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This is no country music

HONG-KAI WANG
November 1, 2019

Narrated by Nadya Isabella, Aubin Kwon and Julia Dahee Hong.
Photos by Sungpil Yoon

This is no country music takes the form of a performative lecture/collective listening session, around the work of Taiwanese vocalist and composer Koh Bunya, particularly his Earthquake Relief Song. Born in 1910, Bunya’s practice developed between China and Japan. Having been born in Taiwan under Japanese colonial rule, and living in China as the People’s Republic of China was founded, Bunya’s work has come to embody the complexity of the deeply entangled history of this region. This is no country music grapple with lines of query around statelessness, borders, bodies and lived experience. Wang’s methodological approach engages voice, vibration, and practices of listening combined with geological histories of natural disasters. Geological time offers a depth, that requires a different comprehension of time, towards an immediate binary of human/non-human co-existence.

This project was commissioned by the Asian Art Biennial and Tokyo Theatre Commons. The first iteration of This is no country music was presented at Theatre Commons Tokyo (March 2019). An iteration of this project is also included as part of the Asian Art Biennial: The Strangers from beyond the Mountain and the Sea, Taichung City, Taiwan (2019).

As an artist-in-residence at Artspeak, Wang will continue to build upon her research, developing methodologies that will take into consideration our location on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh, and this region being situated on the Cascadia Subduction Zone, Pacific Ring of Fire.

 *Recollective: Vancouver Independent Archives Week
This event is part of an ongoing series of Recollective: Vancouver Independent Archives Week. A series of free public events, panels, conversations, and screenings that highlight artist-run centre archives, artists working with archives, and the intersections between contemporary art practices and social movements in Vancouver and beyond.

In its 2019 programming year, Recollective will look beyond Vancouver to host a series of national and international presenters and respondents to examine these issues in a range of global contexts.

Special thanks to Dan Pon and Emma Metcalfe-Hurst.