Tao Hui: A Window on Popular Culture
For me, pop culture is what people are most familiar with. I've always wanted my work to be closer to the public to allow people without an art background to relate to it. That’s why I choose pop culture as my mode of expression.
Tao Hui incorporates folk culture and traditional art forms into his practice, through painting, video, and graphic works. He uses technological procedures and elements from traditional Chinese culture to question globalisation, virtual relationships, and hegemonic thinking.
Displayed on nine television monitors—resembling headstones installed in three rows of three—the work featured in this video, Hello, Finale! (2017), consists of short films depict characters speaking on the telephone. Although the protagonists differ in age, gender, and occupation, their conversations all relate to the end of time, death, and finality. Without a specific beginning or end, the films encourage viewers to imagine and interpret the development of the stories themselves.
Tao shot Hello, Finale! during an artist residency in Kyoto with local actors, but the Japanese dialogue follows a script that draws from Chinese news stories. He translates complex individual sentiments of confusion and anxiety into a universal social phenomenon. The fragmented narratives are constructed with tender, delicate visual tropes and finely designed costumes and props that contrast starkly with the sombre dialogue.
Image at top: Tao Hui. Hello, Finale!, 2017. HD video installation (colour, sound). Courtesy of the artist, Kyoto Art Center, Rockbund Art Museum, and Luxelakes·A4 Art Museum
Produced by M+
Producer: Adam Studios
Curatorial Research: Pi Li, Isabella Tam, Kary Woo
M+ Video Production: Chris Sullivan, Jaye Yau, Angel Ng
Part of the series “Artist’s Lens”
Artist’s Lens features interviews with a variety of artists and makers in the M+ Collections.