A Field of Non-Field, 2017
Single-channel video, blu-ray disc, b/w and color, sound
61 min 7 sec
Courtesy of the artist
A Field of Non-Field is the first chapter of Chieh-jen Chen’s long-term project Her and Her Children. It revolves around two primary questions: How can anyone find a way out of this pervasive system, when capital and technology have been fully integrated into a new techno- financial capitalism and have reduced individuals to a state of global imprisonment and local exile, as embodied by dispatched workers? In what ways might an artist propose a movement that can catalyze change, in the ever-changing face of the society of the spectacle and new bio-political patterns? The movie, which was originally inspired by his eldest brother’s experiences of unemployment, is narrated by a woman. Her voice-over describes how her brother has disappeared without a trace after escaping from a hospital, where he had been confined several days because of an attempted suicide. Throughout the movie, the changing status of the disappeared brother reflects on Madhyamaka Buddhist philosophy, which offers methods to transform and re-transform existing systems by way of neither going nor returning.
Chieh-jen Chen (b. 1960, Taiwan) currently lives and works in Taipei. He is undoubtedly one of the most important video artists in Taiwan. The artist engages with a clear and sharp dialectic between society and humanity. Although there are always political issues behind his works, he believes that the significance of art lies in the ambiguity of language and words, the subtle state of the mind, the memory of the body, and the emotional experience through the imagination of art. Recent solo exhibitions include After the Financial Crisis and Automated Production (Lin & Lin Gallery, Taipei, 2018) and A Field of Non-Field (Long March Space, Beijing, 2017). Important group exhibitions he participated in include Awakenings: Art and Society in Asia 1960s-1990s (The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, 2018), Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World (Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2017), 5th Lyon biennale of Contemporary Art: Sharing Exoticisms (Lyon, France, 2000). His awards include the 12th Annual Artist Award (Award of Art China, 2018), the 13th National Award for Arts (National Culture and Arts Foundation, Taiwan, 2009), Special Prize (Gwangju Biennale, 2000).