• Date 2011.10.08-10.30
  • Venue 台北當代藝術中心

Mirage—Disused Public Property in Taiwan

Yao, Jui-Chung + Lost Society Document (LSD)

Comments on the Finalist

The Mirage project addresses social issues on a basis with broadness and depth of a field study. Photographs that seem to capture the details in everyday life are put together, creating an enormous tension, which materializes into an effect that stirs the society and inspires people. In recent years, the form of protest is in a transition phase, as many artists are now actively participating in protests and have shown substantial influences. However, how to avoid having these protests becoming political actions disguised in the name of art—turning art into a mere slogan—has remained a great difficulty for the artists. Yao, Jui-Chung and his team adopt a literature writing strategy; through precise and detailed narratives in everyday life, they are able to examine the matters to a depth that other activists are unable to reach. Consequently, Yao and his team are able to reflect intricate metaphors that ultimately concentrate into an intense and touching poetic sense.  Committee member:Chen, Hung-Yi

Artwork Introduction

In the 1990s, with the lifting of martial law, a local boom, coupled with the promotion of broad-reaching community cultural policies to construct museums, formed an unmistakable trend. Despite the high cost to the public for construction and facilities, after construction was completed, operations do not go according to plan. The museums are never used, and the government is faced with the dilemma of finding unbudgeted funds in order to make ends meet. Due to mismanagement, visitors are scarce, and these public buildings, barely used, are reduced to a class of ruins: abandoned “idle spaces,” commonly referred to as “mosquito museums.”

In 2010, approximately 50 students from Taipei National University of the Arts and National Taiwan Normal University completed a joint investigation. What Yao, Jui-Chung and his students needed to do was to create a file: to gather as much as possible in a short period of time, that which appears to be concealed or forgotten, namely the mosquito museum. Black-and-white photographs by the students exhibit an eerie tension, irrefutable evidence of government negligence. Compiling written reportage, along with film and photography shot on location, the group edited and published.

About the Artist

Lost Society Document(LSD) is a temporary organization. It grew out of a photography workshop taught by Professor Yao, Jui-Chung, who mobilized a group of college students to launch an investigation in their home districts. There were approximately 120 participants in the program, all of whom were students taking Professor Yao’s classes as an elective, and drawn from various groups including the Department of Fine Arts at National Taipei University of the Arts, the Department of Fine Arts at National Taiwan Normal University, and the National Taiwan University Photography Club.