“City-Disqualified” refers to “a city has been deprived of its quality as a city”. The name of Ximen District is originated from the period of Japanese colonization and still in use today. Since the past few years, it has had a nickname “Harajuku of Taipei” made by local media. But why should Taipei associate with “Harajuku’ in Japan? It is like what those estate agents do their advertisements in which they name their district the cities in the first world, for example, New York, Paris, etc. This, illustrates a kind of subconsciousness of “delocalization”, or we can say, a typical hybrid, a city that could change its performance at any time. In this work, the artist uses the elimination of people and car to build up a city without history and identity, suggesting his doubt on modern civilization.
This series of works uses the traditional 4x5 camera in the same spot. During the two months though in different time, the shot was taken from an overlooking perspective. With nearly 300 images about Ximen District, the artist chooses the parts where there are no people or cars to make up a flawless photo by the computer. In this picture, we can see the prosperous downtown, beautiful sunshine in the afternoon, and all the open stores without a single car. This is a scene of an extremely silent city that seems to function normally. This work has already surpassed what we see with our normal cognition. Instead, it consists of 300 photographs taken in different time but on the same plane. Thus, the same picture actually contains 300 different fragments of time: 300 different time “was brought together” in “one moment”.
City Disqualified –Ximen District in the Day time，2002, Digitally Altered Photography, Lambda print , 320×255cm（120×150cm），Courtesy of the artist
《城市失格—西门町夜晚》，2002，4×5摄影数字处理,Lambda输出, 320×255cm（120×150cm）, 艺术家提供图片
City Disqualified –Ximen District at Night, 2002, Digitally Altered Photography, Lambda print,320×255cm（120×150cm），Courtesy of the artist
City Disqualified-Segment of Ximen District in Daytime
Computerized photography projection: P4 Computer, Software Director, LCD projector, Dimensions variable,（Still image from City Disqualified-Segment of Ximen District in Daytime）Courtesy of the artist
City Disqualified-Segment of Ximen District at night（Installation view）
Computerized photography projection: P4 Computer, Software Director, LCD projector
Dimensions variable,（Still image from City Disqualified-Segment of Ximen District at night）
Human Disqualified (Ren Jian Shi Ge) is an Japanese expression in which the four words are Chinese characters. Hence, when Chinese readers come across with these four words, they might guess the sense of it but at the same time, they could not know the definite meaning. No Longer Human (Chinese Translation: Ren Jian Shi Ge/ Ningen Shikkaku) was originally a Japanese novel by Osamu Dazai who enjoyed such a fame in his times. When the title of this book is translated into Chinese, it refers to “disqualification of a human”. The dynamic compound media installation is actually a silk printing plane with the monochromatic image of a city, using transparent ink and noctilucent powder. With the projector, the scenes projected are like the sweeping images produced by the linear light of the scanner. Where the light passes, there an image represents immediately. The scene of the whole city constantly disappears and emerges again, which is much like what Walter Benjamin called “aura” that is a remote truth. This truth seems to be far away but it might be very close. Or it is also a lost scenery, summoned back like a ghost from memory.
Human Disqualified (Installation view), Multimedia installation, Transparent ink, phosphor powder, silk print on acrylic board, fluorescent tube, motor, chip-programming control box
Dimensions variable , 2001