Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts

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Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts
12/28-12/29 Onstage Improperly — Are You A Coconut Shell? No, I Am A Peony
 

Title | Onstage Improperly — Are You A Coconut Shell? No, I Am A Peony)

Date| 2019.12.28-29

Time | 10:00-16:30

Venue | National Taipei University of Arts, Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts ( 501 Exhibition Hall, Reception desk, Storage room, Outside of the Museum)

Exhibit consultant | Wang Hong-Kai

Curatorial team Yu Chien-Hsun,   Patrice Chou, Shiu Shou-Hau, Huang Yi-Hsuan,  Phuan Thai Meng

Creation Participant |   Bûn-Hiông Production,   Chou Hsin-Yu,  Li,   Ng Zhi-Xien, Randy Yang, Lo Wan-Yu

Exhibition Assistant | Chou Neng-An

Assistance Unit | Kan Lin A-Chiao, Kan He-Yung, Li A-Chih, Nobuo Takamori, Chuang Chin-Tsai, Yu Hui-Chen, Brady Yu, Huang Chien-Hung, Liao Chiung-Chih, Jao Chia-EnZuleikha ChaudhariReinaart Vanhoe, Ho Tzu Nyen, TNUA, Fu Lan Club (Toucheng, Yilan), Fu Lan Club (Luodong, Yilan), Tamsui Beiguan, Shintrun Taiwanese Opera Troupe, Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts

 

What y’all eat in the theatrical troupe?
Ah, a bowl of minced pork stew over rice, a plate of veggie and a bowl of soup!
Oh, what about fish?
Sometimes, we would get river carp!

Onstage Improperly — Are You A Coconut Shell? No, I Am A Peony is somewhat of an “improper” research-based exhibition generated by a network of nonlinear encounters with Kua-á-hì (also known as Taiwanese Folk Opera) and Pak-kuán (a type of “traditional” music, melody and theatrical performance in Taiwan). To put it more accurately, it is a constellation of various modalities of listening and studying. In developing possible trajectories of research, the participating curators and artists take the visits to the veteran practitioners Liao Chiung-Chih, Chuang Chin-Tsai, Li A-Chih and Kan He-Yung as their point of departure, and in turn seek to develop their own lexicon and thinking discursivity.  

Staged at Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Onstage Improperly proposes to animate the given spaces as a kind of “Open Research Axis.” The audience is given “scores” and invited to follow the instructions and wander through the works either in situ or in the process of being unfolded. For instance: A Busy Afternoon Drama simulates a live radio play at work, interweaving archival materials, singing, speech with musical instrumentalization through a time-travelling journey; Let’s Go Visit Mr. Kan confronts the anxiety and doubt in inheriting a “tradition” in a somatic performance utilizing body, percussion and daily objects; Passing on, on the other hand, is a series of paintings and writings that express a rigorous immersion within an unfamiliar sociality i.e. an amateur Pak-kuán social club; and Facetime, a two-channel video installation, considers the tension between ideology, cultural lineage, family values and subjectivity. 

Rather than pointing to a conclusion of some kind of “research,” Onstage Improperly gestures towards multifaceted ongoing research and work-in-progress. While being aware of its critical limits, it attempts to navigate the perversion of modernity, the fluidity between body and gender, the unstable dichotomy between what constitutes the “traditional” and what constitutes the “modern” and their technological conversions therein as well as the formation of subjectivity in the context of Han-Taiwanese settlers’ culture. In the exhibition,  “process” becomes a method of production and a production of discourse, not simply a temporal trace of artmaking and materialization.

The aforementioned scores come in a form of instruction booklet, providing multiple ways of reading, viewing, listening and sensing the works at display as well as opening up to possibilities of becoming. And these possibilities of becoming are precisely what is at stake in Onstage Improperly— Are You A Coconut Shell? No, I Am A Peony.