: Mr. Jao is a new media artist who has gained great attention and exhibited around the world. His works are primarily investigations of the power structures in the art world and the resulting marginalization and politics this creates. His current project, Statement, which was featured at the 2010 Taipei Biennale at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, is an exploration of the artist’s statement. Examining artist statements in Taiwan from 1930 to today, and “enacting” them with the help of the general public, Mr. Jao’s videos show how the meaning of art is produced in all its linguistic and performative aspects. Mr. Jao’s Statement explores how the jargon of the contemporary art world has influenced the work itself. His research conducted in New York shed light on how the public understands art practice from different perspectives and contributed to Statement’s finished articulation.
Grants Awarded2011 | Arts, General | United States
to observe contemporary art activities in New York and to continue the research for an art project Statement
Backseat Boulevard is a continuation of Jao’s interest in historical remnants and their reproduction in modern-day society. In addressing these issues, the artist unfolds different interpretations of history, questioning the established, official versions produced by the nation-state and media. This exhibition comprises three works, including Taxi (2016), which debuted at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in November 2016. Adopting a documentary style and a cinematic language, the video chronicles the conversations between the artist and cab drivers as they took him around Taipei to various locations that significant historical events took place, mapping the hidden contours of the geographical, historical, and ideological landscape of Taipei. The second piece is a series of watercolor works on paper through which the artist contests history, examines how history is being perused or traded, and weighs aesthetics against morality. Another piece is a video installation that grapples with the changing state of symbols and icons by documenting the process of a shrine being fenling from Japan and reconstructed in 2015. Fenling, or shared spirit/power, denotes that the power of the enshrined god was taken from a more powerful one in another shrine.