November 18, 2016 - Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art - Public Spirits
November 18, 2016

Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art

Public Spirits
September 22, 2016–January 8, 2017

Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art
2 Jazdów Street
00-467 Warsaw
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 12–7pm,
Thursday 12–9pm

T +48 22 628 12 71
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Chen Szu Han (Taiwan), Teng Chao-Ming (Taiwan), Liu Ho Jang (Taiwan), Hsu Che Ju (Taiwan), Chia-Wei Hsu (Taiwan), Kwan Sheung Chi (Hong Kong), Chen-Yu Mao (China), Zhou Tao (China), Art Labor (Vietnam), Dinh Q. Lê (Vietnam), UuDam Tran Nguyen (Vietnam), Charles Lim (Singapore), Ho Rui An (Singapore), Agung Kurniawan (Indonesia), lifepatch (Indonesia), Vuth Lyno (Cambodia), Vandy Rattana (Cambodia), Sutthirat Supaparinya (Thailand), Orawan Arunrak (Thailand), Maung Day (Myanmar/Burma), Jen Liu (USA)

Curator: Meiya Cheng
Curator's assistants: Karolina Marcinkowska, Po Shun Chuang


The exhibition Public Spirits is an insight into the artistic response to the experience of globalization in regions which are now the scenes of diverse clashes, sometimes due to conflicting traditions, conflicting geopolitical interests, as well as the uncertain democratization of authoritarian regimes. These are stories about the activities of various communities, which may complement or act as a counterproposal to the history of communities and nations.

Artists from Southeast Asia, mainland China, and Taiwan utilize the force of poetic visions or political engagement, working with memory as well by means of group activities to invoke lost public spirits (e.g. owing to modernization processes) or those that have not yet arrived. They give voice to groups that are overlooked in political or historical narratives. They are often communities based on true bonds, shared experiences or histories. Even if they are ephemeral—such as a group of scooters forming a joint choreography on a busy street or a community which originated from the inspiration of the metaphor of the dew—they are an alternative to the dominant economic and geopolitical powers.

Political, economic as well as social contexts in these local groups region of Asia act as a point of departure for deliberation on the function of contemporary art in a globalized world. This is yet another—after the exhibitions KURZ / DUST and El Hadji Sy. At first I thought I was dancingpresentation of non-Western perspectives on global art in the program of the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle.

The exhibition Public Spirits is the outcome of a research project by Taiwanese curator Meiya Cheng concerning artistic activities for the society and the communities of the countries of Southeast Asia, mainland China, as well as Taiwan.

Meiya Cheng (b. 1975) is an independent curator who lives and works in Taipei. She curated the exhibitions: Augmenting the World (6th Taipei Digital Art Festival, International Section, 2011), Trading Futures (with Pauline Yao, TCAC, 2012), 6th Queens International (with Hitomi Iwasaki, Queens Museum, New York, 2013), The Great Ephemeral (with the team of New Museum, New York, 2015). Since 2009, she has participated in the creation of the Taipei Contemporary Art Center and during 2012–14 she acted as the Chairwoman of the Taipei Contemporary Arts Center Association. Cheng is interested in the formation of grassroots networks and independent communities in the art world. For her, teamwork is the guiding formula, constantly analyzed, and an alternative to institutional ways of producing art.

Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art
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