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The Self, Humans and Machines with Their Residues

20200122172319593193 (1)Publisher: TFAM
Category:Exhibition Catalogs
Published Date: 2019/10
ISSN: 978-986-54-1221-0


Director's Foreword
The Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) is presenting two back-to-back solo exhibitions in 2019 by artists in their middle adulthood or younger. In addition to invitational retrospectives with veteran artists, these solo exhibitions also provide important opportunities for exposure at the museum for other artists. TFAM has been organizing open calls for exhibition proposals for over 30 years to look for superb and exceptional exhibition ideas. The museum further launched the "Solo Exhibition Series" in 2017, with the objective of sparking more exciting interactions between different exhibitions, generating greater promotional effects, as well as providing more diverse experiences to the audience. The solo exhibitions included in the series are presented at the same time and on the same floor in the museum, with four solo exhibitions launched simultaneously each period to open up unique and stimulating dialogues through the juxtaposition.

One of the exhibitions in the "2019 Solo Exhibition Series" is "The Self, Humans and Machines with Their Residues" by Ban-Yuan Chang. This exhibition brings together 15 installation and sculpture pieces to explore the coexistence between the self, humans, and machines, and it also serves as a response to the linkage and the re-imagination of people to their own culture and traditions (customs, identity, folk beliefs, rituals) and machines' nomadic accessibility (as seen with cyberspace and with data storage, retrieval, and access, as well as the right to command). Chang proposes different perspectives on issues that include the replacement of human labor by increasingly more sophisticated technology and the gradual disappearance of folklore and related objects due to the algorithms applied. Through his art practice and a discourse on cultural assets, two points are examined in the exhibition. The first reflects on historical remnants, and with pseudo-artifacts, images of deities presented as art, emphasis is placed on seeing disappearing traditional culture through a positive way of evaluating material functionality. The second focus tells of the non-opposing relationship between humans and machines, with artworks such as the sound-activated installation, The Anatomy of Asclepius, that shows sound could be a type of symbol or intangible language that connects its surrounding environment. The artwork collects sounds from the exhibition space, with the mechanical installation activated by hi-tech media. When an audience steps foot into the exhibition space, technological interactions with artificial intelligence are prompted by him or her, which shows that the development of technology and the human race are co-dependent on one another. Chang seeks to propose through the exhibition a different way of looking at the conundrums we are facing in the world today.

"The Self, Humans and Machines with Their Residues" owns its successfully realization to the dedication, wisdom, and knowledge demonstrated by the 2018 exhibition proposal jury committee. Because of the jurors, TFAM is able to continue with organizing the call for exhibition proposals and to keep supporting Taiwanese artists. Also, special thanks go to the artist and the exhibition production team for their enthusiastic dedication and professionalism. 

Ping Lin
Director of Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Foreword from the Director
1. Our position
2. The 'self', humans and machines with their residues
3. The 'self'
4. Humans and Machines
5. The Residues
6. Suggestions