Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts

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Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts
Project Space-Taoist Trinity Fairyland Kao Junhonn Solo Exhibition
2018-07-27 ~ 2018-09-23

Reinventing places with contemporary art activism:

Curatorial statement for “Taoist Trinity Fairyland,” the “Topa Project” of Jun-Honn Kao

by / Sandy Hsiu-Chih Lo

 The “Taoist Trinity Fairyland" art project is related to an actual event of indiscriminate construction of a Taoist temple on the top of Toad Mountain in Sanxia District; it is also a part of Jun-Honn Kao's “Topa (Great Leopard) Project,” an ethnographic art action ongoing since 2016. He intends to reinvent the spaces for the Toad Mountain area and the Project Space in the Kuandu Museum.

Jun-Honn Kao takes the perspective of “the Other"; that is, the Atayal Topa Community is the main gazer. The project’s focus is the construction of relational subjectivity based on the approach of “using the Other’s gaze as a mirror.” It adopts the concept of relativity and the relationship of spaces to embed cultural concepts such as myths, legends, history, memory, morality, ethics, desires, and rights in a dialectical pluralism of the concept of place; the intent is to strengthen the function of political and ethical transformation created by the contrast, confrontation, overlapping, and juxtaposition of the changing spaces.

Based on the area around Toad Mountain and the Topa Creek, Jun-Honn Kao employs the advance of the defense line of the frontier guard in the Topa event as the axis, continues to travel through the historical time and space of the annihilation of the Topa Community and the actual time and space of the indiscriminately constructed “Taoist Trinity Fairyland" “in the name of God,” and uses documentary research, field investigation, image production, writing, and artistic action as detectors, measuring instruments, and mapping devices to re-explore, re-calibrate, and re-map a critical, autonomous, and emancipatory spectrum of topography between reality and imagination.

During the exhibition, the field survey for “returning the scenes” is not only an art exhibition outside the white cube, but also a practice as an educational guerrilla classroom and a passing ceremony of liminality. Through this action, the social norms to which the participants are accustomed are temporarily invalidated, and participants are thrown into an unstable state that abandons the original social role but has not accepted the role of the new community. Therefore, it has the potential to subvert or rewrite the original social value. The “Project Space” of the Kuandu Museum is transformed into a heterogeneous space like "heterotopia" or "Third Space" due to the introduction of a fictional TV station,  the video display of an art activity happened at the Topa Creek which appropriates and represents the “Ceremony of Burning Toads” in Nanchong County, Sichuan Province, China, the imaginary reconstruction of the traditional Topa territory, and the juxtaposition and superimposition of the wasteland after the dismantling of the “Taoist Trinity Fairyland,” a place with some fighting potential and agency.

*Jun-Honn Kao’s solo exhibition, “Taoist Trinity Fairyland," is the first exhibition of the "Project Space,” the new art space of the Kuandu Museum.