Ritual-Spective 迴融 is an experimental media arts project that seeks to investigate an intergenerational dialogue around artistic, cultural and spiritual legacy from the lens of an artist child of an immigrant artist parents, creating an opportunity to review the life of an elder artist, through the process of migration, survival and teaching of the arts to their children, while sacrificing their dreams, breaking traditional rules for their children. It opens the opportunity to investigate the unspoken time of colonial oppression, Western globalization and diaspora.
孝—In Taiwanese/pan-Chinese traditional culture, which can be roughly translated as “filial piety”--a way to appreciate those who gave us life and raise us and the notion of family tree are indispensable foundations in this culture. It ultimately promotes gratitudes towards the original source of our existence and the honouring to those who came before us.
The idea of this project was inspired by the art and life from the artist’s father, which prompt the artist to gather his team to implement current arts technologies and lens to transform/respond to these 50 + years of work, and realize the transformation by creating an online exhibition and new media installation--as a ritual to honour our predecessor.
Some of the questions the project will be investigating: How do we hold space for this dialogue, and to rethink about lineage, history and the missing gaps in between? What has been disrupted for diaspora artists through the process of migration and displacement? What is gained? The difference in generations? How do we repurpose the past to the present, the old to the new, and from stillness to motion, in full circle? This ritual is a concept, an (intro)spective process, shifting our (per)spective, expanding our vision, transforming our value system to the here and now, with the appreciation of the extensions to our connections with each other, from the past to the present.
Sammy's Artistic Statement:
My father Jackson Chien, who’s a Taiwanese-Canadian immigrant artist and educator, is turning 70 next year, for Taiwanese artists this is a significant year for retrospectives. It is the emerged diaspora experience in his life, his works tend to possess complex layers of values. I realized that my dad’s work has been seen as Western art from the outside, which brought tremendous obstacles for him to be valued in the West, yet his vision and process of the artmaking actually is embedded with immense amounts of Eastern notions.
I've been thinking about how to honour my father’s life time of work and his inspiring legacy, including the influence of his creative education to wide communities and to people like myself. The idea of this project undertakes the idea of 孝. In Taiwanese/pan-Chinese traditional culture, which roughly translates as “filial piety”--a way to appreciate those who gave us life and raise us. The appreciation to the original source of our existence, honouring those who came before us, and the notion of family tree are important foundations in my culture.
During my early teenage life, my father sent me to a small town in Nova Scotia. In one incident, my parents came to visit me in the cheap and grundgy apartment that I was living, my mother discovered the spray cans that I was hiding from the graffiti activities that I was creating at that time. My mother cried and yelled at my father to make sure that I don’t turn into a criminal. I was worried that my subversive creative soul would be slashed at that time. Surprisingly, my father looked me in the eyes, nodded, and left my room--that was the first moment of a silent permission and trust that I’ve ever felt. Later, I thought about the risk that he was bearing by that silent permission, as a young immigrant, potentially breaking traditional rules. His permission, his legacy and arts education to me later plays an important role when I co-founded Chimerik似不像, with artists who are all undergone some form of societal marginalization/underrepresentation, in a way to function more like family together while we participate the journey of artmaking with subversive use of technology.
One of the significant parts of the work will be the process of researching and the dialogue with my father. This will be the ritual of the spective on honouring the past, by listening, learning and processing, then re-integrate them to what is the here and now, deep from the heart. The project will also bring the conversation forward to the future with the artists from Chimerik似不像(many artist had been mentored by me, or worked very closely with me like family, or who has taught me, thinking of the notion of legacy)
Some of the questions I will be investigating: How do we hold space for this dialogue, and to rethink about lineage, history and the missing gaps in between? What has been disrupted for diaspora artists through the process of migration and displacement? What is gained? The difference in generations? How do we repurpose the past to the present, the old to the new, and from stillness to motion, in full circle?
The final outcome will be an interactive web-based virtual exhibition.
“Ritual-Spective迴融”, Sammy Chien與Chimerik似不像的藝術家合作的在線實驗媒體藝術。通過探索Sammy的父親簡志雄的藝術作品，探討兩代人對於藝術、文化和精神傳承的對話。在這場致敬過去的儀式中, 我們通過傾聽、學習和思考, 來重新定義過去和現在。
Ritual-Spective將自己定位為一個實驗性的媒體藝術作品, 嘗試去挖掘關於一個移民藝術家家庭裏，那段孩子與父母之間跨越兩代人的有關藝術,文化和精神遺產的談話，更是要借此機會來回顧一位老藝術家的生活。 他在遷徙移民的過程中,不僅努力在新環境裏生存下來，還傳承藝術造詣給孩子們, 同時也因為生活犧牲自己的夢想, 為孩子打破傳統規則。這次的活動提供了一個機會來重新審視那些背井離鄉的日子，那些文化殖民和那些未被提及的殖民壓迫
這個作品將對這些問題進行討論：我們如何重新思考血緣關系，歷史和兩者之間缺失的間隙?在移民和流離失所的過程中，對那些散居海外的藝術家來說，他們的哪些東西被破壞了? 反之他們又得到是什麽?幾代人之間的差異又是什麽?我們該如何重新定義過去到現在，從舊到新，從靜止到運動? 這種儀式是一種概念，一種自省的過程，轉變我們的視角，擴大我們的視野，將我們的價值體系轉變到此時此地，欣賞從過去到現在我們彼此之間的聯系的延伸。