The Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2018 goes to two artists who, in the exhibition Keep me close to you, discuss current (as well as historic) forms of transmission of immaterial goods that traverse across political and ideological boundaries – specifically those of Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China – their countries of origin.
Ting-Jung Chen’s audio installation You Are the Only One I Care About (whisper) conveys a vivid impression of a peculiar phenomenon spawned by propaganda strategies: the artist has reimagined the enormous “broadcast walls” that both socialist and capitalist countries in East Asia erected along their borders to flood their enemy neighbours with slogans and songs from the “better world”. Her sculptural and musical composition prompts wide-ranging reflections on the transformation to modes of disseminating ideology specific to a place and time into present-day commercialised space.
The media and sound artist Hui Ye presents the 32-minute video Quick Code Service, which scrutinizes contemporary digital communication technologies and their limitations. Using WeChat, the most popular communication platform in China today, and her personal QR code, the artist “constructs” her own – digital – identity on the network from a distance. She is separated from her avatar by the Great Firewall, which the government of the People’s Republic has installed to regulate data traffic. Balancing somewhere between documentation and fiction, Hui Ye’s video draws attention to the potential for manipulation inherent in digital media while also grappling with how far she has come.
Ting-Jung Chen (b. Taipei/Taiwan, 1985) studied performative art and sculpture with Prof. Monica Bonvicini at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. She graduated in 2018.
Hui Ye (b. Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China, 1981) studied transdisciplinary art with Ricarda Denzer and Franz Thalmair at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. She graduated in 2018.
Curator: Lucas Gehrmann
A project of Kunsthalle Wien in cooperation with the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, supported by HS art service austria GmbH and Deko Trend GmbH.
Two catalogues with essays by the editors and members of the jury, conversations with the artists, and an illustration section will be published by Sternberg Press, Berlin, in conjunction with the exhibition.