The legacy of colonialism still affects contemporary Taiwan, and also the artists themselves are entangled with history: What does it mean to be guests in this territory – as citizens of the former colonial powers Europe and Japan?
History is not an exact science, and the ability to interpret and represent it is always a question of power. In order to approximate its complexity, history has to be told by several voices – and in different languages.
In their ongoing research in Taiwan, during three years Willimann/Arai collaborated with local experts and collected documents and testimonies from Taiwanese Aboriginal, Japanese, Han Taiwanese, Qing dynasty, European and American sources, which form the raw material for their montage work. Together with their collaborators, Willimann/Arai are experimenting with methods of polyphonic narration, with a focus on marginalized perspectives and their own positions.
The gift exercise 4 consist in the following series of works:
Invitation 4.1: Skadang/Datong
Invitation 4.2: Taroko National Park
Invitation 4.3: Camphor