In May 2020, a virtual state Republic of Cynic (R.O.C.) was established in Taipei, the capital of the Republic of China.
The abbreviation R.O.C. stands simultaneously for the Republic of Cynic and the Republic of China. The former emerged from the Cold War history and continues to haunt the contemporary society, acting as a parallel organization as well as a phantom, illusion or subconscious dependent on the latter. Artist Yao Jui Chung created this “state within a state” by applying the concept of parasitism, viz., “the Republic of Cynic (parasite) lives in the Republic of China (host),” aiming to untangle the political imbroglio among the United States, China and Taiwan since the Cold War, and to capture the spirit and embodiment of national identity in the new Cold War.
Conceived by Yao in 2008, Republic of Cynic is a creative project unfulfilled until now. Apart from following his consistent creative approach that spans more than three decades, i.e., examining the absurdity of human history by assembling body, behavior, painting and image into a pointed yet detached narrative style, this project further fabricates a national context to invite reflection on the national subjectivity’s subtleness, ambiguity, and occasional touch of bitter comicality.