BREAK & BREAK!
Break & Break! was the first Dance Video Exhibition by Shu-Yi Chou which took place in Polymer Art Space in Taipei. A former textile mill, Polymer has been abandoned for years until a group of artists regenerated it into an arts colony. Chou chose to exhibit and perform here as he would like to have a dialogue with this reborn space. “Break”, the word chosen for the English title, means damage and unsettle, but also implies pause and rest. It carries two meanings that seem dissimilar yet are subtly connected.
Break & Break! arises from many dance videos taken by Chou between 2014 and 2017 in different places. He has traveled between city centers and outskirts, using his body to perceive and respond to both derelict and functional spaces, observing large architectures (the external structure) and personal life’s invisible paths (the internal structure). The response of his body to these sites was a feeling that humanity seems to approach annihilation. Many of these sites have been ignored for long in just the way that many human lives have been marginalized.
“Image” is the starting point and key medium. Choosing what to capture in the film – the body, light, shadow or surroundings – is always a man’s conscious decision. It reflects a man’s perception of the transient time, his awareness of the powerlessness to withstand the vicissitudes of life and changes of surroundings. Then, from this forlorn angle he notices the unusual strengths existing in both the center and edge of the society, persisting from being something to being nothing, and from loss to rebirth.
It is a site-specific exhibition. In Polymer Chou has chosen various “alternative” projection screens, such as a concrete wall, a river bank, or a facade of congregated iron house. Then by combining the video exhibition with Chou’s live performance, it signifies the characteristics of both the filmed sites and the exhibition venue, and recreates the authentic moments when Chou danced in these sites, while elevating them with the presence of live performance.
Premiere: Jun. 29, 2018 at Polymer Art Space, Taipei, Taiwan
Touring: Jan. 2020 at Macao City Fringe Festival
Award: Winner of Performing Arts Award, 17th Taishin Arts Award, Taiwan
Film Director & Choreographer：Shu-Yi Chou | Video Design：Max Lee | Music：Yu-Jun Wang | Lighting Design：Chih-Heng Chuang