Yao Jui-Chung was born in Taipei, Taiwan (b.1969). His works have consistently and critically engaged with Taiwan’s recent history. Having grown up during the martial law era and witnessed the lifting of totalitarian regime, the artist is extremely aware of the changing of cultural symbols in the cityscape followed by the shift in political regime. In particular, he has strong interests in historical ruins that in the past functioned as crucial political sites. As he says ‘everything will fall into ruins.’ Forgotten remains encapsulate the growth and decline of ideology and civilizations. As editor of White Fungus, a journal of experimental art based in Taipei, Ron Hanson describes Yao’s artistic practice dealing with ‘the dark and complex legacies of multiple waves of colonization, it is nonetheless filled with at times slapstick humour and a stubborn insistence on the sublime.’ In one of Yao’s early ‘Photographic Action Series’, Recovering Mainland China (1997) he appears in military uniform and leaps in the mid-air in front of various historic and political sites in China. In the work he is the one-man army carrying out the 1950s nationalist government policy that aims for re-taking Mainland China. Yet, in the photograph Yao’s feet never touch the ground, which makes the mission as a fantasied one. From 2010 onward Yao led a umber of students and form the group ‘Lost Society Document’ (LSD) that carried out fieldwork on ruins and unused public properties that had been publicly funded and built by the government for the sake of ‘political achievements’. Later he published the results of the survey in a series of books entitled ‘Mirage: Disused Public Property’.
Yao Jui-chung, Long Live, 2011
In 1997, Yao represented Taiwan in “Facing Faces-Taiwan” at the Venice Biennale and has taken part in many international exhibitions, including the 2nd Yokohama Triennale (2005); 6th Asia Pacific Triennial (2009); 7th Taipei Biennial (2010); 9th Shanghai Biennial and Harmonious Society, a major exhibition organized by Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art at Asia Triennial Manchester 2014. He was the winner of the Multitude Art Prize in 2013. Yao is also a curator and researcher who curated exhibitions including The Realm of Illusion- The New Wave of Taiwan Photography (2002) and Spellbound Aura – The New Vision of Chinese Photography (2004). He also published books including Installation Art in Taiwan since 1991-2001 (2002), The New Wave of Contemporary Taiwan Photography Since 1999 (2003) and Performance Art in Taiwan 1978-2004 (2005).