Critics’ Picks

Chim↑Pom, REAL TIMES, 2011, still from a color video, 11 minutes 11 seconds.



Project Fulfill Art Space 就在藝術空間
No.2, Alley 45, Lane 147, Section 3, Sinyi Road
March 3 - April 15

Chim↑Pom’s irrepressible energy permeates the collective’s first solo exhibition outside Japan, “Beautiful World – SURVIVAL DANCE,” curated by Huang Chien-Hung and co-organized with Mujin-to Production. Known for their controversial social projects, the six-member Japanese group create interventions that deliver pointed commentary.

A case in point is a photograph from their 2009 project Making the Sky of Hiroshima PIKA!, which greets visitors to the exhibition. The sky-written word pika (flash) over the A-Bomb Dome, perhaps the most recognized memorial in Hiroshima, generated protests but was also a reminder of the tragedy. A more recent work, prompted by the Tohoku earthquake, carries the same merging of warning and remembrance. Footage shows how as part of 2011’s LEVEL7 feat. “Myth of Tomorrow,” Chim↑Pom added a small painted panel depicting the smoking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, to seamlessly blend with Taro Okamoto’s revered Myth of Tomorrow, 1969, a well-known antinuclear mural in Tokyo’s bustling Shibuya Station.

Chim↑Pom and residents of Japan’s Soma City shout for houses, fish, girlfriends, and just a return to normal life amid the tsunami’s wreckage, in the video KI-AI 100, 2011. You want to join in. The work is a cheerful counterpart to the somber video REAL TIMES, 2011. Filmed a month after the initial explosions, REAL TIMES shows two Chim↑Pom members in protective suits walking through the restricted zone near Fukushima Daiichi, gazing on the still-smoldering nuclear reactors, and spray-painting in red on a white flag a nuclear warning sign, which they then plant at the overlook. In Taipei, Chim↑Pom filled garbage bags with the exhaust of the city’s ubiquitous mopeds and wore protective gear through the local airport—again highlighting the playful effectiveness at the heart of their work. Through the giggles, cheers, and shrieks of Chim↑Pom’s members, we watch and listen to works that elicit surprise, disgust (SUPER RAT, 2006), dread, and joy, all the while being drawn into the group’s sobering critique.