| Ying: I am not really familiar
with the art education system in Taiwan and have noticed
that many of your works are video installations. Has your
inspiration been driven from your education or by the
contemporary art scene in Taiwan? I have learned there
has been a great emphasis in Taiwan on installation art
and video and am wondering if you feel your work fits
in this model or genre?
Tseng: In my experience, the art educational
system in Taiwan is rigid and heavily research-based.
There is a lot of written discourse and as such artwork
produced under this system. What I meant by this educational
system is the so-called academy or institution. There
was once a French curator who asked me why don't I leave
the academy and work on my own. My answer was that the
best working environment is still within the academy.
It is a huge protective net, although it too is imperfect.
There are many excellent artists that have left the
academy, but their identities and work have become questionable.
In Taiwan, a reality beyond the institution can be ruthless
to independent artists, I think this is true for beyond
r other countries too.
Ying: (afterthoughts about this response)
I began to agree with Tseng. Artists could work individually,
but in most cases, especially now, more artists are
relying on cross disciplinary collaborations instead
and support from institutional structures to recognize
this practice. The best environment to promote such
collaborations still remains within the academic domain.
Tseng: My understanding of video art matured
after graduate school; whereas before I was mainly making
experimental films (although it should be noted that
I still do this.) The current experimental film scene
in Taiwan is presently in a terrible state. The system
of Taiwanese film is by no means perfect or complete.
Many film crews are set up at the last minute. Additionally,
certain film companies or organizations have monopolization
power over the film market and this can impact a work's
delivery, message and style. Further to this situation,
the Taiwanese market also favors heavily animation and
documentary films. As a result, artistic films usually
suffer from low acceptance and/or reorganization. That
situation is exceptionally really frustrating.
Ying: (afterthoughts about this response)
I do think the concepts are a universal phenomenon within
artistic film productions. The main reason could be
that the characteristics of artistic films are very
conceptual and lack the conventional narratives thereby
making such productions more abstract to general audience.
As a result, such films receive poorer reception from
the general public due to lack of interest. Another
reason could be due to the fact that mainstream films,
such as the Hollywood or blockbuster productions, are
well-budgeted and targeted as entertainment vehicles
whereas artistic films can lack in this area and focus.
This reliance on a commercial narrative and paradigm
can in turn make audiences less interested and/or experienced
in viewing experimental films.
Tseng: In graduate school, students learned
a lot from each other as well as from instructors. I
had more access to the video work and began to investigate
this form further. I learned technical and conceptual
techniques related how to deconstruct and reframe images.
Even though there is a large amount of videos on the
market now, I am not satisfied with the current state
of video productions in Taiwan, because few of these
works deal with issues from artists.
There are two reasons why videos are produced in such
huge volumes over here. Video equipment is much easier
and cheaper to acquire in Taiwan than professional film
equipment. On the other hand, videos can be produced
much faster than other media, such as painting which
takes a long time. In part, this is why video art has
become an over-produced recently.
Within this production circuit, many works only fulfill
the general expectations of the demand for video, yet
failing often to explore other themes such as the artist's
unique perspective. I am stubborn with my perception
and artistic message. To be more precise, I believe
in bringing intuition into my creative process, the
transfer of a cognitive intuition and processes to images
on screen --this is the most important part of my practice.
I must insist on this process.
Ying: In addition to your creative process,
I would like to know why you have selected to bring
your works on-line. Is this a main distribution model
for your work and/or the platform in which you want
the work to be seen? Alternatively, am I only seeing
a small fragment of something that would be displayed
in a gallery setting? Can you explain further?