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London – “P’eng’s Journey to the Southern Darkness” by Ting-Tong Chang was a great exhibition at Asia House.
The Ting-Tong Chang exhibition “P’eng’s Journey to the Southern Darkness” was his first London solo exhibition by Taiwanese artist. His work is focused on machines, from automata to avatars, and it analyses the ecological relationship between humans and nature.
The title of the exhibition originates from influential Daoist philosopher Zhuangzi’s text “Free and Easy Wandering” in which the fish K’un in the North Ocean turns into a giant bird called P’eng and sets to travel to the South Ocean, whilst a cicada and a dove mock him for its effort – mirroring the practice change of the artist.
The exhibition consisted of three kinds of installed elements, mixed around the room and with explanatory videos: taxidermy sculptures; self- sustaining ecologic system; and drawings.
Firstly, were displayed four sculptures of crows on elevated plinths and a collection of taxidermy birds, with internal computer circuits in their stomachs out in the open, pronouncing rejection letters from numerous open calls from which the artists was rejected. The number and the type of bird signify death in Chinese traditions and Chang playfully questions the proliferating bureaucratic art world of today.
Secondly, the birds were encircled by film documentation of various symbolic performances. Ting-Tong Chang collaborated with scientists and engineers to create a self-sustaining ecology installation within which he integrated himself, focused on the inter-relationship of consumption, industrial production and ecosystem.