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Formation Deformation Dogformation, 2019, pencil on paper, inkjet print, found DDR Katzhütte (Hertwig & Co) porcelain, 1080 × 60 × 130 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

WU Chuan-Lun

The Third Genre: Portrait of Unknown Heroes

The first part of the work is portraits of money boxes in the form of German Shepherd Dogs. Earthenware money boxes such as these were produced in Yingge and were often the prize for quoits. These money boxes used to appear in every household, keeping us company with their silly smiles and stuck-out tongues until they are smashed for the retrieval of the coins inside. They have become a unique collective memory of the Taiwanese—a kind of Taiwanese shepherd dog. People used to think that these money boxes only come in one design, so I try to capture their uniqueness through portraits. The second part is porcelain ready-mades from Katzhütte (Hertwig & Co) in East Germany that were produced around the same time as the Taiwanese shepherd dogs. The ceramic factory was named Porzellanfabrik Hertwig & Co. between 1864-1958. When Germany was divided in 1958, the factory was nationalized and renamed V.E.B. Zierkeramik Katzhütte, and the production line was terminated in 1990 after the German reunification. The third part is sketches of dogs going through obstacle course training. The sketches feature the East German porcelain dogs combined with obstacles from agility competitions and military training.


Wu Chuan-Lun, born in 1985 in Tainan, Taiwan. The ever-going changes, compromises and contradictions informing the relations between nature and civilization, ecology and politics as well as materials and the digital have formed the general background of Wu’s art practices. He employs a diverse range of media, such as computer-generated imagery, photography, drawing, found objects and porcelain, to create conceptual and research-based installations. His recent work often uses the process of collecting/gathering as a point of departure to explore the identity and meaning of the collected/gathered objects, from which he gradually unravels the underlying, entangled historical and social context. His works have been shown at Taipei Fine Arts Museum, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Gwangju Museum of Art, Rockbund Art Museum, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, and have been featured in the 2014 Taipei Biennial—The Great Acceleration. In recent years, he has conducted artist residencies with final presentations of the creative results in Seoul, Berlin and Peru. Wu currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany and Tainan, Taiwan.