Only Rain Could Make the City Tilt2018
Photographs, poems and
New Office Building
Hsia Yu’s work begins from a sentence collected, and a snapshot. Much like the horticultural technique of cutting, a sentence can lay down roots, bud, and sprout new branches and leaves. If a sentence comes along with inherent tenacity and strong inspiration, it can grow into a poem, a collection of poems, or other works, like Only Rain Could Make the City Tilt. This organic form of resilient growth, propagation, and variation of sentences and images has provided a reflective context for Hsia Yu in the exhibition’s title of “Base/Re-Base.”
Her 2016 poetry collection, First Person, was composed using 500 so-called “bad photographs” taken during her travels and 300 intensely musical phrases, shows Hsia Yu’s obsessions with movie/moving images/subtitles/movie theatre (black box). Expanding on this concept, her new work Only Rain Could Make the City Tilt merges photographs from her recent northerly travels with poetry. Her new work, Anti-Musicality: Nineteen Poems has 19 poems and consists of more than 400 lines that move slowly on LED display boards underneath the screen. The photographs might not always match the poetry, just like subtitles do not always reflect what is playing on the screen as image and text become juxtaposed into an altogether different message. The pouring rain out of nowhere separates viewers from the images and poems, leaving them to wonder: is the rain a screen, a surface, a distance, an obstacle, or an opportunity of getting soaked, while the rain makes the city tilt?
a poet, Hsia Yu is the author of several volumes of poetry including Ventriloquism, A State of Unnamable Friction,Salsa, Pink Noise, Sixty Poems, and First Person. She is
also a pop music lyricist with collections of lyrics such as This Zebra and That Zebra. Hsia currently lives in
Taipei and in Paris.
Anti-Musicality: Nineteen Poems English translator: Stephen Nashef, born in Glasgow, UK and currently lives in Beijing where he writes poetry and code.