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Tao Ya-Lun solo exhibition - Ubiquitous Ghosts

, Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei

Widely recognized as a pioneer in new media art, Taiwanese artist Tao Ya-Lun will present Ubiquitous Ghosts, a solo exhibition comprising all new works, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Taipei from August 22 to November 1, 2020. The exhibition features 10 new virtual reality works that culminate the artist’s exploration in this medium over the past five years. With the support of VIVE Arts, the exhibition invites visitors to enter a world intersecting cutting-edge technology and contemporary art.

In the exhibition, Tao essentially embeds a virtual museum in MOCA’s physical buildings, where the “present” audience will be allowed to enter 10 “non-present” spaces. Once putting on the HTC Vive Pro headsets, the visitors will be liberated from physical restraints as they traverse historical or fictional scenes. A high-tech installation layering into a hundred-year-old venue creates an extraordinary superposition that calls for memories of the place, while allowing us to travel through the past, present, and into the future.

“The idea was inspired by Paul Virilio’s concept of ‘dying from birth’ and ‘near-death experience’, which are used to describe a highly simulated and symbolic world. The concept draws parallels with the physical experience that near-death patients undergo during a clinical procedure: the body appears to drift like a ghost, and everything they see and hear becomes disassociated from the physical world,” said Tao.

Other notable installations of Tao’s on view include “Vanish into Thin Air,” the artist’s first augmented reality experiment conceived in 2015. By creating illusory crevices on the walls, the series encourages viewers to reflect on how their reality is gradually replaced by ephemeral images in the 21st century.

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