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Nuclear Power Plant and Dog

Hominins (film still), 2019, single channel video with surround sound, Full HD, 15 min 58 sec. Courtesy of the artist.

WU Chi-Yu

The First Genre: Sacrifice and Salvation

Nuclear Power Plant and Dog:
This work is inspired by my walking to the Nuclear Power Plant No. 1 in Taiwan. In the middle of the way, there came abandoned night markets, waste water drained from the Nuclear Power Plant, the temple of the 18th King, etc. Through the process of shooting, these logically unrelated things gathered geographically get rearranged, and the clips of image stimulate the imagination of strange story happened here. This ­video ties the nuclear power plant, abandoned night markets, stray dogs and local gods together to distort and re-link different issues.

The conception of the work is based largely on prehistoric cave paintings on Sulawesi Island, as well as fossils and remains undiscovered or still undergoing excavation in East Asia, Southeast Asia and other regions. The creation of cave paintings marks the dawn of the intelligent creature discovering images for immersive experience. Species of different lineages can develop similar functions because of being in similar environments— what we call convergent evolution; different ethnicity groups, too, are able to develop consistent cognitive ability in similar spaces. As one of the oldest cave paintings, the painting at Leang-Leang cave had witnessed the beginning of consciousness, which happened across different locations in human history. It illustrates the common ground of humans and how they gradually evolve to share more similarities.

Hand prints, deers, and pigs drawn on different surfaces in the cave, altogether, constitute what is like a VR experience at the dawn of consciousness. Be it a newly-emerged religious ritual, popular prehistoric “VR” experience, or artistic masterpieces in current modern-day exhibitions, consciousness doesn’t happen as if it were an updatable software whose newest version can be obtained through download and a system reboot. Evolution is a continuum, an ongoing and uninterrupted timeline. For either human beings in ancient times, or internet users in an era of big data and algorithms, transitioning changes never stop happening. The missing link in the course of evolution is never missing. It’s the current species situated in a specific segment of time who fails to comprehend a prehistoric way of seeing and to go further beyond in order to see what’s missing in the course of evolution.


Born in 1986 in Taipei, Wu was a resident artist at Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten during 2014-2015. He had the solo show 91 Square Meters of Time at TKG+ Project, Taipei (2017). The exhibitions he once participated include: The 12th Shanghai Biennale at the Power Station of Art, Shanghai (2018); Trans-Justice at MoCA, Taipei (2018); Taipei Biennial at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei (2016); The second CAFAM Future at CAFA Art Museum, Beijing (2015). His films have been screened at the Beijing International Short Film Festival (2017); EXiS Festival, Seoul (2017); Arkipel Festival, Jakarta (2016).