Charwei Tsai In Memory of Poet Yu Kwang-Chung (1928-2017) – Bell Fruit, Mango, Pomegranate, Puli Sugarcane 2018 Watercolor & ink on rice paper About 180x180cm each drawing
Drawing series created in memory of late poet Yu Kwang-Chung (余光中 1928~2017) who was born in Nanjing and has been fleeing wars since his childhood. He finally settled in Taiwan in 1950 and made his last home in Kaohsiung since 1985. The drawings are inspired by his poetry anthology Pomegranate [安石榴], which celebrates the fruits of Taiwan with a beginner’s mind. It is as if he has tasted them for the very first time.
Special thanks to Tsering Tashi Gyalthang Photograph courtesy of the artist, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan, and Chen Ching-yang.
Hear Her Singing, 2017, Video In collaboration with Tsering Tashi Gyalthang Commissioned by Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London, UK With support from the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan
Hear Her Singing is a newly commissioned Hayward Gallery project by Taiwanese artist Charwei Tsai, in collaboration with Tibetan filmmaker Tsering Tashi Gyalthang, taking the universal nature of song to create a platform for refugees and asylum seekers currently living or detained in the UK. In a series of film installations at Southbank Centre, Tsai presents multiple voices of struggle, resistance and hope.
Tsai has developed Hear Her Singing with the charities Bedford Music in Detention and Women for Refugee Women. Working closely with each organisation and vocal leader Phoene Cave, the project was initiated with a series of vocal workshops with women at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire and the Women for Refugee Women drama group who meet every Saturday at Southbank Centre. Drawing on the foundations of care and solidarity between the women, Tsai used the vocal workshops to invite the groups to sing to each other and send each other messages via audio recordings, creating a point of exchange for women who have experienced similar journeys.
Following the workshops, the Women for Refugee Women drama group were invited to sing their chosen songs to camera as dedications to the struggle of women in Yarl’s Wood and beyond. These personal and powerful songs include religious, political and pop songs as well as original material. Performed and filmed in various locations around the Royal Festival Hall, Hear Her Singing creates a presence for the women’s voices across the site and invites visitors to stop and listen where they are encountered.
With thanks to the Dr. Cheryl Lai, Shih-yin Huang, Dr. Stephanie Rosenthal, Rahila Haque, Holly Hunter, Jih-Wen Yeh, Phoene Cave, Vanessa Lucas-Smith, Natasha Walter, Rebecca Laughton, Marchu Girma, and Neil Massey.
Charwei Tsai & Tsering Tashi Gyalthang Songs of Chuchepati Camp 2017 Video with sound & color, 17min03sec
We visited Chuchepati Camp for the earthquake victims in Kathmandu. After spending some time at the camp we decided to record songs sung by the victims from all walks of life, expressing their current state of mind. Some sang traditional Nepali folk songs while others improvised their life stories. The project looks to connect people with one another on a basic human level, and transcend social, economic, cultural and religious difference. Emphasizing common values and the simplest of human desires – to be free from suffering – the project eschews political rhetoric to share and give visibility to the personal experiences of those seeking refuge.
Special thanks to the support of Kesang Tseten, Shyam Karki, Tsering Rhitar, Tsetan Dolkar, and the Sacred Himalaya team at The New School, New York.
Central to Tsai’s practice is her use of ephemeral objects to reflect upon the transient nature of human perception. This photographic series, Universe of Possibilities (2016), extends her examination to the immense possibility of our human mind to reverse perceptions of seemingly permanent entities or situations. What at first glance appear to be planets turn out to be close-ups of off-casts that had been discarded in mass quantities by commercial fishing boats along the coast of Central Vietnam. On closer inspection, each photograph is inscribed with a handwritten note: Multiple Truths; Luminous Mind; Profound Simplicity; among them.
Charwei Tsai & Tsering Tashi Gyalthang Bardo, 2016 Video with color & sound, 5min30sec
Bardo is a video installation by Tsai in collaboration with Tibetan filmmaker Tsering Tashi Gyalthang and was first projected in the Waiting Rooms of the Mortuary Station as part of the Sydney Biennale. The video work was inspired by the Tibetan belief in the journey of the consciousness after death and is accompanied by a narration that elucidates the study of death and the sublimity of life.
Sydney Biennale, Australia Curated by Stephanie Rosenthal 18 March ~ 5 June 2016
Universe of Possibilities Solo exhibition at TKG+ Taipei, Taiwan 24 September ~ 20 November 2016
Water Moon Solo exhibition at Institut d’art contemporain Villeurbanne / Rhône – Alpes, France 2 June ~ 13 August 2017