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Wu Tien-chang: Never Say Goodbye, Collateral Event of the 56th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, is a major solo exhibition by leading Taiwanese artist WU Tien-chang at the Palazzo delle Prigioni. Curated by the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the exhibition, Never Say Goodbye, features a newly commissioned video installation Farewell, Spring and Autumn Pavilions alongside WU’s works of photography.
Located at Palazzo delle Prigioni, a former prison inside the Palazzo Ducale, WU Tien-chang: Never Say Goodbye explores the atmosphere and particular sentiments of westernization in the post-war era of Taiwan, whilst also responding to shifts in the historical regime over the past century. The new video installation Farewell, Spring and Autumn Pavilions features a haunting character wrapped in sensual and seductive latex skin which are both striking in colour and dark in their ghost-like fictitious nature. The resulting work depicts haunting scenes, imbedded in Wu’s interests in photographic theories, Taiwan’s complex history and culture and the history of the site itself. Apart from the video piece, a series of dramatic staged photographs suggest memories and nostalgia embedded within everyone – reflecting the lingering presences in the prison who are reluctant to leave as they are torn between love and hate for the mortal realm.
Ms. Fang Mei-ching, Chief Curator of Taipei Fine Arts Museum said, “At the show, Wu uses the flamboyant and kitsch appearances of the ghostly figures on his photography works and video installation as disguises of charm to confide in the past pains that cannot be shouldered by the individual or the entire nation. On one hand, the intricate history of post-war Taiwan is revealed, and on the other hand the romantic aspiration for the future is projected. These seemingly parallel and opposing lines have struck a balance on a perfect crossing point at the presentation, by establishing a memorable dialogue within the exhibition space and venue.”
Born in Changhua, Taiwan in 1956, and spending most of his time in Keelung, Wu Tien-chang is renowned for his oil paintings and digital photography which comments on the socio-political aspect of life. Wu’s work reveals the contradictions of the photographic medium, with its apparent reality, yet often contrived and fictitious nature. Since 2000, he began incorporating digital retouching and image-collaged techniques in his staged photography – painting backdrops, scripting, lighting, photography, making props, and directing models by himself in order to integrate the various conflicting elements into something unique and captivating. He currently lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan and was featured in major exhibitions internationally, including the Soho Photo Gallery, New York (2010); the Hong Kong Art Centre, Hong Kong (2010); Eslite Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan (2010); Art Beijing, Beijing, China (2009); the National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China (2009); the Taipei Cultural Center, New York (2008) and MOMA Contemporary, Fukuoka, Japan (1997).
Taipei Fine Arts Museum has organized the presentation of the artists from Taiwan at the Venice Biennale since 1995. Yet, WU Tien-chang: Never Say Goodbye is the first solo show determined by a selection committee and held by TFAM.
Taiwan in Venice 2015
Palazzo delle Prigioni
Castello 4209, San Marco
Vaporetto Station San Zaccaria
Next to the Palazzo Ducale
Location on map
From press information.
© Image top: WU Tien-Chang: Beloved. Photo: Courtesy of Taipei Fine Arts Museum.