Blank Photograph

空白相片|Blank Photograph
Video Installation
20'29''
2022

This work is a cooperation with the long-time collaborator, scriptwriter Chen Wan-Yin.

A terrorist revisits the seashore where he practiced bomb-making and goes back to his home where he speaks a story about a suicidal scene. 

In 2003, Yang Ru-Men placed bombs on the city of Taipei more than ten times. Yet, none of the bombs was ignited. Yang’s action was later regarded as a struggle for farmers in the same vein of anti-neoliberalism and his sentence was mitigated. A few years after he was released from jail, his brother committed suicide at home.

In this work, Hsu Che-Yu invites Yang Ru-Men to perform at two sites: the seashore and his house. At the seashore where he practiced bomb-making, he reenacts an operation and discusses the self-sacrifice resonance of the Japanese Red Army. In his house, he recalls a memory of a suicidal family member. The artist cooperated with a 3D scanning team—their job is to provide forensic scanning service at crime scenes—to make a digital double of Yang Ru-Men. Hsu made a digital scan of the architectural structure of Yang Ru-Men’s house. With these digital models, the artist reconstructs the bomb maker’s personal memories virtually.





Gray Room

白屋|Gray Room
VR360 Installation
16'06''
2022

This work is a cooperation with the long-time collaborator, scriptwriter Chen Wan-Yin.

Inspired by the artist's ailment and medical examination, he contemplates the construction of intimate memories, from bodily and spatial perceptions to neuroscientific imagination in this VR project.

It begins with a memory from Hsu Che-Yu's childhood: waking up in the middle of my sleep and finding myself sitting outside the house. It felt like everything became displaced. Recent two years, Hsu has been bothered by unusual headaches. After medical examinations, he was diagnosed with Diplopia, the so-called double vision, which was induced by the nervous system. In modern medical research, almost all perceptions and emotions can be measured in Neuroscience; they are material components of the neuro system. Without any metaphysical understanding of emotion and spirit, the concept of the soul is thus challenged.









The Making of Crime Scenes

事件現場製造|The Making of Crime Scenes
Video
21'56''
2022

This work is a cooperation with the long-time collaborator, scriptwriter Chen Wan-Yin.

Starting from a gunman involved in a murder case, Hsu Che-Yu seeks to reflect the collective unconscious within society and politics through the gunman's multiple peculiar roles—a filmmaker, a killer, a gangster, and a patriot.

In 1984, when Taiwan was still under Martial Law, a Taiwanese American writer Henry Liu was shot to death in his own house in the US by a Taiwanese assassin. Afterward, due to the intervention and investigation of the US government authorities, this case was eventually confirmed to be a political murder jointly committed by the Military Intelligence Bureau and the biggest mafia United Bamboo Gang in Taiwan, as the government paid the mafia to kill Henry Liu. In the end, the Taiwanese government negotiated with Henry Liu’s family, who signed a non-disclosure agreement, part of which prohibited the revelation of the case in the form of cinema.

The protagonist of this work, Wu Dun, is the assassin who fired the shot at the time. After the case was exposed, the Taiwanese authorities were pressured by the US, and Wu Dun was thus sentenced to life imprisonment. However, he was given amnesty and discharged from prison after six years. After he got out of prison, Wu Dun remained an important member of the United Bamboo Gang, and he established a film company as a producer with the support of his mafia influence, making several “wuxia films” – refers to specific traditional Chinese swordplay films. In the genre of “wuxia film,” the story of the conflicts between a government and local gangsters has often been the main theme, along with a strongly nationalistic ideology. In this work, Hsu Che-Yu revisited the film studio that was once used by Wu Dun and is now deserted to recompose the fragments of the political assassination and the scenes of wuxia films, and I cooperated with a 3D scanning team—their job is to provide forensic scanning service at crime scenes—to make a digital double of Wu Dun.






Rabbit 314

編號314|Rabbit 314
Video Installation
7'17''
2020

This work is a cooperation with the long-time collaborator, scriptwriter Chen Wan-Yin. The death of a laboratory rabbit initial this project. A glove puppetry performer with the laboratory rabbit's dead body in hand reenacts the movements- imagined by humans- of rabbits.

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The Unusual Death of a Mallard

一隻綠頭鴨的不尋常死亡|The Unusual Death of a Mallard
Video Installation
16'45''
2020

This work is a cooperation with the long-time collaborator, scriptwriter Chen Wan-Yin.

The inspiration comes from Hsu Che-Yu's family memory. Hsu's grandma served in an animal laboratory for 30 years. Due to the particularity of her job, grandma had to dissect living animals for observation and experiments. Sometimes, she would take the laboratory animals home, which later became his father's childhood playmates. Hsu Che-Yu attempt to probe how the body/life is taken as a part of the body of knowledge relying on real bodies and models, thus further exploring the relationship between death and digital stimulation technology.

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Salute

敬禮|Salute
Silk screen printing
2020

The HISK commissioned the artists to produce a silk screen edition of 30.

Single Copy

副本人|Single Copy
Video Installation, Glass fiber
21'17''
2019

This work is a cooperation with the long-time collaborator, scriptwriter Chen Wan-Yin.

Hsu Che-Yu produce a digital-scan model and fiberglass cast of the body of the first Taiwanese conjoined twins. Through this process, Hsu attempts to explore the workings of biopolitics and the functioning of one’s memory.

The first conjoined twins underwent separation surgery in 1979 and the whole procedure was broadcast on TV. During that period, Taiwan was under martial law. In this way, this surgery was often interpreted as a metaphor for the relationship between Taiwan and China.

Back in 1979, in order to prepare for the separation surgery, the hospital invited an artist to make a cast of the conjoined twins. The attempt to make a cast was however unsuccessful, since it was difficult to control the babies during the moulding process.

In this project Single Copy, Hsu Che-Yu has re-casted the body of the now 43-year old Chang Chung-I, and also use 3D scanning technology to archive his body. The data from the archive are then used as sources for capturing memories from Chang’s earlier life. When Chang was 21 years old, he played a role in the movie, Falling Up Waking Down, portraying a teashop owner whose shop was inside a converted old bus. About two decades later, Chang has repeatedly thought about what it would be like to run that old bus-converted teashop. In real life, Chang is married with two kids, and this artwork overlaps his present life with the fictional setting.




For the conjoined twin separation surgery performed in 1979, the hospital invited an artist to cast a mold of the infant’s body as an exercise before the surgery started; eventually, the mold was not completed. Now that technology is more advanced, the hospital chooses to use 3D digital scan as a replacement of the older mold-casting technique when it performs conjoined twin separation surgery.

In this work, Hsu Che-Yu uses both the old and new techniques at the same time to reproduce Chang Chung-I’s body. On one hand, this is a tribute to the history of medical technology and film history; on the other hand, through actual transfer rubbing and virtual reproduction, this is a contemplation over the third “shared leg” lost due to the surgery: there was no fingerprint on the leg, and the two conjoined brothers could feel and control it together, but it could not be given to either person after they were separated. The existence or abandonment of the leg became a dialectical choice between “one or two.”



Lacuna

穿顱透寫|Lacuna
Video
40'31''
2018
 
This work is a cooperation with the long-time collaborator, scriptwriter Chen Wan-Yin.
 
Controversial news is visualized in detail through 3D animation, it’s all from a popular news company in Taiwan. Hsu Che-Yu cooperates with the News animator and police officer.
 
This video is about his brother’s family memories in the form of animation, and extend from these memories to two criminal cases that took place in the surrounding area: one teenager was murdered, which happened at an Internet café where his brother often used to go to in his adolescent years, and this event was made into an animation on the news. Another event also happened in Hsu's hometown; someone witnessed a dog wandering on the street, with a female’s head too rotten to be identified in its mouth. A police imagined and portrayed the female’s face before her death according to the shape of the skull.
 
The two events were separately made into portraitures on public media—a manga illustration made with 3D software by news media, and the portrait of the victim drawn with pencil by the police. The artist visited the police who produced the head profile of the female, as well as the storyboard director who made the news animation. By exploring their graphic techniques, Hsu Che-yu attempte to construct the images of his brother’s memories.
 
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Re-rupture

重新破裂|Re-rupture
Video, Dynamic Installation, Photography, Ready-made
15'19''
2017

This work is a cooperation with the long-time collaborator, scriptwriter Chen Wan-Yin.

While suspended from a crane eight stories up in the air, a man performs a guitar solo. It's a reenactment inspired by the particular relationship between subculture and political movement in 1990s Taiwan.

In 1995, there was a human-shape balloon on the top of Chongxing Bridge in Taipei, and there was also the attempt of suspending all kinds of items in the air, such as washing machine, boiling hot pot, the statue of Chiang Kai-shek, and sex doll, trying to crash them to the ground. But the plan failed eventually; nothing was destroyed. Before everything started, it ended because of the self-explosion of the human-shape balloon. The same year under Chongxing Bridge, there was also a large scale fight. The people present there that day slashing each other with iron rod or sashimi knife. When the artist found the people invovled, however, they told Hsu it was actually a fight between political factions.
 
Re-rupture assembles two seemingly unrelated historical fragments: "People's Taxi riot" and "Taipei Breaking Sky." Hsu Che-Yu invited five drivers who participated in the fight at the time to return to the event site, while hanging a guitarist Li Na-Shao on the top of Chongxing Bridge to play music.
 




The year 1995 belongs to an era right after the White Terror ended in Taiwan. In this year, Taipei Breaking Sky Festival was planned by the 26-year-old Wu Zhong-Wei. In the many art events that Wu Zhong-Wei planned, there was always a strong sense of anarchism. However, his father Wu Er-Qu was a political artist serving the government. The many sculptures and paintings in Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall were all created by Wu Er-Qu. In the complicated relationship between the father and the son, we seem to be able to observe the microcosm of Taiwan’s social and political history.



The sculpture on the right-hand side was molded by Wu Zhong-Wei’s father Wu Er-Qu. It is said that he only made a couple of these and gifted them to the top officials and elites at the time. I spent 5000 NTD and bought this from an online marketplace. Wu Er-Qu also designed a miniature version of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall with the size ratio of 25:1; in fact, the entire Window on China Theme Park was built by him. Apart from small things, he also painted the biggest portraiture of Generalissimo Chiang in the world at the time, which debuted in the opening ceremony of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in 1980.

More than two decades ago, his son Wu Zhong-Wei had an unrealized plan, which was to hang everything that he thought of—eggs, a running laundry machine, the statues of historical great men, half-finished hot pot—in midair, before throwing them down, piling up a garbage mountain, and crushing them into a huge lump with a machine.

“Because it was never forgotten, so there is no so-called remembering”

After Wu Er-Qu passed away, his son piled up his works on the balcony on the top floor of his old house. When he is free, he goes to the top floor to smoke and drink beer, while cigarette butts, beer cans, and the works gradually mix together and form a small hill. The son said he is letting his father’s posthumous works breath, as they shower in the rain and bath under the sun. 


During the process of collecting materials, Hsu Che-Yu saw a small hill of debris composed of the remaining molds of the Window on China Theme Park, which is still left on that balcony to slowly decay: supposedly irrelevant matters that took place in different times are piled together, becoming a miniaturized national ruin as they are exposed to sun and rain.


Wu Er-Qu, the creator of Window on China Theme Park took a photo of his works in 1990s.


No News from Home

No News from Home
Video
9'51''
2016

The protagonists are the artist's brother and his infant boy who was six-month-old. Hsu Che-Yu selected five family videos about the newly-born baby that his family shot and turned them into animation. Through rituals of folklore belief and fragments of Taiwanese social customs, Hsu discussed how his brother negotiate with his family, education system, and the society, going from confrontation to compromise.


A Letter to Su Wanqin

尋找蘇萬欽|A Letter to Su Wanqin
Photography
2016

This work is a cooperation with the long-time collaborator, scriptwriter Chen Wan-Yin. It based on a special tradition in the history of photography in Taiwan. It adopts a particular skill of making self-portraits in the 1960s by collaging a figure’s headshot with a painted body and background. These photos functioned as a memorial portrait of the old or the deceased. Due to the commodification, the same painted background in the pictures often appear in different families. The portrait photo of 103 years old Su Wanqin is the first example Hsu Che-Yu found that its background identical to Chen's grandfather’s photo. In the searching of the information about Su Wanqin, the artist learned that he once participated in the war in China as a Japanese soldier in the 1940s and now is the oldest Nationalist Party member alive.
 
After writing a letter telling him about the finding of identical painted background in the portraits, Hsu and Chen got a reply from the son of Su Wanqin. The son wrote on his father’s behalf to expose the condition of the old man’s late life. The artist built a relationship as short-term pen pals.

Photo Album Clips

相簿剪貼|Photo Album Clips
Photography * 10 pieces
2016

When Yuan Zhi-jie was a child, Yuan’s father left him and had a new family . Yuan’s estranged grandfather suicided at last. Yuan got in touch with his sister who is totally unfamiliar to him via Facebook and invited her to copy and upload family photos with which he can piece together the memories. To Yuan, the sister is a virtual “data person” in a system, but the childhood memories is still romantic.

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I take photos of Zi-qing’s Facebook profile picture. I am not sure if she looks like that in person. But the photo looks really similar to the girl that Yuan had a crash on in junior-high school.

Yuan Zhi-jie’s young father and his grandfather who killed himself later. After that his grandmother does not contact her son and grandchildren anymore.

Microphone Test

麥克風試音:致信黃國峻Microphone Test: A Letter to Huang Guo-Jun
Video
25'18''
2015
 
麥克風試音:告別式Microphone Test: Funeral Service 
Triple-Screen Projection, Interactive Installation, Glass Fiber, Table and Chair, Plant
2015

This work is a cooperation with the long-time collaborator, scriptwriter Chen Wan-Yin.

The Microphone Test series is named after writer Huang Guo-Jun’s work Microphone Test. Two months before Huang committed suicide, he wrote an essay in epistolary style titled“To Mother,” in which he expressed his intention to kill himself to his mother. The writing style is filled with black humor and expressive quality, but he killed himself two months after he wrote this letter, and he did not leave any suicide note. 

Microphone Test: A Letter to Huang Guo-Jun is a video letter to Huang Guo-Jun. Through conversations with Huang’s works created before he died, the letter depicts private family memories of three good friends, and attempts to portray what in fact belongs to the artist, or perhaps everyone’s memories through the memories of these others. Or perhaps, what is important is not whose memory it is, but the process that memory is constructed and viewed. Hsu Che-Yu invited Yuan Zhi-Jie, Chen Liang-Hui, and Lo Tien-Yu to go back to the event site, and reenvisioned their memories in front of the camera. 

(中文介紹點選此處)


Microphone Test: A Letter to Huang Guo-Jun__clip from Hsu Che-Yu on Vimeo.


Microphone Test_exhibition recording from Hsu Che-Yu on Vimeo.



Memorial Portrait of Great Grandfather in the Worship Hall in the House: Chen Wan-Yin, who doesn’t know the artist's three friends (Yuan Zhi-Jie, Chen Liang-Hui, and Lo Tien-Yu), rewrote their memories into a script, and dubbed the video Microphone Test: A Letter to Huang Guo-Jun according to her own perspective. In the process of writing, she recalled the memorial portrait of her great grandfather in the worship hall of her house, and the association has double meanings: first, it is an association with family stories, including family member who she has never seen, and the seemingly distant but close family memories; second, it is an association with production method. The video Microphone Test: A Letter to Huang Guo-Jun makes use of a method that replaces real figures with animation, which is similar to the technique of memorial portrait, with both using fiction in place of reality.

In the memorial portrait, only the head image is shot by camera, which is then cut down and pasted to a background with a single seat armchair and pot plant, while the body and the background are replica paintings outlined in Chinese ink wash. The replica is a ready-made model provided by the store for customers to pick, which is why in other unknown families, there could also be the same memorial portrait, memory, body, and background. 




A Telephone that Keeps on Ringing on the Living Room Table: After the audience walk into the exhibition space, they see a set of single person table and chair, and a phone that keeps on ringing is placed upon the table. They will hear a man’s voice mumbling words about “sending someone off” after they pick up the phone. The voice actually comes from Huang Guo-Jun’s novelist friend Yuan Che-Shen, who reads his own essay “Sending Off” on the television program “Swimming in the Sea of Books” hosted by Zhang Da-chun. The artist recorded parts of the dialogues, taking them out of their context and transplanting them in the telephone transmitter, just like sending off Huang Guo-Jun and witnessing his own death, or also like sending off the family memory in the video.

After Huang left the world for a year, Yuan also committed suicide. The newspaper used “Sending Off” as a pun in the title “Sending Off Turns into Parting Eternally.”



The Voice of Yuan, the Farewell Video of Huang, and the Animation and Statue that Rub the Giant Breasts: Behind the table that has telephone on it and the plant and chair, the back of triple-screen projection is seen by the audience, who have to go around to read the content of the video. Three videos are: Yuan imitating the way his grandfather killed himself under the wall, the funeral service of Huang that can be searched on the Web, and the Animation and Statue that Rub the Giant Breasts, respectively.