New Zealand artist Kerry Ann Lee digs into Taiwan through image and ruin

In her Taipei Artist Village residency, Lee questions how images can serve as an entry point into local culture.

On 16 June 2012, New Zealand contemporary artist Kerry Ann Lee held her temporary art installation The Parallel City Picture Show in Taipei’s Ruin Academy. The work centred on her time in Taiwan and the process of coming to understand the city of Taipei via images.

Slide showing sci-fi rooftop mini golf in Taichung, part of Kerry Ann Lee's 'The Parallel City Picture Show' (2012, projected image installation). Photograph: Verity Mackintosh.

Lee’s residency project, which ran from April to July 2012, was supported by the Taipei Artist Village and the Asia New Zealand Foundation. For The Parallel City Picture Show, Lee aimed to create a narrative of her time in the city through found images. The artist drew upon a variety of sources, including “scenes of public spaces in Taiwan, weird buildings, greenery, Chinese tourists, protests, karaoke screen captures, stolen photos from television screens around the city, old title sequence captures from old films’, old souvenir images, bad signage, fancy dress, photos of other people taking photos.” She then curated, edited and manipulated the images before transferring them onto slides.

Viewers wearing mock x-ray glasses participate in Kerry Ann Lee's 'The Parallel City Picture Show', 2012, projected image installation. Photograph: Verity Mackintosh.

Still from Film Socialisme by Jean Luc Goddard, part of Kerry Ann Lee's 'The Parallel City Picture Show' (2012, projected image installation). Photograph: Verity Mackintosh.

Double slide of the words 'Access Denied' and the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall transforming into a flying saucer, part of Kerry Ann Lee's 'The Parallel City Picture Show' (2012, projected image installation). Photograph: Verity Mackintosh.

Photo taken of a TV screen playing customised souvenir photographs at Taipei 101, part of Kerry Ann Lee's 'The Parallel City Picture Show' (2012, projected image installation). Photograph: Verity Mackintosh.

Two slides projected over top of one another. The background is an image shot through a peep hole through the floor of Ruin Academy. Foreground text typeset by the artist. Installation view of Kerry Ann Lee's 'The Parallel City Picture Show' (2012, projected image installation). Photograph: Verity Mackintosh.

Lee specially selected Taipei’s Ruin Academy as the location for her installation, a five-story art-architecture crossover space built around the notion of a “Third Generation City” in which architecture is opened up to incorporate nature and the elements. Six-inch holes are drilled in the ceilings and floors to allow for the open circulation of light and rain.

Kerry Ann Lee, 'The Parallel City Picture Show', 2012, projected image installation. Photograph: Verity Mackintosh.

Still of a looped film. Paintings by Taiwanese First People fade in and out through thick rain. Installation view of Kerry Ann Lee's 'The Parallel City Picture Show' (2012, projected image installation). Photograph: Verity Mackintosh.

Projected image of a protest against Taiwanese President Ma Ying-Jeou. A second machine projects through a hole in the wall into the Ruin Academy kitchenette. Installation view of Kerry Ann Lee's 'The Parallel City Picture Show' (2012, projected image installation). Photograph: Verity Mackintosh.

About Kerry Ann Lee

Kerry Ann Lee is a visual artist, designer and educator from Wellington, New Zealand. She was an artist-in-residence at the island6 Art Center, Shanghai in 2009 and the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2010. Lee is also extensively involved in underground culture and fanzine publishing, including a second project in Taiwan for which she made a 64-page zine that she filled with conversations with Taipei residents of aboriginal descent.

New Zealand contemporary artist Kerry Ann Lee.

Her work Shanghai Shorts, which debuted at a solo show in Wellington in 2011, is currently featured in the exhibition “Raised Voices” at the Calder & Lawson Gallery at the University of Waikato. The work will also be featured in “Global Positioning System (So You Say You Want A Revolution)” at the School of Visual Arts in New York from 28 July to 18 August 2012.

PR/KN

Related Topics: New Zealand artists, residencies, art in Taipei, installation art, artist-run spaces

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