visual and audible production. The artist has put together images, taken from YouTube, of disasters, conflicts, factory machines, explosions and animals running, and sounds reproduced by three drummers looking at these images. The result is a collection of touching video footage. Hao Ni wants to convey the powerful impact of massive images in cyberspace to the audience.
Yu-Chen Wang presents her multi-medial installation entitled “If there is a place I haven’t been to” which observes the industrial development and scientific thoughts in today’s society. The artist follows her surreal style.
Chi-Yu Wu’s work is “The LED Future”. The artist creates a world in which the Sun has burned out, so to survive people need another source of light: LEDs that replace the light created by God. The purpose of the artist is to reflect on the development of human history and civilization.
“Sound Meridians” is the other exhibition group hosted by MoCA, Taipei. Its name derives from the concept of Chinese medicine: one of its fundamental principles is that human life is sustained by the energy that circulates around the meridian system in the human body. However, in Western anatomy there is no convincing evidence of meridians. In the “Sound Meridians” project, corporeality is a metaphor that guides visitors through an investigation of how sound can link different local cultures, transforming them into something dynamic.
Sound culture can become the medium and material for the topology of history that responds to the endemic historical-cultural development of a place.
“Sound Meridians” is divided into four sections:
The Taiwan section is curated by Jeph Lo and represents “Rainy Night Flowers and the Evolution of the Sound Apparatus in Taiwan”. The aim of this section is to analyze how modern sound in Taiwan has evolved over the years. Artist Chao-Ming Teng presents his work “After All These Years”, a collection of all versions released from 1934 to the present of one of the most famous Taiwanese songs, Rainy Night Flowers. “Talking Drums Radio” is another project included in this section. It analyzes how sound can be both a means of transmission and content of contemplation.
In the Philippines section, scholar Dayang Yraola presents her audiovisual project entitled “Taginting, A Resonant Community of Sound Practice” that illustrates modern experimental sound in the Philippines.
The Singapore section highlights “Melantun Records Pop-up: Electronic Dreams of Tsao Chieh” curated by the musician Chee-Wai Yuen. Singaporean artist Ujikaji presents their work “Melantun Records” by telling the story of the late Singapore composer Tsao Chieh whose pioneering work in electronic and computer music has not yet been fully appreciated.
The Malaysia section points out “Silver Noise: Sound Circuits of Peninsula Malaysia in Part, on Exile” curated by artist Sow-Yee Au. It’s a presentation of a different version of the Malaysian national anthem.
“Liquid Love” and “Sound Meridians” are two exhibitions that deeply introduce visitors to another perspective of the society we live in. Through images and sounds the audience can understand how technology is changing our world and affecting our lives even more.
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