/ Daisuke Miyatsu: 25 years of video art

Over recent months, art events all over the world have regrettably come to an unwelcome halt under the coronavirus pandemic. With Taiwan’s public health situation under control, ALIEN Art Centre is blessed to be able to continue its curatorial work and present contemporary art exhibitions with an global perspective. Starting from 22nd May, the exhibition “Daisuke Miyatsu: 25 years of video art” will be officially unveiled. Renowned Japanese art collector Daisuke Miyatsu invited ALIEN Art CEO Shao Yaman to co-curate the show. Among the 100+ pieces of video artworks gathered since 1994, iconic pieces by eight Asian video artists will be featured. Together they will illustrate Miyatsu’s understanding of the evolutionary course of Asian art history. Rooted in a dialogue about contemporary life and culture, then communicated and expressed through the language of video art, this exhibition not only highlights the collecting of art as the realization of a vision, but also brings to viewers a deeper and more nuanced awareness of the particular genre. Last but not least, the presentation will shed light on Taiwan's unique role within the East Asian region. Daisuke Miyatsu has remarked that this collaboration with ALIEN Art is, for him, truly a dream come true: “everyone who comes to see the exhibition will definitely experience how art harbors the power to move souls.”

|Initiation of the Exhibition with ALIEN Art|

ALIEN Art Centre, a space charged with its historical memories of its previous incarnation the Kin-Ma Military Hostel, was transformed into a contemporary art museum in November 2018 by the YUIMOM Group. It is one of ALIEN Art’s convictions that art is the observation of science and nature and as such, to offer art as physical experience or a medium for intuitive perception, becomes an important objective. The result is a series of collaborations with international names such as American light artist James Turrell or Hong Kong installationist Kingsley Ng.

Daisuke Miyatsu visited ALIEN Art Centre the week following its grand opening in 2018. Soon after in March 2019, the collector took the initiative and invited Shao Yaman to produce this very exhibition. Miyatsu’s philosophy echoes that of ALIEN Art’s, and he has placed his full confidence and complete trust on the Centre’s curatorial team to select and organize the presentation. In many ways, Taiwan is easily home to the most diverse and liberal arts-development environment in Asia—and among its cities, Kaohsiung is highly regarded as a dynamic cultural hub. Miyatsu hopes to explore the concepts of time and space within the history of Asian art: “After having exhibited at the MoCA Taipei ten years ago, it is truly an honor to return to Taiwan and to mount a show at the ALIEN Art Centre in Kaohsiung this time.”

|Framework of Exhibition with ALIEN Art |

“Daisuke Miyatsu: 25 years of video art” endeavors to deconstruct the cultural ecology of the future through the prism of behavioral science. Entire environments are constructed for each of the artworks, culminating in a cinematic arrangement of an Asian train connecting a sequence of scenes and impressions, altogether exuding a utopian air. Imaginary characters who represent different social echelons populate the set, not only offering thoughts and reflections from their own vantage points but also expressing a desire to transcend the mundane, or even to free themselves from living under the shadows of ugly political struggles—particularly urgent for those who dwell in developed metropolises. Viewers visiting the exhibition will be completely immersed in these concepts and conditions, perhaps an opportune answer to man’s desperate call for spiritual freedom. “This is the idealism that we here at ALIEN Art have insisted on since the very beginning,” Shao has shared. Artists propose compelling strategies of marching forward boldly in this unstable society, while maintaining a healthy balance between absolute openness and a respect for boundaries. It is our wish that the exhibition will encourage everyone to choose active participation in the collective mission to build a platform that looks past ethnic differences and upholds acceptance, so as to foster the sustainable operation of the aesthetic economy and to protect the candor and authenticity indispensable to a healthy artistic ecology.

|Storytelling Through Video Art: From Digital to Reality|

TakinTaiwan as itsg thematic axis then radiating outwards according to the island’s neighboring geography, the exhibition embodies a national consciousness cultivated during the postcolonial era. Geopolitics between states and nations fuel the content of the artworks. Each piece is granted its own immersive space, and together they form four turning points along the exhibition path: “Frontier migration,” “Subliminal Acts,” “Rumination” and “Transcendence.” Starting in “Frontier migration,” Taiwanese artist Hsu Chia-Wei’s single-channel video White Building – Sva Pul (2016) reflects the state of people’s daily lives under political upheaval. Nearby, Bohemian Rhapsody Project (2006) from Ho Tzu Yen of Singapore meditates on the tension between a people’s values and the times they live in with the aid of courtroom drama. “Subliminal Acts” follows: Honey(Mi) (2003) by Beijing-born Yang Fudong and The Dusk of Tehran (2014) by emerging Chinese artist Tao Hui both tell of the contradictions that permeate society’s underbelly with the objective to destabilize what the general public accepts as facts and truths. Sauntering into “Rumination,” the viewer encounters Taiwanese artist Su Huiyu’s piece that reworks censored scenes from “The Glamorous Boys of Tang” (2018), a masterpiece by renowned director of queer cinema Chiu Kang-Chien, in the hopes of foregrounding the evolution of moral standards and proprieties across generations. In his work The Future She Saw was Our Nowadays (2015), the Japanese musician-artist Fuyuki Yamakawa assumes the identity of deceased famous model Sayoko Yamaguchi as he performs a traditional Noh story about communicating with the afterlife in a quarantine site in Fukushima, a space saturated with invisible—and deadly—radioactive currents. The work takes on special resonance with the “passing” of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “Transcendence” is the end—and starting point—of the exhibition. Water Moon (2017) by Taiwanese artist Charwei Tsai takes the philosophical classics as a guide for existential as well as realistic approaches to life. As a final note, Thai director and artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s work My Mother's Garden (2007), commissioned by Christian Dior Fine Jewellery and never before shown in public, is a silent movie ruminating on the true price of progress in a consumerist society.

Daisuke Miyatsu’s love for art is unwavering; even revered Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has once expressed her admiration for him. Art colletion, for Miyatsu, is not for the purpose of investment, but for passion and intuition: “the essence of collection lies in the instinctive moment of decision to acquire and to support when you encounter a creative idea or experiment.” He has resolved to place his full trust on ALIEN Art as curator and organiser, and has mobilized the galleries SCAI the Bathhouse (Tokyo), Edouard Malingue Gallery (Hong Kong, Shanghai), TKG+ (Taipei, Beijing), Double Square Gallery (Taipei), ShanghART Gallery (Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore), Liang Gallery (Taipei), AIKE Gallery (Shanghai) and Snow Contemporary (Tokyo) to realise the exhibition. These relationships have allowed Miyatsu to assemble works that will reverberate well into the future, and it is through this collaboration with ALIEN Art that he sincerely wishes to share the genius and the beauty of video art.

© Miyatsu Daisuke

© director of ALIEN Art_Shao Yaman