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22.12.16

_REVIEW : 2016 TAIPEI BIENNIAL - THE SINGING

















Sound Route: Songs of SPECX 
2016, performance / mixed media 
Wu Chi-Yu, Shen Sum-Sum, Musquiqui Chihying
Photo by © Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Using oral history and musical sound collection, Sound Route aims to reflect on both the modality of contemporaneity and political relations among different regions that have been shaped by transnational trade and globalization since the colonial period. The three artists take up the historical memory of Formosa as their point of departure, but the project is meant to be a comprehensive, multi-thread survey of the early modern history of East Asia that highlights the synchronicity of the historical development of different areas and the diversity of post-modern traits.

Songs of SPECX focuses on the story of Saartje Specx (1617–1636), a historical figure whose experiences serve as a basis to explore the early modern history of trade in Japan, Indonesia, and Taiwan. Saartje Specx was the daughter of a Dutch merchant and a Japanese woman. In accordance with its strict policy of excluding foreigners, the Dutch East India Company forcibly deported such natural children to Batavia (now Jakarta), Indonesia, where they were rounded up for control. While there, Saartje was embroiled in a major scandal which left her no choice but to marry the evangelical minister George Candidius and follow him to Taiwan. Her story not only represents a microcosm of the colonial history of an island, but it also epitomizes thousands upon thousands of ciphers of her time subjected to the whims of a cruel fate. Against this general background, records on cases like Saartje’s involving mixed-blood girls and forced migration have been available in Japan and Taiwan where they have even inspired the lyrics of popular songs. By construing pop music as musical interpretations of oral history and employing sounds and melodies as abstract media, Sound Route: Songs of SPECX, sets out to deconstruct and compare the stories and migration routes of these women, thereby composing an alternative time axis and route map which chronicles the evolution of capitalism in early modern East Asia.



First event
September 23, 2016 19:00 - 20:00
Brilliant Time bookstore (No.1, Ln. 135, Sec. 1, Xingnan Rd., Zhonghe Dist., New Taipei City)

















Second event
September 24, 2016 18:00 - 19:00
Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Basement





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