Tabula Rasa Gallery is pleased to announce "Too Loud a Dust," the latest solo exhibition by the artist Musquiqui Chihying (lives and works in Berlin and Taipei), opening on 31 May 2023 at the gallery's London location. As the former artist-in- residence of the Delfina Foundation, Chihying's research-based exhibition tackles the question of how to clean a museum, a complex issue that requires a diverse range of technical skills, such as dusting, microbial sampling, analysis, and preservation methods. The exhibition highlights how dust accumulation in display cabinets contains valuable information, such as the presence of biological species in the exhibition area and potential risks to the collections. Given the significance of environmental indicators in exhibition areas, museums specialising in human anthropology and natural history require meticulous monitoring, making museum cleaning intrinsically linked to the preservation of collections and the maintenance of exhibitions.
Beyond the physical space, anthropologist Mary Douglas has revealed the complex symbolic meanings of "purity," which encompass culture, rituals, and identity politics, with ambiguous concepts of cleanliness and dirtiness. "Too Loud a Dust" exhibition aims to present the latest works by Musquiqui Chihying, who has long explored the social functionality of museums, against the backdrop of a paradigmatic shift in museum politics.
Chihying's research, conducted during the pandemic period at the Delfina Foundation, delves into two events from 1910: the construction of the Formosa Hamlet by the Japanese Empire at the Japan-British Exhibition in London, and the publication of "Diseases of China: Including Formosa and Korea" by British missionary James Laidlaw Maxwell in the same year. This exhibition, in collaboration with the Pitt Rivers Museum at the University of Oxford, aims to re-evaluate the complex relationships among displays, images, and ideological constructions, employing perspectives from microbiology and pathology.
Musquiqui Chihying (b.1985) is a filmmaker and visual artist based in Taipei and Berlin. He explores the cultural and social identities constructed through the flow and circulation of audiovisual elements in physical and virtual spacetime. Specialising in the use of multimedia such as film and sound, he investigates the human condition and environmental system in the age of global capitalisation and engages in the inquiry of and research on issues of subjectivity in contemporary social culture in the Global South.
Selected solo exhibitions include Too Loud a Dust, Tabula Rasa Gallery (London, 2023); On the Faience of Your Eyes, LIUSA WANG Gallery (Paris, 2022); There are Lights that Never Go Out, Museum of Contemporary Art (Taipei, 2021); The Power of My Smile, Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts (Taipei, 2019); I’ll be Back, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art (Beijing, 2018). His works have been shown in several international institutions and film festivals, such as 72nd Berlinale (2022), Art Sonje Center in Seoul (2021), Centre Pompidou in Paris (2020), International Film Festival Rotterdam (2020), 68th Berlinale (2018), 2016 Taipei Biennial, 10th Shanghai Biennale (2014) etc. He is the artist- in-residence at the Delfina Foundation (London, 2021), the finalist of the 2019 Berlin Art Prize and the winner of Golden Horse Award of the 59th Taipei Golden Horse film Festival 2021, the Loop Barcelona Video Art Production Award 2019 from Han Nefkens Foundation in collaboration with the Fundació Joan Miró. He is a member of the Taiwanese art group Fuxinghen Studio, and the founder of the Research Lab of Image and Sound.