Abdul Abdullah at Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei
26 Feb 2019
On view from 26 Jan to 14 April 2019, 烏鬼 Stories We Tell To Scare Ourselves With explores the concept of fear, the fear that drives our basest instincts.
“Fear is generative; it produces Epinephrine, shapes the borders that settle our tribal demands for security and safety, and the demarcation of what lies within one territory or region and what lies outside it. In the face of the strange and unknown, fear enters our stories as ghosts and ghouls separating the human from the animal, the human from the nonhuman. In the Chinese languages, the word “ghost” often signifies the foreigner or the uncivilized race; “Wu Gui” for instance, refers collectively to the slaves brought by 17th-century European colonizers to Taiwan from Africa and Southeast Asia, including those slave soldiers from the Indonesian Banda Islands who served Koxinga’s Kingdom of Formosa as well as the indigenous people inhabiting Xiaoliuqiu who were exterminated by the Dutch. Ghosts, cast in this light, populate Southeast Asia’s oral, artistic and cinematic landscapes because they generate a sense of who we are to ourselves. The ghost is the figure of the foreigner, the intruder and the invasive species.”
Image: Installation view of Mutual Assurances, 2017, archival print, 100 x 232 cm. Courtesy of the artist, Yavuz Gallery and MOCA Taipei.