6th work book of Seoul Art Space Geumcheon, 2013
Wu Chi-Yu: Re-connecting Things with the World
Wu Chi-Yu has long been focusing on re-establishing the connections among humans, things, animals, and the ruined world left by technological-capitalism through his works.
The world observed by Wu is similar to the modern society described by French sociologist Bruno Latour. The technological science and capital not only lead to the commodification of humans, but also subject humans and all things to the economic logic of profit maximization under the considerations of optimal capital allocation and instrumental rationality. Such a logic decreases the original hybridity and diversity of our world, which leads to the mundanity of life and poverty of meaning. Wu believes that art can contribute to our world by enriching life and meaning as well as re-establishing the connections among humans, things, animals, and the world.
For this reason, the backgrounds of Wu’s works are mostly the ruins left by technologies and capital, the meaning blocks to be reconstructed from the perspective of progressivism, or the corners of our daily life beyond human consciousness. The artist collected and shot the figures and objects around these scenes, such as residents, workers, passers-by, animals perching in these places, mirrors, glasses, statues, images or statues of deities, and so forth. Then he created a new narrative with a folklore-like form to connect these figures and objects. By presenting them simultaneously, Wu embedded “the world destroyed by instrumental rationality and capitalism”—the primary subject of the artist’s works—in the network of meanings formed by different agents. In other words, the artist successfully brought humans, animals, and things back into co-existence, and thereby restored the diversity of the world.