Excerpted from “The De-entanglement and Re-intertwine of Locality: a Discussion on the Ethics of Art Profession in Trans-Plex: Weaving Platform – the Communicational Exhibition between Taiwan and Japan
Written by Wang Sheng-Hung
In the exhibition Trans-Plex, the ultimate principle of these art performances is not based upon a precise cultural translation, but attempts to explore the “slip” in either meaning or sound during the process of “mis-translation.” Therefore, the gap/boundary squeezed by both cultural experiences highlights the Subject-like status which is much clearer in a moving interactive relationship. Huang Yen-Ying’s Taiwanese and Japanese Pop Karaoke Show is one of the examples which interpret a creative communication beyond language in a plain, straightforward, and humorous way. The artist selects several Chinese pop songs which are translated from Japanese originals, and organizes a Karaoke competition, asking Team Japan to sing the Chinese versions and Team Taiwan to sing the Japanese versions. Participators, without knowing what the lyrics mean, have to imitate and memorize the sound of the other language with any kind of phonetic transcription which they can understand. It can be imagined that in order to memorize a series of Mandarin or Japanese sound whose meaning has been taken off, participators have to exercise their creativity to work on certain private-language-like transcription system, amusing people with collective symbols which are put together like a plate of salad. Screened with the video documentation of the Karaoke competition, the “salad of symbols” is displayed with subtitles like it is in a music-video. The work is repeatedly shown in the exhibition space. For viewers who have no idea what it is going on, such a communicational activity has a quality of slightness as if it were an entertainment program. However, the artist seems to appropriate the slightness – the lack of meaning – to refer to the daily emptiness where languages cannot reach. The unreasonable meaninglessness thus creates a meaning by penetrating the sluggish language politics and eventually brings us a simple pleasure beyond any cultural boundary.