Monologue from Dust <A Flying Stone and a Floating Poem> - Wang Ding-Yeh Solo Exhibition

2022 / 08 / 20 Sat.

2022 / 10 / 16 Sun.

10:00 - 18:00

  • Artist

    Wang Ding-Yeh

  • Venue



Text|Wang Ding-Yeh

If this exhibition was to take on a subheading, it would be Collages of Few Passages of Unknown Times. All of the known, unknown, certain, and uncertain memories from the past, present, and future of Wang Yuan-Fang[1]and me are pieced together through corporeality and memories, which then resulted in the following passages: 1. Traitor; 2. Dust; 3. A Flying Stone; and 4. Death. I did some search using keywords that are directly correlated to me and are also associated with those memories, and the passages found were collaged and reassembled and then reinterpreted and redefined, which were then condensed and edited together to resemble a movie trailer. Moreover, the writing is rich with imaginative romanticism and the material sentiments that dust embodies. Those words convey the abstract feelings that I find difficult to explain, and with literature and geographic materiality fused together, those materials and conditions simultaneously suggest a piece of history/memory, temporality/spatiality, imagination/feeling, and like a stone that’s been thrown, it proceeds to collide and impact.

1. Traitor
Perhaps it’s something that’s missing in my blood, or maybe I still yearn to connect with that particular uncertain period in time which I’ve never been in touch with before. Wang Hsiao-Lu[2] recently made a time-travel vehicle out of Legos, with a remote control to select the year you want to travel to. He asked me, “Which year do you want to go to?” “1964,” I replied, which was the year when Wang Yuan-Fang passed away. I had previously confronted Wang Yuan-Fang in Confronting Memories[3]; however, I’m still unable to make closer connections with that era, which is why I’ve made attempts to piece together feelings associated with that period in time. In the movie, A City of Sadness, the eldest son of the Lin family, Lin Wen-Heung (played by Chen Sung-Young) had to run away because someone had secretly reported that he was a traitor. His father questioned the situation and exclaimed, “Somebody denounced him and that makes him a traitor?” It was an irrational and helpless time, which was exactly what Wang Yuan-Fan had also personally gone through.

2. Dust
Within the concept of time, time travel is not possible, at least for now. We can only rely on the materiality of dust, an extremely fine substance that exists, spatially and temporally. Quietly lying in inconspicuous corners, dust has endured it all through the course of history. As we seek to understand temporal and spatial changes through geological studies, marks of time are revealed by the conditions of geological materials (such as dusts and stones). As time, space, and materials intermingle, imprints are left on the materials, and we then follow those imprints to track down any slight clues on space-time. Standing as a testimony, maybe the dust knows who had secretly reported that Wang Yuan-Fang was a communist spy.

3. A Flying Stone
How can a stone fly?
Stones lie quietly for centuries and experience tectonic shifts and compressive stress. Weathered and corroded by water, stones roll from rivers into the sea and then drift back onto land once again. One day, someone picked up a stone and threw it. The stone took off flying: it had never thought it would be able to fly. Everything changed after the brief flight, which was also what had happened to Wang Yuan-Fang. He had worked diligently everyday and was a responsible father and husband, but one day, out of the blue, someone had denounced him to the authorities as a community spy. The stone thus dropped to the ground, but before the crash landing, an uncertain reality had to be confronted.

4. Death
Everybody awaits death. Although Wang Yuan-Fang’s death symbolized the helplessness felt in that particular period in time, it, nevertheless, remains an unresolved reality. Wang Hsiao-Lu seems to have just started to grasp the concept of death, and to him, the soul doesn’t disappear after death but takes on another presence. After burying a dead pigeon, Hsiao-Lu asked, “Will the bird fly under the ground?” It is a kind flying that is unknown, but perhaps that kind of flying is the most true-to-life. Are we able to see different sceneries when we fly?

After telling Wang Hsiao-Lu some stories about Wang Yuan-Fang, I proceeded to clean the house, with history-witnessing dust used to recount the stories, the memories, and the history of a family.

[1] Wang Yuan-Fang (1911~1964) was Wang Ding-Yeh’s grandfather. He was from Jinjiang of Fujian Province, China and had to relocate his family to Taiwan for official reasons, where he worked as Director of Academic Affairs at the San Sing Public School in Yilan County. He was reported by someone as a communist spy in 1964 and later died from cirrhosis.
[2] Wang Hsiao-Lu (2016~) is the great grandson of Wang Yuan-Fang. He is quite fond of the moon, the English language, mathematics, and cars.
[3] Confronting Memories was exhibited in 2017 at the VT Artsalon. It was an exhibition that reconstructed the life of Wang Yuan-Fang.




Wang Ding-Yeh

Currently based in Taipei and Yilan, Taiwan, Wang Ding-Yeh specializes in video installation, mixed media art, and painting and is especially fascinated by different materials’ inherent intricate sensibilities. His recent oeuvre focuses on issues of the self, society, and historical memories. Wang is a strong believer of art’s abilities to connect with or resist against the external society and also to help with self-healing. Recent exhibitions include the 2020 Green Island Human Rights Art Festival and the 2021 Gwangju Biennale – Taiwan Pavilion. He has exhibited in Taiwan, the United States, Israel, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, and Malaysia.


Monologue from Dust
Flying Under the Ground
Swish—Bang, Crash



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