Wed, Oct 01, 2008 - Page 15 News List

Splicing and dicing

Tony Chun-hui Wu delves into the essences of the different formats he uses to make experimental films



Images of Parisian buildings and streets hover, falter, are superimposed on each other and multiply. Sometimes they spiral into an unrecognizable swirl; other times, they stutter at an almost imperceptible speed. Resurrection (甦醒), the solo exhibition by experimental filmmaker and academic Tony Chun-hui Wu (吳俊輝) currently on display at Galerie Grand Siecle (新苑藝術), is the artist’s latest attempt in his ongoing exploration of images in states of metamorphosis as they move through different formats and technologies.

Wu, an assistant professor at the department of radio, television and film in Shih Hsin University (世新大學), has shown his works shown at some of the world’s foremost art institutes, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Centre Pompidou in Paris and San Francisco Cinematheque. His videos from before 2003 are generally made from collages and footage from 8mm and 16mm film and explore the aesthetic possibilities of various film formats. In 2005 he turned to digital filmmaking with Taipei 4-Way — exTAIPEIit (台北四非—遠離台北), which was exhibited at the Taipei Biennial at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (台北市立美術館). His 2006 exhibition Europe Resurrection saw Wu expanding into multimedia with a study that combined still photography, film and digital imaging.

A natural progression from Europe Resurrection, Resurrection comprises four new filmic works building on color sides that Wu photographed last summer in Paris during his residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts. Still images are cut, split, reconstructed and reprinted on 35mm film, which is then digitally edited. The result is infinite combinations of images that seem almost desperate to return to the original medium in which they were captured, an impossible task as segments and details are lost and omitted in the process of conversion from format to format. “The stills are animated and transformed by the filmic time and then (re)frozen in digital imaging. But such freezing can only be possible in a state of ambiguity, as the images are engraved with the sense of time inherent in still photography and film,” Wu said.


WHAT: Resurrection — Tony Chun-hui Wu’s Solo Exhibition (甦醒—吳俊輝個展)

WHERE: Galerie Grand Siecle (新苑藝術), 17, Alley 51, Ln 12, Bade Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市八德路三段12巷51弄17號)

WHEN: Until Oct. 19. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 1pm to 6pm. Tel: (02) 2578-5630


Resurrection can be divided into two themes, according to content. Paris Resurrection shows 15 famous locations in Paris that disintegrate, fuse, accelerate and freeze in a visual experience that mimics the perspective of a traveler passing through the city.

But I Couldn’t See Her Face focuses on the perception created by shifting the relationship between the artist and the places he films. “Say I took one photo of the Notre Dame de Paris every 10 steps as I walked toward it. When translated into film, the architecture would appear to oscillate because the relation between us changed,” Wu explained.

Standing in contrast with the above two, Bonne Paris and Last Night, I Had a Dream About Our Mother are made from images of empty streets the artist took in Paris’ 20 arrondissements, or districts. The inspiration came from Wu’s perception of Paris in the summer as a ghost town haunted by ghostly tourists.

Hoping to show not only the end result but also the creative process, Wu will use the gallery as a studio from time to time, starting new projects in a dimly lit room at the end of the gallery. Visitors are welcome to sit with the artist and ask lots of questions.

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