Interactive Sound Installation
24" x 55"
Trivia is a blend of amusement and historical reality. Born post-World War II, the Taiwan-China conflict, depicted through Mandarin, evolves with China's ascent. Characters once common now echo with distinct pronunciations on this calligraphy scroll, beckoning audience engagement. Yet, the intricacies and tumultuousness often resemble a shibboleth. My aim is for posterity to recollect an era when 24 million individuals inhabited China's expanse, each with their unique history and a common quest for democracy.
“.........Su’s Trivia is a sound installation with a staged microphone and a printed image of a calligraphy scroll. The phonetic alphabet “ㄏ(he)” for Traditional Chinese users in Taiwan is, as a coincidence, similar to the character for factory “厂(Chang),” in Simplified Chinese used in China. The written formats of the two symbols are almost indistinguishable, while the sounds and meanings could easily be told apart but, at the same time, inaccessible to non-Chinese readers. The symbols, whether phonetic or the character, however, don't suffice any meanings standing alone. The looping track of the twenty-one-second collected pronunciations of “he” and “chang”, therefore, creates a purposeful stagnation of time, as if it’s a refusal to the construction of meanings, forever stuck in an incompletion. Trivia points the microphone at the scroll writing the symbols, standing helplessly as a statue of the artist’s incapacity to explain himself under the division of “two Chinas,” leaving the viewer in confusion with the soundtrack of two repeating words that eventually stand for nothing. ......”
- Yihsuan Chiu, Independent curator