‘Future Free and Just Society’ and ‘Chinese Tree’ Installations
Until Monday 7 December 2015
Monday to Friday 10.00 – 18.00
Reception area of Asia House
The Taiwanese artist Ting-Tong Chang investigates intercultural conventions of science, nature and society that continue to trouble the world to this day. Presented at Asia House as a preview for his upcoming 2016 solo exhibition are two works: Future Free and Just Society and Chinese Tree.
Future Free and Just Society consists of two bird automatons perching on top of a tree, re-enacting the famous televised 1971 debate ‘On Human Nature’ between Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault. The automatons, meaning “acting of one’s own will” in Greek, are created to simulate real birds: their mouths move, heads shake and wings flap. Is there such a thing as “innate” human nature? They discuss. The philosophical argument rooted in linguistics (Chomsky) and the theory of knowledge (Foucault), soon evolves into a broader discussion encompassing a wide range of topics, from science, history, and behaviourism to creativity, freedom and the struggle for justice in the realm of politics.
Chinese Tree comically enquires into the cultural politics of London, through the eyes of the artist Ting-Tong Chang who migrated in 2008. The exhibited drawing is part of the series of ‘imaginary voyages’ entitled The Discovery of a New World or a Description of the North Indies where the so-called global village is presented as Vilcabamba, the lost city of Inca. Here, the branches of 19th Century German biologist Ernst Haeckel’s tree of life is filled with Chinese nationals, opening the storyline with an anticipated end of the profane and triumph of the sacred.
The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with independent Japanese curator Eiko Honda.
For more information on Ting-Tong Chang click here.
To see a video of the installations click here.
To watch a video of the 1971 Chomsky-Foucault debate click below: