Born in Hsinchu, Taiwan, in 1986, Chou Tai-Chun received his MFA degree with a specialization in painting from the Taipei National University of the Arts in 2012. His artworks have become a part of various domestic and foreign museum collections. Chou’s paintings have also been selected for the Made in Taiwan – Art Taipei Young Artist Discovery in 2012. His solo exhibition named “State of Flux” currently is on display at Taipei Fine Arts Museum. In the earlier series of works Globe Silent and the series Beyond the Silence, which the artist has been working on since 2013, Chou Tai-Chun has been gradually constructing a unique visual experience and imagination manifesting itself in the era the artist is living in now. Although the science-fictional setting and atmosphere he is portraying seems to be remote from reality, yet there are few signifiers in his paintings alluding to the current situation of the world.
Written by CHOU Tai-Chun
I have always been interested in various kinds of “interfaces.” After Japan’s 311 Earthquake in 2011, I saw a news photo on the Internet of a destroyed street in the disaster area and the photo inspired me to explore “screen interface” in the series Global Silence.
Every day, we know what happens around the world through the interface – “screen.” Among many information sources, media coverage is the most important one. Since the real world is encapsulated in the virtual space, we need to be particularly careful about the authenticity of the information received. Every time when something happens in the other part of the world, we are usually informed through the messages on the Internet instead of witnessing it in person. It thus creates a contradiction – the cyberspace is bustling with noise while the disaster scene is often filled with silence. In the series works, my focus is not on the post-disaster reconstruction of the destroyed area but the real scene itself. In every painting, I try to rebuild the scene, which I have never been present. The world being constructed is the subject I attempt to explore.
For me, it is fascinating to capture the present space-time we exist in through painting. Meanwhile, I am wondering how painting can once again be part of the world of images as a medium to create a new communicational interface.
The concept of the latest series works Beyond the Silence comes from Taiwan’s unstable land after several devastating earthquakes, the fake news, the 24-hour news channels, the fragments of images propagated around the cyberspace, and the disturbances which cannot be disguised while they are also necessary for painting. The issue of “interface” has always been my artist concern. Every day, this interface helps us to know what happens around the world. The information exaggerated by media is the key element for us to know about the world. Since the real world is encapsulated in the virtual space, we need to be particularly careful about the authenticity of the information received.
The 921 Earthquake began the era of mudflows in Taiwan. How should we depict the post-921 Taiwan? Or, what does it signify to depict the post-921 Taiwan? The 921 Earthquake was like a landmark showing that Taiwan had entered the “creative crisis.” The liquid modernity described by Zygmunt Bauman is truthfully embodied by the unstable land in Taiwan. The malicious political wrestling on the one hand ignores the arbitrary and unauthorized development projects, which might harm the environment, while it on the other hand eagerly centralizes and accumulates capital to speed up the economic inequality, causing the society to suffer the endless anxiety. In my paintings, landscape becomes a destroying theater, while the landscape being painted is a topographic chart which crosses different time-spaces in the globalized world, marking the space of the colonizing modernity experienced by contemporary Taiwan.