"Taoist Trinity Fairyland" Kao Jun Honn Solo Exhibition
City: Taipei
Curator: Sandy Hsiu-Chih Lo
Duration: 2018-07-27 ~ 2018-09-23
Opening: July 27 (Fri.)5 pm
Venue: Gallery 401、501,Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts
Address: 1 Hsueh-Yuan Road, Peitou, Taipei
Participating Artist(s): Kao Jun Honn

Reinventing Places with Contemporary Art Activism

Curatorial statement for “Taoist Trinity Fairyland” - Kao Jun Honn’s ‘Topa Project’

Text│Sandy Hsiu-Chih Lo

The “Taoist Trinity Fairyland” art project is related to an actual event of indiscriminate construction of a Taoist temple on the top of Toad Mountain in Sanxia District; it is also a part of Kao Jun Honn' s “Topa (Great Leopard) Project” an ethnographic art action ongoing since 2016. He intends to reinvent the spaces for the Toad Mountain area and the Project Space in the Kuandu Museum.

Kao Jun Honn takes the perspective of “the Other”; that is, the Atayal Topa Community is the main gazer. The project’s focus is the construction of relational subjectivity based on the approach of “using the Other’s gaze as a mirror”. It adopts the concept of relativity and the relationship of spaces to embed cultural concepts such as myths, legends, history, memory, morality, ethics, desires, and rights in a dialectical pluralism of the concept of place; the intent is to strengthen the function of political and ethical transformation created by the contrast, confrontation, overlapping, and juxtaposition of the changing spaces.

Based on the area around Toad Mountain and the Topa Creek, Kao Jun Honn employs the advance of the defense line of the frontier guard in the Topa event as the axis, continues to travel through the historical time and space of the annihilation of the Topa Community and the actual time and space of the indiscriminately constructed “Taoist Trinity Fairyland” , “in the name of God” and uses documentary research, field investigation, image production, writing, and artistic action as detectors, measuring instruments, and mapping devices to re-explore, re-calibrate, and re-map a critical, autonomous, and emancipatory spectrum of topography between reality and imagination.

During the exhibition, the field survey for “returning the scenes” is not only an art exhibition outside the white cube, but also a practice as an educational guerrilla classroom and a passing ceremony of liminality. Through this action, the social norms to which the participants are accustomed are temporarily invalidated, and participants are thrown into an unstable state that abandons the original social value but has not accepted the value of the new community. Therefore, it has the potential to subvert or rewrite the original social value. The “Project Space” of the Kuandu Museum is transformed into a heterogeneous space like "heterotopia" or “Third Space” due to the introduction of a fictional TV station, the video display of an art activity happened at the Topa Creek which appropriates and represents the “Ceremony of Burning Toads” in Nanchong County, Sichuan Province, Chian, the imaginary reconstruction of the traditional Topa territory, and the juxtaposition and superimposition of the wasteland after the dismantling of the “Taoist Trinity Fairyland” a place with some fighting potential and agency.

Kao Jun Honn’s Topa Project - “Taoist Trinity Fairyland” will be the first exhibition of the "Project Space”, the new art space of the Kuandu Museum.

Artist Statement for “Taoist Trinity Fairyland”

Text│Kao Jun Honn

“Taoist Trinity Fairyland” is part of the “Topa (Great Leopard) Project”. It was inspired by an accusation in a mountainous area where land was taken illegally to build a temple, and I transformed this circumstance into a critical video work.

In 2017, a former New Taipei City Councilor from the Democratic Progressive Party acquired land in the Topa (Great Leopard) Community, then built a temple dedicated to Sorcerer Liu Haichan. The main purpose of this temple (the Toad Temple) was to seek wealth and accumulate treasure. After the temple was dismantled due to the accusation report, the vast wasteland that remained became a metaphor for contemporary Taiwan, and the story of Liu Haichan and the Golden Toad has become a projection of the mixture of divinity, capital, land development and the structure of desire. In addition to some of the relatively static elements of display in the Project Space in the Kuandu Museum, “Taoist Trinity Fairyland" also uses the models of a television station and field survey to open up dimensions of the artistic actions.

The "Topa Project” mainly concerns a North Taiwan Atayal who has been annihilated. It is a long-term project that has been ongoing since 2016. The project was planned using a multi-faceted approach and implemented in the manner of ethnographic contemporary art activity by means of images, texts, and field documentaries. The goal was to explore the contemporaneity of Taiwan and its possible development under multiple colonies, as well as the contemporary aesthetic speculation of global aborigines, based on investigation of the process of diaspora of the Topa (Great Leopard) Community.

About Artist

Kao Jun Honn was born in 1973 in Taiwan. Graduated in 1998 from Taipei National University of the Arts with a BA in Fine Arts, and in 2017 from Tainan National University of the Arts with a PhD in Art Creation and Theory. Whose artistic practice mainly focuses on issues about the contemporary society, space, politics, and history thought the forms of video art, physical practice, and writing. Kao Jun Honn currently lives and works in Taipei. His solo exhibitions include: Taoist Trinity Fairyland (Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, 2018) (Upcoming), Abandoned Path: A Creator's Geopolitical Method (A+ Contemporary project, Taipei, 2017), Overtime in Tokyo (Amateur's Revolt, Tokyo, 2015), Daddy Taught Me How to Behave (Bamboo Curtain Studio, Taipei, 2010), Pass - Platform of Friends (Auditorium of Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture, Taipei, 2008), Waiting for Germany at Liumaoan (Taipei MOMA Gallery, Taipei, 2005), The Home Project, Fond Memories Too Far (Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, 2006). His group exhibitions include: Frontier: Re-assessment of Post-Globalisational Politics (OCAT Institute, Beijing, 2018; OCAT, Shanghai, 2017), Taipei Biennial 2016: Gestures and archives of the present, genealogies of the future (Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, 2016), Asia Triennial Manchester - Harmonious Society (Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester, 2015), Gestures:Body Arts Stories (Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung, 2015), Ghosts return - Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition (Hong-gah Museum, Taipei, 2014), The 12th Taishin Arts Award Exhibition (Museum of National Taipei University of Education, Taipei, 2014), Trading Futures (Taipei Contemporary Art Center, Taipei, 2012), Forum Biennial of Taiwanese Contemporary Art 2010 (Taipei Contemporary Art Center, Taipei, 2010), Empty Fields - A Dialogue Between Contemporary Art and Contemporary Philosophy (National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, 2006), New Taiwanese - The Testimony of Digital Image (Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, 2005), In a Relationship! Taiwan and China Contemporary Performance Art (Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei; Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung, 2005).

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