Axes of Dwelling: the Video Art of Yuan Guangming


Screening Room - Michigan Theater Sat, Mar 25, 2017 9:15 PM
Film Info
Event Type:Shorts Program
Asian Focus
New Media
Release Year:2017
Production Country:Taiwan
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Yuan Goangming


"Yuan Goangming is one of Taiwan's pioneering video artists. His career started in the 1980s. Through the 1990s he made a number of sculptural installations that mingled moving image video with material objects, such as Out of Position (1987) and Fish on Dish (1992). Two tendencies immediately emerge from this work. First, Yuan loves to organize space around and along the camera axis. Starting with the The Cage (1995), this becomes an aesthetic principle that effectively defamiliarizes even the most domestic of spaces. The second tendency springs from this: Yuan infuses familiar and everyday spaces and places with the uncanny. It could be one's bed (The Reason for Insomnia, 1998), one's home (Disappearing Landscape II, 2011), or the seat of government (The 561st Hour of Occupation, 2014). The festival presents a program covering Yuang Goangming's extraordinary career, including an installation at the Ann Arbor Art Center."  - Markus Nornes, Professor of Asian Cinema, University of Michigan 


*Yuan Goangming's installation Indication is on view at the Ann Arbor Art Center through March 25. 


Out of Position 

Taiwan | 1987 | 3 | digital file 

Half man, half monitor, Out of Position blends sculpture and montage documentary. 


Fish on Dish 

Taiwan | 1992 | 1 | digital file 

Another installation piece that merges inanimate material objects and lively video, here's a fish that explores the edges of its dish. 


The Cage 

Taiwan | 1995 | 5 | digital file 

Exploring the relative changes between inner and outer space, The Cage "reverses" what we take for granted, positioning us between "It should be like this" and "Why is it like this?"



Taiwan | 1996 | 2 | digital file 

One of Yuan's first works to explore space, time, directionality, and passing. 


The Reason for Insomnia 

Taiwan | 1998 | 4 | digital file 

This installation imagines and recalls the dreams that must linger and lurk in any bed.  



Taiwan | 2000 | 5 | digital file 

As the world turns on its axis, it can also turn/float on the camera's axis. 


Disappearing Landscape: Passing II 

Taiwan | 2011 | 10 | digital file 

Home is an unstable place. After building my home on ruins, and following the passing of my father and the birth of my child, the ruins become my home. I filled their gaps with different imaginings, gazing at the "passing," "in passing," "and almost past" landscape. 


Smiling Rocking Horse 

Taiwan | 2011 | 2 | digital file 

A horse, a child, and a different speculative space for viewers to gain new sensory experiences between the familiar and foreign - a new "observed" reality. 


Landscape of Energy 

Taiwan | 2014 | 7 | digital file 

Inspired by the 3/11 earthquake in Japan, this video documents the reality before our eyes, exuding a cold sense of desolation that forebodes - as if in a dream - the ruins of tomorrow. 


The 561st Hour of Occupation 

Taiwan | 2014 | 6 | digital file 

Shot inside the occupied Diet during the Sunflower Revolution, time flies back and forth among the past, present, and future, and among abundance, decadence, and void. 



Taiwan | 2014 | 5 | digital file 

Referencing Heidegger's "Poetically Man Dwells," this piece presents a domestic space secreting away an explosive energy that surges between poetic violence and domestic serenity. 


Yuan Goangming in attendance.  

Additional Information

Partner: Roman Witt Visiting Artist Program

Sponsor: Confucius Institute at the University of Michigan

With Support From: University of Michigan Department of Screen Arts & Cultures and Michigan State University Asian Studies Center

Education Partner: Michigan State University Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages

Community Partner: Ann Arbor Art Center