Chia-Wei Hsu’s artistic approach is characterised by the creation of special ‘narratives’, film documentations, into which he incorporates site-specific characteristics, history, and also myths and legends from the collective memory of the inhabitants of the place in question. More recently, Hsu has been focusing his research primarily on the effects of the Second World War and the Cold War in Asia, as observed apart from the ‘great’ events of history.
For example, two of the five short films shown in On the Margin of Places are concerned with different aspects of the legend of a frog deity called “Marshal Tie Jia”, whose very ancient temple on the Chinese mainland was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution; a temple dedicated to this god could also be found on a tiny island far away from his origin, in today’s Taiwan, which was forced to make way in its turn for a bunker following Chiang Kai-shek’s withdrawal to Taiwan, and was rebuilt on a neighbouring island. There, Tie Jia is still revered today, and his advice is sought by the local people with the help of an oracle.
To clarify the complex factual and fictive contexts that Hsu addresses, the artist has assembled a brochure for visitors as an integral component of the exhibition; on the basis of sketched maps, charts and text passages, in this booklet he visualises the ‘stories inside history’ that he has taken up.
Chia-Wei Hsu is currently receiving a grant from the Ministry of Culture, R.O.C. (Taiwan). His stay in Berlin is also being supported generously by the representation of Taipei in the Federal Republic of Germany.
20.11. – 14.12.2014
Tue - Sun: 2 - 7pm