Desks, documents, stationaries,
narrative poetry Autobiographies and
In 2016, Chang Wen-Hsuan presented her project “The Compendium of Autobiographies” including “___’s Autobiography”, “___’s Diary” and “The Compendium of Autobiographies”. This sequential work is based on her research of the Taiwanese Communist Party and mainly on one of its founder Siā Soat-hông. After reading descriptions of this female communist from different authors, the artist found out that only the motive of one author is clear and other information remain vague. Through the keyword autobiography and the construction of certain narrative space, Change tries to reveal the mise-en-abyme structure of history.
An author whose real name we cannot know, Shih Ching Cheng started writing the book ___’s Diary in the 1970s and 1980s. In this book, she reinterpreted collages of her grandmother's (1912 - ?) personal history, explaining how her grandmother was a political activist, not a simple woman in keeping with the trend of the times. From an analysis of the book’s contents, we can determine that Shih Ching Cheng was a pseudonym used by a woman and can understand her writing of the book in the following way: she was politically motivated, but none of the social conditions that would allow her to take action was in place. Therefore, she had no choice but to fabricate the grandmother she needed, and, at the same time, fabricate herself. After analysis, fieldwork and interviews in relation to Shih Ching Cheng’s book, we have rebuilt her private space. Through the analysis of the author, we have also been able to glimpse another failed intellectual of her era. In ___'s Diary, the artist fabricated two characters, Shih Ching Cheng (which means "clear history" in Mandarin) and her grandmother. Through an exploration of the relationship between individual stories and collective history, an investigation into the tension between the two subjects-- the writer and the written-- of the biography, and the "incompetent's" attempt to steal symbolic ownership of the physical evidence through over-interpretation, the multilayered structure of "character writing character" simultaneously tries to expose multiple relationships of dominance.
Private Space of Clear History (Replica) is the installation art version of ___'s Diary.