''Republic without People''
Upon the arrival of 2011, the centennial of the Republic of China, this group exhibition attempts to put forth an imagined blueprint of the Republic of China over the next one hundred years by extrapolating upon Taiwan’s past history. What follows is a post-republic, or Republic without People. The use of reconstruction in the title’s pun speaks to the social and political anxieties of the moment, during which there is extreme uncertainty as to the Republic’s future direction. Moreover, it reflects Taiwan’s status as an island—which is topographically diffuse towards a center—and yet lacking in a collective ideological identity.
The exhibition contains 24 works in total. It opened at the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, and over the duration of the exhibition, it attracted more than 65,000 visitors. High Museum to see the exhibition has become one of the important topics of this year's arts community. The exhibition generated discussion on television, online media coverage, a subsequent series of magazines, as well as electronic media and art criticism. The exhibition sent waves that were felt in art circles, and by curators and artists, serving as an important celebration of the Republic within the mirror image of an exhibition—and one in which its artists hoped to build a country upon a utopian culture.
Republic without People assembles a group of artists. As the R.O.C celebrated its 100th anniversary, the artists staged a revolution in the city where the Formosa Incident took place. The artists used sarcasm as knives and humor as bullets, to destroy all politically-correct strongholds along the way, and established an art utopia against the Republic of China, a country unrecognized by the majority of the world. On the foundation laid the keystone of history and past documents, the artists created a mythical and fairytale-like kingdom, providing the souls of the Republic of China a place they cannot rest in peace, and the visitors a memorable haunted house experience. With horror and excitement, a game of subject exploration versus the corpse of the Republic of China was carried out. Committee member:Chen, Hung-Hsin
Republic without People is a unique curatorial project from the centennial year of the Republic of China. National identity has been a hot topic in the contemporary art circle in Taiwan since the lifting of marshal law. Curator Wu Dar-Kuen raises new questions at this specific time regarding this issue. By gathering artists from three generations, Mr. Wu curates the exhibition in a careful and singular fashion, presenting the responses by the artists regarding the issue of national identity through periods of colonization, marshal law and beyond. Republic without People is an example of the vision of a new generation of curators, as well as the potential of independent curators in Taiwan. This year’s Jury’s Special Award also echoes Taishin Arts Award’s long-term support of curatorial exhibitions. Committee member: Chiang, Po-Shin、Lai, Hsiang-Ling、Ulrike Groos、Zsolt Petrányi、Lin, Ya-Tin、Chang, Chi-Feng、Martin Wechsler、Yoko Shioya、Jade Y. Chen
About Wu, Dar-Kuen
Wu, Dar-Kuen is the curator of Stand-In Techniques: New Taiwanese Video Style in Gallery 456, New York and Illusion Theater: New Contemporary Art in Taiwan in Blue Dot Asia, Korea. He is one of the founders of VT Art Salon, and he is a columnist for La Vie magazine. He currently works at the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, in the area of research and exhibitions.