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installation

2016-2017/ Extrastellar Evaluations II – A Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems | 2016/ Extrastellar Evaluations | 2015/ Notes on Psychedelics 2015/ Action at a Distance2014/ Liquidation Maps2013-2014/ As Above, So Below2012/ One Universe, One God, One Nation2011/ The Turner Archives2010/ But Nature Has Not Changed

超星鑑定 II:關於托勒密和哥白尼兩大世界體系的對話

Extrastellar Evaluations II – A Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems

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YIN-JU CHEN

YIN-JU CHEN





Extrastellar Evaluations II – A Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems | 10 minute excerpt | Multimedia installation | Animated by Chia-Sheng Lin

The title of this work refers to the book written by Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei in 1632, A Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, which details conversations occurring over a span of four days among 3 people. Their discussions compare two models of the universe: the Copernican
system (Heliocentrism) and Ptolemaic system (Geocentrism).

Prominent within the project is a double-screen animation illustrating the contrasting views of our cosmos. They are installed facing one another, and an immersive sound piece, which includes audio recordings of Galileo’s text read a loud by three male voices, is pared with a female voice reading excerpts of the I-Ching. Known as an ancient Chinese divination text originating from the 9th century BC, I-Ching was used to provide guidance for moral decision-making and later as a cosmological text for the exploring the origins of the universe. This work also accompanies 2 drawings, and quotes from the Bible and by Rumi, the 13th century Persian Poet and theologian. All of these elements explore ‘other’ readings of our world.
  Taking Galileo’s book as a starting point to shift the focus from an extra-terrestrial perspective of events on earth (Extrastellar Evaluations, 2016) to humanity looking outward. Extrastellar Evaluations II - A Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems calls into question the varying methods we use to understand the universe and the rules which govern it. The relationship between science and pseudoscience is a dicey one – one attempts to disprove the other, whilst astrologers and mystics often try to ‘scienti cally’ assert their belief systems. This project approaches all opposing theories as equally valid, considering how mythological, spiritual and scienti c beliefs can co-exist. Extrastellar Evaluations II provides a reminder of other narratives and beliefs about out existence in an era when science and the technology industry dominate and dictate our visions of the future.


[Text by Ying Tan, excerpt from Center for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), Manchester, 2016]



超星鑑定 Extrastellar Evaluations

More info is coming soon. Extrastellar Evaluations | Yin-Ju Chen

Extrastellar Evaluations | Yin-Ju Chen
Photo by Jeff Warrin, Kadist San Francisco.
On Extrastellar Evaluations

By Marie Martraire


Despite common belief, some alien inhabitants of the lost continent of Lemuria survived its sinking on Earth thousands of years ago.1 Limited information prevents researchers from fully comprehending the outer space population, their demographics and customs, or even the reason for their subsistence on Earth, resulting in inconsistent versions of their subsequent histories. Yet multiple accounts have established with quasi-certainty that some Lemurians remain on Earth today near its core, deep beneath the 14,179-foot Mount Shasta, CA, appearing infrequently to human witnesses. Following her investigation into the mysterious residents of Mount Shasta, Kadist A.I.R. Yin-Ju Chen conducted field research and interviews with local inhabitants of the volcanic territory. Her exhibition and multimedia installation, at Kadist, Extrastellar Evaluations, uncover unique materials that reveal unforeseen information about the Lemurians’ earthly presence.

Consisting of archival photographic and video materials, as well as objects created by Lemurians, the works featured in the exhibition function as evidence confirming that Lemurians were evolving among human communities in the mid-20th century under the identities of artists, practicing in the United States. Including many familiar names to the human art world like Carl Andre, Mel Bochner, and James Turrell among others, these personas used forms like cubes,





monoliths, obelisks, crop circles, etc. as communication tools to report back on human actions to their mother planet. Channeled through a psychic medium named Lucia, a video introduces us to these translated messages from Adama, High Priest and spiritual leader of the Lemurians. A graphic representation in the space highlights the multitude of possible relations between the delivered information (human actions), their mediums (so-called minimal and conceptual works), and the space in which they evolve (universe).

Extrastellar Evaluations focuses specifically on the 1960s as a key historical era for both Lemurians and humans. For humans, the 1960s denoted a complex interrelation of cultural and political events worldwide amid the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the beginning of the Cold War (1962–1979), the enduring Vietnam War (1955-1975), Africa’s independence movements, Cultural Revolution in China (1966–1976), African-American civil rights movements and 1968 protests in Europe, the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., to name a few. For Lemurians, this era was marked by a series of severe weather events that disturbed their transmission routes, such as record-breaking flooding and snowstorms (1955/56, 1959, 1964/65, etc.). 2 Pushed far beyond the immediate vicinity of Mount Shasta as a consequence, the Lemurians sought new forms of and locations for communication with their motherland. They initiated prolific creations of geometric-shaped





transmission devices on a national scale, made visible by human interpretation and appropriation as conceptual and minimalist artworks.

Revisiting dreadful human actions of the 1960s through the lens of outer space intelligence, Extrastellar Evaluations questions our understanding of our past while encouraging different interpretations of our existence on earth. In this context, the multimedia installationopens consciousness toward the risks of human activities, echoing today’s anxieties toward issues of global warming, continuous conflicts and exploitation of resources. In addition, mirroring its past, present and future, Yin-Ju Chen’s work addresses early signs of our becoming lost in this world. In doing so, the artist echoes theorist Franco “Bifo” Berardi’s observation of humans’ loss of faith in the reality of life, suggesting a larger, long-term phenomenon rather than a recent trend linked to the development of media and information technology.3 In light of Lemurians’ ambiguous presence on earth, the installationalso implies the inevitability of the cycles of history, sealed by an external force–as evidenced by Chen’s 2012 three-channel video installation One Universe, One God, One Nation examining the dictatorship of Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Shek. Considered alongside this latter body of work, Extrastellar Evaluations develops the scope of Chen’s long-term consideration of notions of “power” and collective (un)consciousness.

1. College of the Siskiyous, “The Origin of the Lemurian Legend” www.siskiyous.edu/shasta/fol/lem/index.htm
2. College of the Siskiyous, “Historical Storms of Mount Shasta.” www.siskiyous.edu/shasta/env/storm/
3. Franco "Bifo" Berardi, Introduction to The Wretched of the Screen, by Hito Steyerl (Steinberg Press, 2012), 9-11.

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《致幻記》Notes on Psychedelics

Multimedia installation: 3 archival and new videos, numerous archival images, books, texts, and objects
For more photos, please see Notes on Psychedelics: BOOKLET ( in 中文 and English | 10 MB | PDF | High rez with CMYK color code)
For the videos, please see the portfolio at the top right corner.
Notes on Psychedelics | Yin-Ju Chen | DMT

Notes on Psychedelics | Yin-Ju Chen | 陳瀅如| 2015

  "Although the soul is joined with the entire body, there is one part of the body [the pineal] in which it exercises its function more than elsewhere… [The pineal] is so suspended between the passages containing the animal spirits [guiding reason and carrying sensation and movement] that it can be moved by them…; and it carries this motion on to the soul … Then conversely, the body machine is so constituted that whenever the gland is moved in one way or another by the soul, or for that matter by any other cause, it pushes the animal spirits which surround it to the pores of the brain." (Descartes, René. The Inter-Relation of Soul and Body, in The Way of Philosophy, 1954, 357)

 



Encompassing philosophy, religion, medical science, art, and cults, my practice daringly and rigorously assumes that the universe has its own consciousness, and as human beings we all seek our own paths that seem ostensibly different, but eventually return to the universe.
 


"The eye, at the summit of the skull, opening on the incandescent sun in order to contemplate it in a sinister solitude, is not a product of the understanding, but is instead an immediate existence; it opens and blinds itself like a conflagra­ tion, or like a fever that eats the being, or more exactly, the head. And thus it plays the role of a fire in a house; the head, instead of locking up life as money is locked in a safe, spends it without counting, for, at the end of this erotic metamorphosis, the head has received the electric power ofpoints. This great burning head is the image and the disagreeable light of the notion of ex­ penditure, beyond the still empty notion as it is elaborated on the basis of methodical analysis. From the first, myth is identified not only with life but with the loss of life­ with degradation and death. Starting from the being who bore it, it is not at all an external product , but the form that this being takes in his lubricious avatars , in the ecstatic gift he makes of himself as obscene and nude victim-and a victim not before an obscure and immaterial force, but before great howls of prosti­ tutes' laughter. Existence no longer resembles a neatly defined itinerary from one practical sign to another, but a sickly incandescence, a durable orgasm." (Bataille, Georges. The Pineal Eye, in Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939, 82)


Notes on Psychedelics (2015) is a survey of drugs, consciousness, and the soul. It investigates the motivations behind the consumption of psychedelic drugs and focuses on the substance called “DMT” (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine), which is biologically and naturally released by the pineal gland or “the third eye” within the brain.

  "My brain is only a receiver, in the Universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength and inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists." (Tesla, Nikola)
Notes on Psychedelics | Yin-Ju Chen | 陳瀅如| 2015

Notes on Psychedelics | Yin-Ju Chen | 陳瀅如| 2015

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《超距作用》Action at a Distance

3 channel video installation | 3 passages of texts | TRT: 9'16"

《超距作用》呈現一系列創作計劃的第三章: 最初以《天一象、地一物 》(2013-2014)開始──藉由神秘學的角度探討身體與現代醫學;到《屠學錶》(2014)──由天象、占星的方式理解亞洲近代屠殺事件和歷史;到第三章節《超距作用》(2015)將身體與國家並置,以量子力學中的量子糾纏原理爲敘事界面,藉由現代物理科學的哲學觀,來理解人類與宇宙法則之間的微妙關係與相互作用。

大宇宙、小宇宙之間的密切關聯,或上下一致法則,一直是我近年來創作、研究中不可或缺的觀看介質;換句話說,大小宇宙的觀念,是我用以探討身體、政體、集體意識的研究方法,也是呈現這個長達兩年半創作計劃的關鍵。

愛因斯坦稱超距作用或量子糾纏爲「鬼魅似的遠距作用」。這個創作計劃凝聚在人類與宇宙之間不停地交織、互相產生作用。從古至今,我們不斷地試圖理解世界與生命;無論是偽科學還是科學,不同的研究方法或是思考模式,了解生命的方式終究同歸而殊途,一致而百慮。

 

Action at a Distance (2015) is the third chapter of my practices addressing the body, governments, and state violence. Like the previous chapters, As Above, So Below (2013-2014) and Liquidation Maps (2014), Action at a Distance expands and summarizes the metaphysical threads between invasive surgeries and instances of state violence.

In As Above, So Below and Liquidation Maps, I present mysticism and astrology as conduits for contemplating modern medical treatments and various massacres. Action at a Distance further elaborates the relationship between the macrocosm and the microcosm by exploring the philosophical consequences of quantum entanglement and the principle of correspondence.

Einstein called quantum entanglement "spooky action at a distance." This chapter and its previous iterations ultimately describe a cohesive and interwoven universe, where science and pseudoscience are merely two complementary routes to understanding human life.



影片預覽 | video preview








Book of Rites - Great Learning

The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the kingdom, first ordered well their own states. Wishing to order well their states, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons. Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge. Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things. Things being investigated, knowledge became complete.

Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere. Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were then rectified. Their hearts being rectified, their persons were cultivated. Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated. Their families being regulated, their states were rightly governed. Their states being rightly governed, the whole kingdom was made tranquil and happy. From the Son of Heaven down to the mass of the people, all must consider the cultivation of the person the root of everything besides. It cannot be, when the root is neglected, that what should spring from it will be well ordered. It never has been the case that what was of great importance has been slightly cared for, and, at the same time, that what was of slight importance has been greatly cared for.


Quantum Entanglement

In quantum physics, entangled particles remain connected so that actions performed on one affect the other, even when separated by great distances.

The phenomenon so riled Albert Einstein he called it "spooky action at a distance."





照片/Photos by: 伊通公園/IT PARK


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《屠學錶》Liquidation Maps


《屠學錶》是一系列透過神秘學的角度,結合占星與天文科學的方法,來重新檢視並研究近代亞洲政治清算與屠殺事件。陳瀅如選擇五起歷史事件:1987年小金門屠殺難民、1942年新加坡肅清大屠殺、1975年紅色高棉屠殺、1999年東帝汶屠殺以及1980年光州事件,利用這些歷史事件發生當下的星空排列組合繪製出占星星盤,並依循圓形星盤的特質畫出屬於每一歷史事件的曼陀羅圖騰。星盤、曼陀羅圖騰皆象徵輪迴與非線性的時間,《屠學錶》便以此為名,如同手錶上的圓圈式計時。 陳瀅如以神秘學的角度切入重新回看歷史事件,除了對過往教科書上對於歷史書寫的主觀意識提出反思外,也試圖提問人類對其行為之可與不可為,在宇宙既定運行上下一致法則下,是否因而形成了不可抗力。這種以暴力手段達到淨化、完美的信念與目的,對應著錄像中火星與冥王星所代表的戰神與秩序重整前的絕對迫害與毀滅,如同榮格所認為命盤如何展現人類心靈的集體原型。藝評人鄭文琦針對陳瀅如的作品指出:「解讀命盤之於觀眾是一種智性誘惑,唯有遮蔽信息和模糊相位才能有效地使象徵符號臣服於手繪操作痕跡下……而這些素描更接近古代占星師在沒有計算機輔助時親手繪製命盤的勞力過程,帶領觀眾親近的不是仰賴網絡科技的實時命盤解讀,而是一條通往心靈的發現之旅...」1


1 引用自「內在地圖的使用指南」,鄭文琦評陳瀅如《試駕靈魂》2014展覽一文,藝外雜誌63期,2014年12月號。


文字來源:2014 上海雙年展-社會工廠

Liquidation Maps is a series of works that reexamines and investigates political genocides and massacres in recent Asian history from an occult angle, fusing astrology and astronomy. Yin-ju Chen has chosen five historical events: Leiyu Kinmen Massacre in 1987 (Taiwan), Sook Ching Massacres in 1942 (Singapore), Khmer Rouge genocide in 1975 (Cambodia), massacres in East Timor in 1999 and Gwangju Uprising in 1980 (South Korea). Chen has created star charts based on astrological permutations at the time when these historical incidents started, and extrapolated upon the circular nature of the star charts into mandalas for each incident. The star charts and mandalas are symbols of reincarnation and non-linear time. The circular shape bring to mind the circular design of wrist watches, and the Chinese title plays on the Mandarin homophones of "chart" and "wristwatch".

By re-examining historical incidents through the lens of the occult, Chen is not only attempting to rethink the subjective awareness of history writing in textbooks from the past, she is also questioning whether such actions by humanity are inevitable under the predetermined and inexorable laws of the universe, whether these laws constitute a form of cosmic force majeure. Corresponding to the belief that purification and perfection are achievable through violent means, in the artist's video work, the planet Mars represents the god of war and Pluto represents the utter persecution and destruction that precedes the reconstitution of order. This underlying concept is similar to Jung's belief that one's natal chart could represent a prototype of collective human consciousness. In critiquing Chen's work, critic Rikey Cheng pointed out that "natal charts are a form of intellectual temptation for their audience, as their symbolic meaning only surrenders to the manipulation of the hand that draws the chart, provided that information is masked and phases are purposely made vague… And these sketches adhere more closely to the labors of ancient astrologers rendering natal charts by hand in the absence of computer technology. Rather than bringing audiences an instant chart readout with internet technology, they lead viewers on a voyage of discovery towards the soul."1

1 From "A User Guide to Internal Maps", Rikey Cheng's commentary at Yin-Ju Chen's 2014 Dead Souls at the Test Drive exhibition.

texts source: 2014 Shanghai Biennale - Social Factory


Liquidation Maps | Khmer Rouge | Astro Chart | Yin-Ju Chen
Khmer Rouge 1975-1978 | Charcoal, pencil |125 cm x 126 cm | (One of five)

Leiyu Massacre, Taiwan, 1987 | charcoal, pencil | 125 cm x 126 cm | (one of five) | 2014 | Yin-Ju Chen
Leiyu Massacre, Taiwan, 1987 | charcoal, pencil | 125 cm x 126 cm | (one of five)

Sook Ching Massacre, Singapore, 1942 | charcoal, pencil | 125 cm x 126 cm | (one of five) | 2014 | Yin-Ju Chen
Sook Ching Massacre, Singapore, 1942 | charcoal, pencil | 125 cm x 126 cm
(one of five)

East Timorese Crisis, East Timor, 1999 | charcoal, pencil | 125 cm x 126 cm | (one of five) | 2014 | Yin-Ju Chen
East Timorese Crisis, East Timor, 1999 | charcoal, pencil | 125 cm x 126 cm
(one of five)
Gwangju Uprising, South Korea,1980 | charcoal, pencil | 125 cm x 126 cm | (one of five) | 2014 | Yin-Ju Chen
Gwangju Uprising, South Korea,1980 | charcoal, pencil | 125 cm x 126 cm
(one of five)

drawing & text collections 1 | pencil, ink, photocopies | size varied | 2014 | Yin-Ju Chen
drawing & text collections 1 | pencil, ink, photocopies | size varied | 2014

drawing & text collections 2 | pencil, ink, photocopies | size varied | 2014 | Yin-Ju Chen
drawing & text collections 2 | pencil, ink, photocopies | size varied | 2014


Pluto | HD video | loop | source: NASA | 2014

Mars | HD video | loop | source: NASA | 2014


Photo by Power Station of Art, Shanghai, CN | 上海當代藝術博物館


Photo by Power Station of Art, Shanghai, CN | 上海當代藝術博物館

Photo by Power Station of Art, Shanghai, CN | 上海當代藝術博物館

高畫質圖檔、文字 | High quality images and texts (PDF file, 12 MB)

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《天一象、地一物》 As Above, So Below

Mixed media/ 2-channel video installation
Drawings | Video#1: 6 min | Video#2: 40 sec | loop | sound | B&W & Color | 2013-2014

Prologue - as Above, so Below | Yin-Ju Chen | 2013 | mixed media

Prologue - as Above, so Below | Yin-Ju Chen | 2013 | mixed media

This is the first phase of her recent artistic practice from a long running project –
Prologue - as Above, so Below.

Based on her recent operation and its accompanying medical issues, Yin-Ju Chen is embracing science and pseudoscience, and exploring Paracelsus' idea of the mystery of the macrocosm (nature) and the microcosm (human).

This practice is an extension of themes from her previous project as a continuing exploration of the notion of "cosmic/ human connectedness." Here the initial focus will be on the human body before widening the view onto the infinite cosmos.

Prologue - as Above, so Below is presenting as a video installation, supplemented with printings and drawings.

This ongoing project integrates cosmology vs. astrology and modern medicine vs. alchemy, to discuss of the ideas of perfection, transformation, and the relationship between humanity and the cosmos.

Prologue - as Above, so Below | Yin-Ju Chen | 2013 | mixed media | Nature will not give mankind any disease
without the cure for it.
- Paracelsus
a. A quote from Paracelsus, a 16th century Swiss physician, alchemist, and astrologer. This text is viewable from the entrance.
「讓疾病降臨的天神,也會賜予療癒」| Nature will not give mankind any disease without the cure for it.


c. Prologue - as Above, so Below | video 1 | 6 min


d. Prologue - as Above, so Below | video 2 | 40 sec

Prologue - as Above, so Below | Yin-Ju Chen | 2013 | mixed media | The Constellation



Prologue - as Above, so Below | Yin-Ju Chen | 2013 | mixed media | The Tree of Life
b. The Tree of Life. | Charcoal & watercolor. 109 cm x 158 cm.






Photo by Hong-gah Museum | 鳳甲美術館
 
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共登世界大同之境
One Universe, One God, One Nation

3 channel video installation | 17 minutes loop | color & B/W | stereo | 2012

One Universe, One God, One Nation | Yin-Ju Chen | 2012 | PLUTO | Video 1
Channel 1 is showing before entering the exhibition room with Channels 2 & 3. It
only has one image of Pluto and its astrological interpretation.
Yin-Ju Chen's new video installation One Universe, One God, One Nation seeks to evoke a sense of closure and despair in the face of the inescapable cycles of history. The particular moment evoked here is the age of space exploration in the 1960s, juxtaposed with the forms of imperial, ideological, and totalitarian power existing at that time. The inspiration for the work came from Hannah Arendt's analysis of space exploration as a form of "world alienation," and also from the astrological horoscope of Chang Kai-Shek, which predicts his charismatic and authoritarian character. How is it that most modern movements for a better future, and all attempts to break free from the chains of power, ultimately fall prey to their own mythologies? Here we enter the slippery ground between "science" and "collective dream image," between the knowledge and the fantasy of an epoch. One Universe, One God, One Nation is a visual meditation on power, modern forms of totality and totalitarianism, mass mobilization, devotion, the auratic, and the supernatural. It works through the juxtaposition of images taken in outer space with images of war and submission to power.

-by Anselm Franke, Taipei Biennial 2012


Art4d Asia interview
Please download the portfolio for more details about this project.

One Universe, One God, One Nation | Yin-Ju Chen | 2012 | PLUTO | Floor plan

One Universe, One God, One Nation | 5 min excerpt | Channel 2 & 3


One Universe, One God, One Nation | Yin-Ju Chen | 2012
Installation view | Channel 1 | Pluto

One Universe, One God, One Nation | Yin-Ju Chen | 2012
Installation view | Channel 2 & 3

One Universe, One God, One Nation | Yin-Ju Chen | 2012
Channel 2 and 3 | 17 minutes loop | HD | 2012 | Left: Sun | Right: Scorpio constellation

One Universe, One God, One Nation | Yin-Ju Chen | 2012
Channel 2 and 3 | 17 minutes loop | HD | 2012 | Left: The crowd cheering Chiang Kai-Shek | Right: Chiang Kai-Shek waving to his people
Please download the portfolio for more details about this project.

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透納檔案 The Turner Archives

Multimedia/ 2-channel video installation | Numerous displayed objects | Video Channel 1 & 2: approx. 5-minute loop | Sound: 20 minute loop | 2011 | in collaboration with James T. Hong
The Turner Archives | Yin-Ju Chen | 2011
This work functions as a critique through the process of "over-identification" with a particular ideological perspective. It presents a perfect and yet dangerous opportunity to meditate on ugly, racist ideological themes, while at the same time illuminatingly present racial conflicts within the United States and the developed West vis-à-vis immigration, terrorism, and ethnic nationalism. Hopefully this project will shed light on the racist prejudgments we "always already" understand. 
The Turner Archives | Yin-Ju Chen | 2011

This work presents the world of a fictional, American white supremacist named Earl Turner. Trained as an electrical engineer, Turner is a rabid racist who works to overthrow and destroy the multicultural, United States government.

This multimedia installation is presented from Turner's perspective.

His main studio or bunker contains a long table, which displays pieces of Turner's tools, strategies, notes, and thoughts, which are all related to the white supremacist movement depicted in the novel The Turner Diaries (see work concept below), and to historical, racist movements, such as the Ku Klux Klan.

The video room presents some of Turner's own film and video footage. On one screen, his lens captures images of racial and ethnic borders, with particular emphasis on the border between California and Mexico, which he sees as broken and needing a permanent solution.

On the second screen, Turner's lens focuses on aspects of American life that Turner hates, such as multiculturalism, people of color, and typical "brain- washed" Americans.
The Turner Archives | Yin-Ju Chen | 2011

*Photos: Willem Vermaase/ RijksakademieOPEN 2011

The Turner Archives | Yin-Ju Chen | 2011

The Turner Archives | Yin-Ju Chen | 2011
All the notes is written in runic alphabets, to represent white suprematists'
ideology.
Turner's working table, displaying his equipment, notes, homemade bombs, and attacking plans.
Video preview: vimeo.com/35361898
The Turner Archives | Yin-Ju Chen | 2011

The Turner Archives | Yin-Ju Chen | 2011
The dual-channel video room -
Left: An immense landscape was cut in half by the border.
Right: The aspects of American life that Turner hates, such as multiculturalism, people of color, and typical "brainwashed" Americans.

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But Nature Has Not Changed

3 min. 10 sec. | 3 channel video installation | loop | DVCPRO HD | color | stereo 2010
in collaboration with James T. Hong

But Nature Has Not Changed | 2010 |YIN-JU CHEN

But Nature Has Not Changed | 2010 |YIN-JU CHEN

This work is a personal and mediated survey of the natural habitat of the Auschwitz - Birkenau camp in Poland.

From multiple angles, the camp is presented as a haven for a multitude of thriving flora, fauna, and tourists in a desolate but beautiful landscape. Even though the horrors of the camp's past remain quiet within the ruins, intolerance still rears its ugly head.
 
But Nature Has Not Changed | 2010 |YIN-JU CHEN


"But Nature Has Not Changed" is a 3-channel installation, with each channel/video projected onto its own wall. The placement and design of the 3 walls are customized to the exhibition space itself. All of the images were filmed at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. Each video has its own theme:

Video 1 - Animals thrive in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Sparrows are rearing their next generations; frogs are mating, tadpoles are swimming.

Video 2 - Spring in Auschwitz-Birkenau is ironically beautiful and peaceful -- the flowing green grass, the flowers, the clouds . . . . Maybe, for just a minute, one could stop thinking about the horror that had taken place here.

Video 3 - Here the tourists, mostly teenagers, are learning an important historical lesson about 20th century European intolerance. But in the end, the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum is host to a high-school-like confrontation about discrimination and racism.

Each video also contains a few short clips from the other two videos. Even though each video has its own story, they compliment and interface with the other two. Education is a form of rearing: where birds regurgitate to feed their young, people educate. Auschwitz - Berkinau should educate. How could it not? But these teenagers seemed to learn nothing, and had their fun belittling people unlike themselves, below themselves, on a beautiful spring day filled with nature in a former death camp.
But Nature Has Not Changed | 2010 |YIN-JU CHEN

But Nature Has Not Changed | 2010 |YIN-JU CHEN
 

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