KÜNSTLERHAUS

BETHANIEN

Artist

Chia-En Jao

Taiwan

REM Sleep, 3 Channels HD Video Projection, 63’42”, December 2011

Chia-En Jao approaches contemporary art practice as a set of experiments that deal with the ideas of identity, borders, shared experience and the power relationship between different aesthetic and political regimes. His diverse forms of works – mainly video, project-based works, installation, light projection and two dimensions works – often involve the viewer to perform and participate in a conceptualized structure derived from his personal experiences in the state of migrant. From the fact of being alienated from familiar coding system, he investigates the separated and unified moments between individuals, which forms and deforms the boundaries among us in specific locations and times. By drawing historical, cultural and political recognitions out of individuals, Jao’s works explore the complex association between signs and their floating meanings travel from original context to novel habitats. He codes aesthetic and politic elements in his works because he considers politics as a basic shared sphere between people. In the one hand, while using personal materials as the source of work, he keeps questioning the legitimacy of speaking private memories in public space; in the other hand, he examines the way in which dominant power, mainly from mass media, shapes our understanding of signs and our assumptions.