Taiwan, Hong Kong artists criticize authoritarian regimes at MOCA video art exhibit

The exhibition, '(Not) Just a Historical document: Hong Kong-Taiwan Video Art 1980-1990s,' lets visitors review modern history through video artwork

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(Photo courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei)

(Photo courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A video art exhibition discussing epoch-making political events in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China over the course of two decades was opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei (MOCA), and will run until June 3.

The exhibition, “(Not) Just a Historical document: Hong Kong-Taiwan Video Art 1980-1990s," lets visitors review modern history through video artwork produced by important Taiwanese or Hong Kong artists, most of whom were actively engaged in the political events in their respective society.

According to MOCA, the title of the exhibition is a response to the claim of the Chinese government made in 2017 that the “Sino-British Joint Declaration," signed in 1984 detailing the plan to transfer sovereignty of Hong Kong over to Beijing, was “just a historical document.”

Seventeen artists from Taiwan and Hong Kong have recorded major political events, including the lifting of Martial Law in Taiwan in 1987, the Tiananmen Square Protest in China in 1989, and the handover of Hong Kong by the U.K. to the Chinese government in 1997, producing 20 video works that also reveal the artists' personal interpretations of the history and their own creative expressions.

Lin Mu-tsai (林木材), curator of the Taiwan International Documentary Festival, Sun Sung-jung (孫松榮), professor at Tainan National University of the Arts, and Videotage, a Hong Kong-based non-profit organization, worked together to curate the exhibition which they hope will provide visitors with an opportunity to reflect upon the events that were associated with authoritarian governance, political tensions among different regimes, and various social upheaval and discontent.

MOCA says that the videos are broadcast using traditional box televisions so as to make a connection between the medium and the history. In addition, visitors are invited to participate in forums held throughout the exhibition period and to exchange their ideas directly with the artists.


(Photo courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei)