The Making of Crime Scenes
Che-Yu Hsu (TW)
The Making of Crime Scenes

Installation vidéo, 22 min

Starting from a gunman involved in a murder case, I seek to reflect the collective unconscious within society and politics through the gunman's multiple peculiar roles—a filmmaker, a killer, a gangster, and a patriot. In 1984, when Taiwan was still under Martial Law, a Taiwanese American writer Henry Liu was shot to death in his own house in the United States by a Taiwanese assassin. Afterward, due to the intervention and investigation of the US government authorities, this case was eventually confirmed to be a political murder jointly committed by the Military Intelligence Bureau and the biggest mafia United Bamboo Gang in Taiwan, as the government paid the mafia to kill Henry Liu. The protagonist of this work, Wu Dun, is the assassin who fired the shot at the time. After the case was exposed, the Taiwanese authorities were pressured by the US, and Wu Dun was thus sentenced to life imprisonment. However, he was given amnesty and discharged from prison after six years. After he got out of prison, Wu Dun remained an important member of the United Bamboo Gang, and he established a film company as a producer with the support of his mafia influence, making several “wuxia films” - refers to specific traditional Chinese swordplay films. In the genre of “wuxia film,” the story of the conflicts between a government and local gangsters has often been the main theme, along with a strongly nationalistic ideology. In this work, I revisited the film studio that was once used by Wu Dun and is now deserted to recompose the fragments of the political assassination and the scenes of wuxia films, and I cooperated with a 3D scanning team—their job is to provide forensic scanning service at crime scenes—to make a digital double of Wu Dun, attempting to dissect the collective memory from a digital shell.

Che-Yu Hsu
Che-Yu Hsu Taiwan
Promotion Marie Curie

Hsu Che-Yu works as an artist who primarily creates animations, videos, and installations that feature the relations between media and memories. What matters to the artist is not simply the history of events traceable through media, but also the construction and visualization of memories, be they private or collective. 


2014 – Graduated from Graduate Institute of Plastic Arts, Tainan National University of the Arts (M.F.A., Taiwan)
2019~2020 – Post-academic research program HISK (Higher Institute for Fine Arts, Gent, Belgium)
2019 – Finalist, HUGO BOSS ASIA ART
2017 – Solo exhibition at a.m. space, Hong Kong
2016 – Solo exhibition at Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai, China
2016 – Annual Grand Prize, Taishin Arts Award 14th
2015 – Solo exhibition at Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
2012 – Solo exhibition at Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, Taiwan
2012 – Solo exhibition at Society for Arts and Technology (SAT), Montreal, Canada
2011 – Solo exhibition at Digital Art Center, Taipei, Taiwan

    • Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) Taiwan Creative Content Agency
    • Ministère de la Culture - République de Chine (Taiwan) Le ministère de la Culture (officiellement en anglais : Ministry of Culture (MOC), en chinois traditionnel : 文化部 ; pinyin : Wénhuà bù) est un des ministères de la branche exécutive du gouvernement de la république de Chine (en), en charge des affaires relatives à la culture.
    • Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains est né de la volonté du ministère de la Culture et de la Communication d’implanter dans le nord de la France, un établissement supérieur d’enseignement artistique d’un type nouveau, pôle d’excellence d’envergure nationale et internationale, dont les références furent exprimées par quelques formules telles que « un IRCAM des arts plastiques » ou encore « une villa Médicis high-tech ».

Sa pédagogie, principalement fondée sur la production d’œuvres de toute sorte dont le point commun est l’intégration de techniques audiovisuelles professionnelles, en fait un lieu de production, d’expérimentation et de diffusion totalement inédit.


    Thématique : Rire et rêver Thematic: Laughing and dreaming

    My first surprise is to see that most of the works in Panorama 23 do not present political discourses, at a time when ideological rhetoric is making a powerful comeback.
    After this first surprise, I am also happy to ob-serve that this does not denote a lack of interest in society and the tragedies of our planet—immigration, dictatorship, ecological disasters, massacres, macho violence, to mention but the most recurrent—but that the artists here have chosen responses that are specifically artistic.
    If my first reaction is surprise, the second is happiness at seeing that these artists are not de-serting their territory, their own language. They speak out, analyse and invent by recalling that their mode of expression, their method, engender other attitudes, other compositions, other formulations of meaning.
    Seeing this, I thought back to the radicalism sented, at the Fondation Maeght, a life’s work on the archetypal form of the mastaba, based on the use of industrial forms such as tin cans, jerricans and barrels. Seeing these barrels, many commentators proffered considerations about oil, the economy and ecology in relation to this fossil fuel. If Christo naturally left journalists free to make their interpre-tations, he did point out that it was not the subject of his work and that having had the cruel experience of the destructive power of ideology in Bulgaria, he had no wish to discuss this issue in his work. Without wishing to offend anyone, if his questioner insisted on the theme, he broke off the exchange, asking them to understand his wariness of that way of thinking which, in his view, suffocated the singular space of art and its signifying process.
    I believe, indeed, that an artist has no interest in letting himself be taken over, colonised by these reductive approaches. If there is a “general ethics” there is also an ethics of art which determines its own field.
    I can remember a journalist asking him at the time, “But who are you militating for?” Christo an-swered with a smile: “As always, I am militating for art, quite simply.” He meant that with the forms he invented, that he chose, he was constructing an “art effect,” that is to say, an “encounter” with an artistic event. He added, somewhat provocatively: “I create artworks that are completely irrational, irresponsible, without justification.” It was up to each person to enter into a very free, very singular form of contact with this universe in order to understand it differ-ently. Whether it is nature, the city, social or personal ambits, this encounter occurs via art, which uses its own geographies and its own paths. This feeling is what I am experiencing now when I see or respond to the works in Panorama, which clearly state their disagreement with certain social structures, with their workings, their inadequacies, their injustices, their mistakes or absurdities, but that never yield their arms to politicians or to some authority in so-cial sciences.
    This does not imply an absence of dialogue but emphasises that they do not have the same economy, or the same imaginary. It is no coincidence if the memory of that experience with Christo is coming back to me now, because the approaches I have observed at Le Fresnoy are deeply similar.
    I am happy to see society being de-bated in this way and the position that art-ists assign themselves there, deliberately choosing to ensure that their language cannot be reduced to others, thereby pre-venting a confusion of reality and the real.
    Which brings back another memory, that of Jean-Luc Godard at the Verger Urbain V in Avignon, in 1967, after the screening of La Chinoise. Mobbed with questions about current events and political theories, with demands for analyses, he replied that he was a filmmaker, that we must first watch the film, the assemblage of images, speeds and sounds in order to understand his ideas. The meaning was there and could not be reduced to any argument or rhetoric.
    Or again, these words by Leos Carax in an in-terview with Jean Michel Frodon : “My projects never start with an original idea, an intention. Just two or three images, plus two or three feelings. If I find correspondences between these images and these feelings, I edit them together.” 7 And, “I don’t make overtly political films, but I still believe that cinema is here to change us and change our angles of vision.”
    Christo, Jean-Luc Godard, Leos Carax—each his own way of saying that art, cinema and poetry each has its space, its own enigma in which to seek out the singularity and autonomy of their “languages.” Ideas, sensations and reasons have another weight here, another purpose, another form. That is the choice which the works in Panorama are constantly activating when they meld their voices with those of the times, and of time.
    When it comes to expressing the pain inflicted by racism, its low-volume work, then fiction takes over, bringing back to life the Hottentot Venus, her fragmented body. It reverses the extreme alienation of those poor limbs to make them radiant with a won-derful “pink” through the slightest of those torn-up fragments. These become sacred forms raising up a shrine, preserving them from the manipulations that they were and still are subjected to.
    Confronted with the confusion of feelings, stereotypes of the day, submission to the order of technologies, artists have recourse to the powers of surprise, of childhood, to the dreams and veils of the imaginary that swell and invite our lives, in a way sometimes unexpected, sometimes “twisted,” to sub-vert order and rules, to sound the voices of humour and irony which twist those straight lines obliging us to be “the follower of a follower.” “Next!” as Jacques Brel would have said. Pigeons; Eggheads after egg-heads. They are also veritable detonators against cer-tain figures on the #MeToo scene. Like the Pantalone of commedia dell’arte, they exist from Antiquity to the grotesques of the Renaissance. They have the sometimes pitiless features of art brut or wear the grimaces of digital morphing by Joan Fontcuberta. Their bodies buckle from the pleasures of power and the Other’s body.
    Many role plays speak out to us here, from one scene to another. Some of the violence is inspired by mises en scène, war “games” parodying biographies of killers who have become B movie producers, re-placing the duels of valiant samurais.
    From one fiction to another, figures aplenty emerge and are handled, not for their bodies now, but as abstract “composition-combinations” within allegories or lived experiences or experiences re-played in the theatre of installations.
    Sometimes, too, whatever the mask or skin for the role, the figures, despite voluntary distancing, cannot be kept from mnemonic emotions that are often melancholy or tragic. “Persona—Person—Personage” all combine.
    Dora García evokes the deception of women who are always hoping for a world to come that does not come, the impossible authentic recognition of their identity. The world, withdrawing into itself, offers only the dismal repetition of the same exits. “Getting out of the space” now becomes an adventure driven by dream.
    EXIT, extricate, extract—that is what migrant peoples embody. These people who cross the land to reach the sea. They cross deserts, repair their sandals in order to go on walking, abandon their baggage, their clothes, and then their lives. They leave nothing, except perhaps, thanks to one or two who respect their dreams, a nameless tomb, in the hope that one day a family, a community will recognise them. Where are they, today, these ghosts and these possibilities of imaginary isles to be reached? A song says that this refuge is always alive for those who follow them and sign anew.
    Most of these works have no formal narrations but “complex,” unexpected elaborations that keep us awake, seeking out a virtual egress from the maze. I think of John Cassavetes’ words about Love Streams: “Making a film has nothing to do with the action, the story, the continuity, it’s how you stick to the subject. Whenever someone thinks something is going to happen in the film, something else happens. Well, it could have had a better plot, but you are making a film and you say to yourself, this could be my last film. So why would I tie myself down with a plot?”
    This is where oneiric thought takes flight. It projects us into a private diary or a legend, offering us the felicitous perspective of heading towards the “Elsewhere.”
    Nothing is affirmed or stable. Art, music, friend-ship, the autonomous life of objects work together to neglect the exclusively material dimension of our lives. What I see is transcended by “another sight,” a new knowledge of genders and kingdoms. Nature incites us to wager on the presence of the invisible, on the uncertainty principle. The world is a suppo-sition, potentially verifiable, as quantum physics regularly tells us.
    Rejection of a tyrannic system of perception and interpretation is the guarantor of this effec-tive liberty. It does not confront politics, it avoids, it neutralises it. The hypothesis is clearly to choose Elsewhere as analyser of our situation. Here, the works strive to reach that place by mixing dream, science, utopia, the displacements of thought, and movement, which is paradoxically more concrete than any foundation.
    Imagine a city. It is not its buildings that make it alive, for the city is a fabric embroidered with in-habitants, with trees, with time, with memory, with circulations and tremors. Its network is a system of blood vessels. It is constantly making and unmaking the map. An epidermis dreaming a fiction between science and animism.
    Olivier Kaeppelin