Born in Taipei, educated in Paris, and currently living in New York City, Hsin-Yi HO received her diploma from École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2007, and has had exhibitions internationally in France, the US, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan. She also works as a documentary filmmaker.
Her creation is a perceptual kind of autobiography. The artworks feature multiple screens synchronized with film projections. The films can be seen as “personal documentaries”: a collection of moments, memories, and emotions through the artist’s lens, shaped by her multicultural background and education. She takes her unique perspective, cultivated by time spent growing up in Taiwan and her education in Paris, and expresses the intimate relationship with her family members.
Nevertheless, her works are not supposed to be deemed merely her personal documentation. Each narrative possesses its more complicated implication. For example, her previous work “Daddy- More than 14,000 Freedom Days” is the portrait of her father-in-law who once fought in the Korean War. She points out the sarcastic fact that the 14,000 soldiers like him who were set free to Taiwan after the war were not “free” at all after their long journey. In creating “The Resonance from My Heart,” she sounds and prays for Africans, plants one seed of hope for the future of the world, and personally documents her romance- the man who took the first-hand documentary videos from Sierra Leone and told her the stories became her husband afterwards. “Marching Troops” documents her younger brother’s life during the military service. Meanwhile, she juxtaposes two different kinds of soldier’s images from France and Taiwan and deconstructs the implied meaning of the physical training.
The exhibition “100 Days” and the project “7-7” simultaneously correspond with the reality. The artist has a time frame during the creating process- she restricted herself to complete each piece of the work every 7 days, which is the most important feature and irreplaceable value of the exhibition. At 5:17AM, 23th February, 2014, Hsin-Yi HO’s grandfather passed on and she attempts to perform the first one hundred days of mourning rituals for her beloved family member through an art exhibition. These one hundred days are typically a very traditional mourning ceremony, but the artist’s family approaches the rituals with a unique interpretation. This whole exhibition focuses on the grieving process and reflecting upon the grandfather’s life, while providing an interactive channel to fulfill the ceremony. Meanwhile, we can also see that Japanese culture rooted into Taiwan since the colonization and Taiwan’s social transformation through reviewing the life of a man who lived almost one century.
This is the first time that Hsin-yi HO utilizes photographs as the main part of her creation. Since she usually employs video as creative material, the photographs presented in the exhibition are more like screenshots of her film. Documenting this unique approach of mourning, the artist records all her family’s deeds for her grandfather within 7 weeks after he passes away in the project “7-7”- a homophone for “mourning” in Chinese. During the first one hundred days, Taiwanese belief is that within the first 49 days (7 weeks, each 7 days as a ritual cycle) the deceased shall be memorialized so that he/she will be blessed in the next world. Video presentation, texts, and photographs reveal strong ties of intimate relationship and familial affection, an irreplaceable part of Hsin-yi HO’s artworks, which hopefully evokes an inner dialogue between the audience and their loved ones.
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