Chia-Wei Hsu´s Archeological Trail Through Asia
In 2016 Acadamia Sinica worked with Spanish scholars to excavate a church and four graves built in the 17th century by the Spanish on Keelung and Heping Island. The large-scale archeological dig continues to this day. Artist Chia-Wei Hsu filmed this process to help him understand the important link between Taiwan and other Eurasian nations during the Age of Sail. His work has since developed into a series of projects.
Chia-Wei Hsu shifted his focus to Heping Island over ten years ago. During the Japanese Colonial Era, the shipyard on Heping Island served as the southern-most military shipyard in Imperial Japan. Under the Nationalist Government, the shipyard also played an integral part in the subsequent Taiwanese Economic Miracle. The shipyard is a microcosm of modern history reflected in Chia-Wei Hsu´s “The Story of Hoping Island.” The piece synthesizes memory, history, and fantasy to offer a highly individual interpretation of this historical period.
Chia-Wei Hsu has gone on to create an Internet of Things that spans across Taiwan to Northeast and Southeast Asia. One link in his network explores Asia´s colonial history with a particular emphasis on the Age of Sail and the rather complex expansion of the Dutch East India Company into the Asian continent. In 2019 Hsu went to Malaysia to shoot a new piece called “Stones and Elephants.” The project sought to connect the traditional beliefs of Malaysian shaman, modern cinematic technology, and Malaysia´s own colonial history.