Songs of Oblivion (2019-20)

Video installation: HD video projection with 3-channel sound system (19 min. 52 sec., loop, colour), HD video (6 min. 56 sec., loop, colour, silent) | 2019-20

Trailer (HD video, 3’49” | 2020) by Hui Ye


Songs of Oblivion focuses on the unique singing tradition of the Tao people, a small group of Taiwanese Aborigines native to the Lanyu island, while referring to a shadowy part of the island’s history implemented by the post-war Taiwanese government.

Due to the peculiar culture of the Tao and the off-limits policy on the island during the Japanese colonisation, Lanyu was primarily excluded from the Taiwanese socio-political system. In 1958, the Taiwanese government established a correctional facility spread over the island, sending prisoners and felons as well as veterans as their correctional officers. While suffering from intensive physical labour and social isolation on the island, their arrival interrupted the traditional living of the Tao people. In the video, she juxtaposes their communal singing tradition and auditory fragments emerged from memories of residents of the island to reconstruct latent cruel details of parts of their history and collective memory.

To watch the video in full-length with password: Songs01