Courtesy of the artist
The places that would, over time, become Southeast Asia were first opened up for photography through colonialism. The photographers were mostly white men who penetrated the region with or through colonial conquest. The colonial encounters also provided the opportunity for local elites, put off initially by that devilish device of modernity, to take up photography to advance their personal agendas. Taking advantage of the colonial economy, Chinese migrant photographers in the 19th century opened photo studios 照相館 and/or produced picture postcards in the region. By the early twentieth century, they had come to dominate the photo studio trade. According to the anthropologist Karen Strassler, the Cantonese owned many of the studios in Java. While the Cantonese seemed to have dominated the trade across Southeast Asia, there were also examples of Chinese photographers from other dialect groups who owned some of the most prominent photo studios. The most obvious examples were Luang Anusarnsunthorn (1867—1934; b. Lamphun), a rich merchant of part-Teochew ancestry who opened the first photography shop in Chiang Mai after 1900 or 1901, and K. F. Wong 黃傑夫 (b. 1916, Sibu—d. 1998, China), a Henghua 興化 Chinese who opened the famed Anna Studio at Kuching in 1938 (followed by a branch in Sibu in 1941). Wong also became a world-renowned photographer who first made his name through salon photography.
The international movement of Pictorialism, or salon photography 沙龍攝影, impacted the pursuit of art photography in the region. There were two periods of growth, as seen in the proliferation of amateur photo clubs or societies 業餘攝影俱樂部或攝影學會. The first occurred during the 1920s and the 1930s, when these societies were set up under the auspices of the colonial authorities. Foreigners (including some Chinese enthusiasts) and local elites made up the membership of these photo clubs. The second wave occurred during the 1950s and the 1960s, when the high tide of decolonisation shifted the patronage and leadership of these photo societies to the national elites. However, the club members who most actively participated in salon contests were ethnic Chinese, many of whom had just migrated to Southeast Asia. By winning salon accolades across and beyond the region, they helped to put the newly independent Southeast Asian nations on a global map and inevitably attracted the attention of the national elites. Despite its apolitical veneer, salon photography was a practice through which many ethnic Chinese practitioners got involved, willingly or otherwise, in a bewildering range of political and socio-cultural initiatives directed by the State or its opponents, who proposed competing visions of statehood.
Their reference point was Hong Kong (HK), dubbed the “kingdom of salon” because its photographers had dominated the salon contests around the world since the late 1940s. According to researchers like Wang Meihsiang and Kalen Lee 李泳麒, HK was a strategic space that many people and institutions of different political affiliations exploited to court the overseas Chinese communities during the cultural Cold War. Salon photographers from HK and Southeast Asia were drawn into these initiatives. They contributed to the publication of pictorial periodicals 畫報 and organised regional contests and exhibitions.
Since 2004, I have been writing about the photographic practices of Southeast Asia. Thanks to the generosity of the interviewees, I have procured some materials (such as zines, photobooks, periodicals, catalogues and exhibition brochures) related to my research. However, since 2011, I have been building a small collection of family photographs, photo studio ephemerals (i.e., photo and film envelopes) and periodicals by visiting flea markets and “junk” sellers across Southeast Asia. Over time, I realised that my research and art-making practices have shaped the way I collect these materials. In 2013, at Le Cong Kieu in Saigon, the curator Nguyen Nhu Huy 阮如輝introduced me to a Teochew seller, who claimed that he had 200kg of old photographs stowed in his attic! He was not joking. When the Hoa 華 and the Viet fled Vietnam after 1975 and during the Third Indochina War (1978-91), they did not bring along their family photographs. That was how these materials ended up in the seller’s hands. Dispossession through war made them available on the market.
Though implicated in the violence, my act of buying and repossessing them aims to reimagine the stories that led to the creation of these materials. In the seller’s stock, the photographs were not only taken in and during the Republic of Vietnam (1955-75, with Saigon as capital). Many of them were photographed or sent from the rest of Indochina or further afield, as in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, China, the USA or Europe. Of course, tragic displacement is not the only reason why Chinese family photographs ended up in the flea markets. My friends told me that when the Chinese Indonesians abandoned their old houses in Java, some of them would just leave their family photographs in situ, allowing people to scavenge whatever they wanted.
Courtesy of the artist.
Research on photography generally focuses on “photographers'' and their “works.” We find several types of photographers during the Japanese period, with two traditional types represented by Chang Tsai, a witness type who offers photographic evidence in his pictures, and Liu Na’ou, an amateur roving photographer. However, here we would like to emphasize the importance of (very seldom researched) photographers like Chen Li-Hong, a representative of the commercial photographers of the photography studios. In particular, we would like to look at Chen’s photograph for an airline advertisement, which poses an indigenous woman as the “photographed subject.” Such photographs cannot be ignored, and hold important connections to the history of photographic technologies and historical social transformations. In this work, we attempt to use techniques from film, including footage intercut with interview segments, to discuss the people and objects photographed according to their photographic genres and to gain a deeper understanding of the ways we talk about photography itself.
In 1943, in preparation of the entrance exams of the East Asian College of Photography in Japan, Chen Li-Hong went to learned photo retouching in a studio in Taipei. After graduating, she continued her studies at Shochiku Films, observing and studying the skills of taking film stills hoping to eventually set up her own photographic studio. With the start of the war, she returned to Taiwan and took a temporary job at the Xindian District Office.
In 1942, to escape the hostilities of World War II, Chang Tsai left the Yingsin Photographic Studio in Dadaocheng and moved his entire family to Shanghai. He owned the latest model cameras from Europe and took photos of Shanghai’s international concessions, the architecture of the growing city, and developing disparity between the rich and poor.
In 1940, Liu Na’ou was assassinated in Shanghai. He left behind a silent film, Man with Camera. The title references Russian director Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera, and the film itself is composed of scenes of the landscapes and locals’ daily life in Manchuria, Guangdong, Tokyo, and his home city of Tainan in Taiwan.
This project concerns itself with these three Taiwanese photographers and their work during the Japanese colonial period up until 1949, as divided between the differing attitudes toward photography between these three individuals with their special identities as “Taiwanese during the Japanese colonial period” 日屬臺灣人. Through the eyes and body of a contemporary Taiwanese photographer, viewers will be able to travel back in time, to see as Taiwanese photographers saw during that period and challenge themselves to see how our contemporary world compares to the worlds of Chen Li-Hong, Chang Tsai, and Liu Na’ou. This reflects photography as a global and eternal language and demonstrates its potential to travel in time.
Man of the world, if nothing else, is a structural notion derived from patriarchy, and for Baudelaire, referred specifically to a man of the Western world. But this meaning has now expanded into what was once the periphery. In 2020, colonialism and censorship are things of the past. Also, it is no longer prohibitively expensive to engage in photography. In Taiwan, one still sees mixed heritage between indigenous Taiwanese, Han Chinese, and southeast Asian immigrants. The Taiwanese sense of identity has been complex and the current socio-political situation remains unstable.
Nevertheless, we can be sure of this: The image of the “Taiwanese'' has come a long way from the exotic and eroticized images of Taiwanese aboriginal women who appeared during the Japanese colonial period on magazine covers alongside the latest Japanese fighter aircraft. Contemporary photographers may now interrogate Chen Li-Hong, Chang Tsai, and Liu Na’ou and ask, “How do you seek to depict yourself ?”
“It is time, then, for [photography] to return to its true duty, which is to be the servant of the sciences and arts—but the very humble servant, like printing or shorthand, which have neither created nor supplemented literature. Let it hasten to enrich the tourist’s album and restore to his eye the precision which his memory may lack; let it adorn the naturalist’s library, and enlarge microscopic animals; let it even provide information to corroborate the astronomer’s hypotheses; in short, let it be the secretary and clerk of whoever needs an absolute factual exactitude in his profession—up to that point nothing could be better.”
Taiwanese photographer Peng Ruei-lin entered the Tokyo Specialist School of Photography in 1928 and graduated with honors three years later. As the first Taiwanese to study photography in Japan, his accomplishments are notable. At the Taipei Normal School, he was Ishikawa Kinichiro’s favorite pupil, though he also frequently worked on watercolor paintings during this time.
During the Japanese colonial period, he used the “three-color transfer method” to create a color photograph of a still life, which was included in the Kenten gashu 研展画集 (Catalogue of the Research Society Exhibition) of the Photography Research Society of Tokyo. At the time, his practice focused on classical portrait photography. His works demonstrated the clear influence of Geijutsu Shashin, an aesthetic trend which originated from the Euro-American Pictorialism and became popular in Japan. Even though Peng had the opportunity to take portraits of the Emperor of Japan in the Japanese Imperial Palace and, after graduating, to travel to America to further pursue photography, he decided to return to Taiwan to set up the Apollo Photographic Studio and the Apollo Photography Research Institute.
Peng abruptly cut short his career as a “photographer” following his “Naturalism” series of landscape photography, which he produced in around 1938. He was 34 years old and had also at this time already traveled to Japan to learn the “secret technique” of gold lacquer photography. In 1943, he began studying Chinese medicine, going on to teach traditional healing techniques and write medical theses. In 1950, he became a member of the Japan Society for Oriental Medicine.
Looking at Peng’s sudden change of career, aside from the pressure to earn a living following the war, the main reason for this shift might be his thinking on the relationship between painting and photography. He might be one of the first to raise such a question in Taiwan. In the 19th century, the photographic medium only gradually came to be seen as a legitimate form of art and also drew serious criticisms from individuals such as Baudelaire. The first artistic movement in photography, Pictorialism, began in 1885 and borrowed its use of form, artistic vocabulary, and aesthetics from painting.
In response to a letter from Peng in 1933, Ishikawa Kinichiro wrote:
“Regarding the question you bring up about “the artistic value of photography,” I believe that in the end, it returns to the question of how photographers overcome technical problems ...photographers could decide whether they want to produce commercial or artistic photography...I suggest that you not worry about the issues mentioned above …”
In other words, what troubled Peng was the question of whether photography was merely a commercial process or else a fine art. This question derived from the style of photography he studied in Japan, which was greatly influenced by the European and American stylistic trends of Pictorialism and Naturalism.
Interestingly, during World War II, Peng developed an approach that departed from photography as “fine art.” In 1938, he was sent to China’s Guangdong Province as a translator for the Japanese Imperial Army. There, he was able “at close range” to take photographs of military maneuvers and the daily life of the Japanese military. His photos included demonstrations against Chiang Kai-Shek and women being carried on trucks by Japanese military personnel.
Peng asked the question of photography’s status as art, but had difficulty finding answers. The photos he took in Guangdong between 1938 and 1941 were taken after he had “given up” photography as a creative art form. They were simple snapshots that were not even produced as “artworks”. However, these images embody an attitude that has a special place in the history of photography in Taiwan––the gaze of the colonized toward the colonizer.
Courtesy of E. Murray Bruner Family
To Pick a Flower
My mother used to tell me that our dining table was as old as I am. I wonder how old the tree was when it was cut down and turned into our table. I am fascinated by such processes of transmutation from the natural world to the human realm, and how a tree takes on new lives long after it has been cut down.
I would like to propose a video essay incorporating archival photographs from the American Colonial Era in the Philippines (1898–1946), exploring the sticky relationship between humans and nature and its entanglements with empire.
During my research, I came across a photograph of a young bride posing for an outdoor portrait, but in place of a groom there was a potted plant. An air of uncertainty abounds. Could it be that her groom is running late or has failed to show up? Is she hesitant to enter into marriage with him, or at all? Or perhaps she is just so uncomfortable and just can’t wait for this photograph to be taken? I imagine it was very hot at the time, and here she is under the sun in a heavy, tight-waisted wedding dress.
Later on, I found a similar photograph of another woman posing outdoors next to a potted plant. I’m not sure if she is a bride, but she is wearing formal attire. This time, the woman is not looking at the camera. She is slightly turned to the side, and her gaze is downward to the dirt road at her feet. Her face is not very clear, but she appears to be in some discomfort. Her left-hand rests on the leaves of the small potted plant at her side, which is almost like a pet or a companion, definitely an object of comfort to her.
There’s a tension to image-making that makes it so interesting—to keep moments of life with you, but in doing so, perhaps you also take something away from them. As a friend once said to me, it’s kind of like picking a flower: it’s beautiful and you want to take it, but you’re killing it at the same time. The camera enables us to straddle that fine line between life and death.
Taking plants and trees as a starting point, this work aims to explore the roots and growth of photography and capitalism in the Philippines.
Courtesy of the artist
There’s an old building from the Japanese colonial period that remains near the edge of Taipei’s Ximending commercial district on Hankou Rd. The name of the building is the Omura Takeshi Building, and today it is an izakaya, or Japanese style restaurant. Omura Takeshi was part of a Noh theatrical troupe during the Japanese colonial period and once owned the building. There, he established one of the few Noh stages and Noh schools in Taiwan. It was then known as the Kita Stage.
During the Japanese colonial period, Noh theater had only a low-key presence in Taiwan. Noh was then one of Japan’s major traditional forms of performing arts, and Japanese living in Taiwan held a natural appreciation for it. Although Noh has aesthetic value in its own right, it also has certain traditional connections to Japanese politics. Noh is very different both from the traditional Chinese plays watched by Taiwan’s majority Han population and from modern theater. Interest in Noh was primarily limited to Japanese residents of Taiwan, and as a result the existence of these Noh theaters in Taiwan is wrapped in mystery. How should we view the cultural context of these Japanese traditional arts that has almost been forgotten in the history of Taiwan? How should we evaluate these arts in connection to colonialism? This project aims to open a dialogue about this through exploring the history of the Kita Stage.
This project focuses on a historical novel by Nishikawa Mitsuru, The Taiwan Cross-Island Railway. It tells the story of Takebe Chikurei, a Noh-ga artist––Noh-ga is a style of paintings of Noh theater––who was also an actor. In the story, Takebe is selected for Taiwan’s first exhibition of Noh-ga. In 1895, at the handover ceremony organised during the Japan’s conflict with the armed forces of the Republic of Formosa, he performed the Noh play, Yashima, a type of Noh performance referred to as the Shimai. From this performance, one can see links between Noh theater and the Japanese military, namely the modern army that came into being following the Meiji Restoration. Although Noh was limited in its function of “civilizing” Taiwanese, Noh performances were held during national ceremonies and dedications of shrines and exhibitions, and it stood as a cultural signifier of the Japanese political regime.
Another key point is that Taiwan was very distant from Japan and allowed different gender compositions in the Noh theater. In Japan, Noh was predominantly male, and female actors were generally only considered as amateurs. But in Taiwan, female actors had more opportunities to perform. The group of female performers in the Kita Women Group included a young girl named Yasuko Miyake, who acted in the Noh play, Gekyuden, at the dedication of the Kenkou Shinto Shrine in Taipei in 1929. After Japan’s defeat in World War II, all Japanese in Taiwan were repatriated to Japan. The Kita Stage eventually became the izakaya in today’s Omura Takeshi Building. But in 2020, a New Kita Group was established in Taiwan by Okabe Chie, who is descended from a family of Japanese born in Taiwan. Most members of the New Kita Group are women. When they performed at the Omura Takeshi Izakaya on Feb 9, 2020, it marked the first time that a Noh performance had taken place there since 1945.
With this project, I hope to invite the New Kita Group to perform Yashima at Taiwan Provincial Administration Hall of the Taipei Botanical Garden, where the handover ceremony of Taiwan to Japan took place; and Gekyuden at the National Taiwan Arts Education Center, which is the former location of the Kenkou Shinto Shrine. We hope to use female performers to subvert the male-dominated art of Noh and its links to masculine imperialist history. We further hope to establish a trans-colonial history and new ways of imagining local memory and sexual identity. These are the key issues we hope to address with this project.
Courtesy of the artist
Indigenous traditional hunting practices reflect certain rites of life and an ecological point of view in the culture and world view of indigenous people. But during the early part of the Japanese colonial period, photographers carefully composed their shots of Taiwan’s aborigines, setting up the objects that appear in the photographs and the poses of the sitters. This led to the creation of images that reflected imperial desire. Meanwhile, in order to emphasize the image of barbarism, photographic compositions featured “staged” figures, objects and skulls. The video work, Firearm, Skull, and Bones and the text, “The Gaze into the Abyss: Images of the Japanese Colonial Period’s Indigenous Skeletons, Skulls, and Headhunting” delves into this topic through a reexamination of colonial images. This project operates as an attempt to break free from the visual language and textual descriptions of the colonizers and aims to return to a more life-centered and affective approach to the reading of these images.
The project takes its departure point from an anecdote of Japanese anthropologists Mori Ushinosuke and Torii Ryūzō, who stole bones from Taiwan's indigenous tribes. It connects their desire to take bones as specimens to the manipulation of images of indigenous headhunting practices to create barbarized representations, using close-ups of indigenous skulls obtained in mountain warfare between Japanese troops and Taiwan’s aborigines. The process of obtaining, transforming, measuring, archiving and specimen-izing skulls and bones served as a “production line” for Japanese research into Taiwan’s indigenous peoples. This project rethinks the connections between militaristic governance and the anthropological production of knowledge.
On one hand, these photos of indigenous skulls allow one to distinguish the faces and skulls of the deceased. But the blank gazes of men and women, young and old, with the eyelids peeled back, seem to be gazing yet not gazing. The neck fractures and abnormal wounds evoke images of the horrific experiences of the recently deceased and invoke criticisms of colonial anthropological photography. Yet at the same time, records from the period also show that members of the Japanese police and military were decapitated or wounded or killed by gunshots. It is worth noting that photographs of casualties are generally those of Taiwan’s aborigines killed by Japanese troops. Why was this the focus, but not the other way around? What does it mean to focus on the dead or decapitated bodies of Japanese troops killed by aboriginal Taiwanese? This is the starting point of my research. Can the photographs of indigenous skulls, through the juxtaposing and analyzing the pathological research of the craniums, skull images and specimens, push for re-imaginations of their owners’ lives? Photos of dead Japanese troops can be seen either as a form of imperial humiliation or of those who sacrificed their lives for their country. But can we reveal a more complex historical point of view through these images? These are the questions that this project aims to address.
After a brief research on the archives of the National Center of Photography and Images, I chose Reminiscences of North Formosa, a photobook by George Uvedale Price, as the subject of my research project and a starting point for my artwork.
Published in 1895, Reminiscences of North Formosa consisted of a foreword, 12 calotype photographs, 12 introductory texts, and an afterword. The photos recorded the planting, picking, processing, transporting, sorting, drying and preserving of tea in Taiwan. They were taken primarily in tea plantations, farmhouses, markets, verandas, and tea houses around Tamsui and Dadaocheng.
Aside from recording the history and the culture of tea in Taiwan, the thin book actually probes into certain complex topics. As such, this research project attempts to problematize Price’s photobook, and to group the dilemmas I have encountered in the process of reading into a few key words: Book, Archive, Classification, Collection, Value, Parallax, etc., which are then represented and transformed in the form of a video. With this project, I hope to create interactions, kindle imagination, and inspire co-creations among viewers, the book, and the institution.
You Watch Me Watch You
I wonder if John Thomson ever asked his sitters out on a date.
I have been a stranger in strange lands for my entire adult life, crisscrossing the globe to make images. By coincidence, I have traveled to almost—if not all—the places in Asia where John Thomson visited and photographed in the late 19th century.
Thomson’s expeditions, to put it lightly, were insanely brave, done with insurmountable passion. Traveling with a cumbersome and bulky wooden camera, large and fragile glass plates, background materials and potentially explosive chemicals was challenging beyond description back then. No matter how extensive his entourage was, his travels alone made him a pioneer. The imagery made him a legend.
Thomson could well be the first photographer who explored those regions in Asia— including remote, unpopulated areas far inland—to document the people and landscapes. His subjects varied enormously, but I am particularly interested in and in awe of how he photographed “the exotic, oriental women.” His images are either observant/voyeuristic or provocative. They are also highly convincing and human—and contemplatively intimate. So what might have gone through the mind of that photographer behind a dark curtain and those sitters, who were seeing and posing, for possibly the first and only time in their lives, for a bearded, white man in a top hat?
A hundred and fifty years later, image-capturing devices are readily available and affordable, but some things remain unchanged in the image-making processes: There have always been the expectations and tension, the mysterious power play before, during and after a formal or even an informal portrait is made.
How a photographer sees his or her subject, how the subject sees himself or herself, how the subject wishes to be viewed and photographed and how the photographer is able to use the language of photography to interpret and translate his or her vision. Nowadays, even if the image is made with a mobile device, the scenario remains the same.
The photographer almost always possesses the power of interpretation, but what if the silent and emotional gaze between the photographer and the sitter went overboard while John Thomson's wet plate was still drying up? Was he drowned in desire as she was fixzedly gazing back at him? You are watching me watch you; I am watching you watch me.
After reviewing a large number of John Thomson's portraits of women, I am convinced that they were made not only with absolute professionalism but perhaps also with infatuation or impulse, or perhaps love at first sight during Thomson’s perilous voyages.
John Thomson never made it to Irina Jaya (West Papua), Indonesia, but I wonder how he would have travelled and photographed had he been there. In 1999, I was on assignment for Der Spiegel to document Irina Jaya. I traveled with a German reporter, a guide, a cook and eight barefooted porters carrying equipment and backpacks for our two weeks in the jungle. It was unlike any terrain I had ever seen before. We either climbed or crawled. Deep in the jungle, it was either humid with scorching 40 plus degrees Celsius or raining non-stop. Two of my three cameras were kaput. There was no way to retreat, only to move forward, painfully. How would Thomson have managed to trek and photograph under such harsh conditions?
During the perilous trekking, we passed by villages to recuperate. We might have been the first outsiders these people had ever encountered. The men in the villages wore nothing but penis gourds and women were bare breasted with straw skirts from the waist down. The penis gourds always stay 60 degrees up, but the topless women, firm or saggy, proved the divine power of gravity. We never let our guard down, because ritual cannibalism had been reported as recently as the early 1980s. I was wondering why the villagers sniffed around the German reporter. It dawned on me that it was the smell of cheese! Did Thomson ever fear for his life? What did he eat on the road when he missed English home cooking?
Thomson’s portraits, formal or seemingly casual, were made under exceptionally technical situations. Yet they are poised, and some are almost documentary. The portrait of Old Woman, Canton, Kwangtung Province is as contemporary as today’s portraiture.
Among all those physically challenging expeditions, I wonder how he managed when he encountered setbacks. Also, did he, like me, ever have insomnia, restlessness or throbbing headaches? Did he miss his home? Did Thomson ever feel lonely? What if there was the moaning and screaming of a couple in ecstasy ululating through a crumbling wall?
When reviewing Thomson’s images, I am often reminded of the young, shy Vietnamese women I photographed in Ho Chi Minh City while working on my Double Happiness project in the mid 2000s. I made seven trips to Vietnam to document the process as Taiwanese men selected wives. It was extremely demeaning to women, like being on a speedy assembly line. Marriage brokers would recruit young Vietnamese women from the country to come to Ho Chi Minh City, where they are viewed by groups of Taiwanese men. Each of the men pays a fee to pick a suitable bride from the lineup. Within days of meeting, the couples are married!
I and both the Taiwanese and Vietnamese brokers saw and photographed probably a thousand young Vietnamese women during the seven trips. Before long, the eyes got tired, dazed and confused as the heart was sometimes pounding harder. At the end of each day, we were entertained at local karaoke bars, mingling with more experienced Vietnamese women.
Was Thomson ever homesick during those expeditions? For me, being on the road means not being at home. I feel sometimes like a kite with a broken string. After many years of being away and in a foreign state, physically and mentally lagging, half awake or half asleep and full of many strange nights and nightmares, eventually screen-to-screen chats cannot make up for skin-to-skin contact at home.
I wonder if John Thomson ever asked his sitters out on a date. I don’t know. But I myself certainly contemplated it.
©2020 Chien-Chi Chang
This work is based on sections about Taiwan in The Straits of Malacca, Indo-China and China, or, Ten Years’ Travels, Adventures, and Residence Aboard, 1875 by John Thomson, member of UK’s Royal Geographical Society. Thomson’s text is integrated with the work of local Jiasian researcher You Yung-Fu, whose research focused on “The Thomson Route.” You Yong-Fu planned a field inspection retracing the route that Thomson embarked upon in April 1871, a trail regarded as “forbidden land” one century ago. Using the perspectives of modernology (study of modern society and life) and critical geography to view the afterimage of Thomson’s photographic oeuvre, participants took snapshots with their phones along the trail and were invited to reinterpret Thomson’s texts at specific locations in the form of performative lectures.
“Hold the Mirror Up to His Gaze” has commissioned 9 artistic research projects to intervene in the exhibition, where they act as supplements. These supplements function like footnotes, branching out as addenda to the exhibition. The nature of art research is its non-replicability. It must emphasize the integration of exhibition, research, and heuristic processes, in addition to the epistemology that is born within. Each invited artist has proposed a specific theme by which to intervene into the exhibition and form open-ended discourses.