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The 7th Taishin Arts Award Visual Art Nominee: Ta-Chien PAN "Flashover-A Soloshow by Ta-Chien PAN"

Ta-Chien PAN "Flashover-A Soloshow by Ta-Chien PAN"

Artist Ta-Chien PAN's solo show titled "Flashover" was exhibited at the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts from May 16 to June 29, 2008. In this interview, PAN discusses his art and multi-culturalism.

I was born in Hong Kong, and I have studied in Taiwan and France. I speak several languages, but all with an accent. My whole family settled in Hong Kong and some of them are living in China. I live in Taiwan and have had Taiwanese nationality for over 20 years. I read the news from all over the world in order to know how my family and my friends are. So I guess I live sincerely as an attitude, and I pay attention to my life; this provides a position to get something else called the " idea" in my works.

When I want to do a work, I observe the world news, especially the media news in the channels from the overseas. I will compare that at the same time with the media of Taiwan and the media from the other countries. I like to compare the great events that happen in the world and the main subjects concerned by the Taiwanese media.

The news media is a big inspiration for my work. The visual images, films and the news footage also help me make a comparison to know the main values the people who live in this island have.

My typical process of working is methodical and rational. I collect newsworthy images from the computer, and I also shoot my own images.

It's hard to say who my influences are. However, I am deeply interested in the global and local tension of identity and power relationships, so I would have to take some philosophers into consideration: Nietzsche, because he discussed the real freedom of mankind, Baudrillard for his writings about the simulacrum and of course Foucault for his work on authority and the forming of power of our society.

For my Taishin-nominated work, my exhibition title Flashover refers to the physical phenomenon of inflammable objects burning in a closed fire when the temperature reaches a critical mass. Mexhibition wanted to show how disparate things, if put under certain conditions, could all burn. My installation at the Kuandu Museum was quite large and included objects from the middle-class modern home such as a bathtub, sofa and table lamps that were arranged like a living space in the dimly lit gallery space.

I also had six projectors and two small TV sets that kept displaying eight short video clips of model houses with their perfectly pristine interiors. One projection filled the empty bathtub that stood in the center of the space. The flickering images of the dream home were then interspersed with actual war images from Iraq. The nice quiet home, the perfect peaceful home is then assaulted by the horrors from the outside world. While watching the images, viewers will also hear the songs of Jihad from Islamic countries. This combination of the banal with the tragic and the dream world mixed with the harsh reality is the flashover point. Today's world with all its various countries, cultures, politics, viewpoints and religions may just ignite one day.

----As told to Susan Kendzulak

 

 

 

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