Chin-Hui Fan has been recording natural soundscapes since the age of 7, and has dedicated her practice to developing more sensitive and representative methods of listening to the land. In 2013, she launched the Silent Trail Project which promotes the safeguarding of natural soundscapes, and in 2015, the artist founded the Soundscape Association of Taiwan which invites national sound recordists to contribute to this effort.
In 2016, Chin-Hui Fan visited Taipei Fine Arts Museum and discovered the painting Scenery Near Yuanshan (1928) by Taiwanese artist, Kuo Hsueh-Hu. Chin-Hui Fan was immediately attracted to the quiet, rural atmosphere of the work, and set about visiting the site of the painting, which Kuo Hsueh-Hu had captured 90 years ago. Walking the Jiantanshan Trail in search of the painter’s viewpoint, Chin-Hu Fan found that the historic Meiji Bridge had been replaced by the busy Zhongshan Bridge, which teemed with cars, masking the sound of the river below: the calm silence of the painting entirely replaced by a new, urban clamour.
Humans often rely upon vision to understand their environments, yet an image presents just one static shot, while listening enables people to recall their own unique memories and impressions of a place. To highlight the significance of sound in human experience, Chin-Hui Fan has simulated the soundscape of Kuo Hsueh-Hu’s iconic painting. Taking her audience back almost a century in time, this work is composed of audio material from similar topographies across Taiwan—their animal and insect species, geographical sound fields and vegetation, accompanied by the whispers of early twentieth century human activity.
This piece is accompanied by the Yuanshan Sound Walk, a sensory experience guided by the artist, which follows the path of Kuo Hsueh-Hu. During this walk, Chin-Hui Fan intends to awaken the ears of her participants to encourage them to better understand environmental changes through sound.
A Guide Tour to the Yuanshan Soundscape
Date: 2018/12/1, 12/16, 2019/1/13, 2/17, 3/3
Online registration: https://bit.ly/2OwMCkk
Laila Chin-Hui Fan, born 1965 in Taiwan, works and lives in Taipei.
Ken CHEN, Wen-Ching HSU