• Date 2011.09.24-10.23
  • Venue Songshan Cultural & Creative Park, Boiler Room

The Theater in the Boiler Room

Tsai, Ming-Liang

Comments on the Finalist

In the films of Tsai, Ming-Liang, he pays attention to spaces formed by flow of desire; in recent years, however, he has shifted his attention elsewhere, to the viewing site formed by spatial installations at which films are played inside museums. The Theatre in the Boiler Room is an image projection project with the exhibition wall and the silver screen further merged together. Through multilayered projection, Tsai combines different interfaces, such as the dancing bodies shot in an underground pass, the images in the furnace fire, and the old theatre seats, to form non-narrative motion images that pierce through and overlap one another. The viewers seem to be able to submerge and dive into the invisible interface of haptic memory through steam that was once rolling in the boiler room. The project merges the silver screen, the exhibition wall, images, and bodies into an integrated visual form, unveiling the great potential of images in interdisciplinary flow.   Committee member:Chiang,  Po-Shin

Artwork Introduction

Tsai, Ming-Liang was invited to present Boiler Room as the inaugural exhibition at Songshan Cultural & Creative Park when it opened to the public. In accordance with his own views on urban development, Tsai collected everyday objects and props that were unwanted or abandoned, and exhibited them by either projecting images of them or physically placing them in the exhibition hall. For the layout, he designated a significant amount of space to be left empty, allowing the audience to view the original characteristics and structure of the building, and at the same time, to express its spirit. The installation employed old chairs, old clocks, old television sets, old pop songs, and images of abandoned underground passages and discarded mattresses, presenting a beauty and atmosphere sculpted by time, compelling the audience to reflect on the values of the consumer lifestyle in the current era, which overeagerly replaces the old with the new. The entire room was lit by projections of his monodramas: In the nearly abandoned underground passages of Taipei, the faint echo of the city can be heard, and the occasional passing of the performers, a string of hollow footsteps. A catering van was located outside the venue. For the price of a cup of handmade coffee, the audience could sit inside the work itself and become part of its theatrical performance.

About the Artist

Tsai Ming-Liang is one of the leading film directors of Taiwan New Cinema. In 1994, his film Vive L’amour was honored with the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, establishing his place in the realm of international cinema. In 2011, at the invitation of the National Chiang Kai-Shek Cultural Center, Tsai returned to the theater with three monodramas, entitled Only You, after a 27-year absence.