The Microphone Test series is named after writer Huang Guo-Jun’s work Microphone Test. Two months before Huang committed suicide, he wrote an essay in epistolary style titled“To Mother,” in which he expressed his intention to kill himself to his mother. The writing style is filled with black humor and expressive quality, but he killed himself two months after he wrote this letter, and he did not leave any suicide note. The fictional aspect of the work contrasts with the realistic aspect of life, while the indistinguishable part within has always been my focus in my works.
Chen Wan-Yin cooperated with Hsu Che-Yu as a co-creator on “Microphone Test”, mainly serving as the scriptwriter and voiceover of the film.
Microphone Test: A Letter to Huang Guo-Jun 麥克風試音：致信黃國峻 from Hsu Che-Yu on Vimeo.
Memorial Portrait of Great Grandfather in the Worship Hall in the House: Chen Wan-Yin, who doesn’t know my three friends (Yuan Zhi-Jie, Chen Liang-Hui, and Lo Tien-Yu), rewrote their memories into a script, and dubbed the video Microphone Test: A Letter to Huang Guo-Jun according to her own perspective. In the process of writing, she recalled the memorial portrait of her great grandfather in the worship hall of her house, and the association has double meanings: first, it is an association with family stories, including family member who she has never seen, and the seemingly distant but close family memories; second, it is an association with production method. The video Microphone Test: A Letter to Huang Guo-Jun makes use of a method that replaces real figures with animation, which is similar to the technique of memorial portrait, with both using fiction in place of reality.
In the memorial portrait, only the head image is shot by camera, which is then cut down and pasted to a background with a single seat armchair and pot plant, while the body and the background are replica paintings outlined in Chinese ink wash. The replica is a ready-made model provided by the store for customers to pick, which is why in other unknown families, there could also be the same memorial portrait, memory, body, and background.
麥克風試音：告別式 Microphone Test: Funeral Service
Triple-Screen Projection, Interactive Installation, Glass Fiber, Table and Chair, Plant
A Telephone that Keeps on Ringing on the Living Room Table: After the audience walk into the exhibition space, they see a set of single person table and chair, and a phone that keeps on ringing is placed upon the table. They will hear a man’s voice mumbling words about “sending someone off” after they pick up the phone. The voice actually comes from Huang Guo-Jun’s novelist friend Yuan Che-Shen, who reads his own essay “Sending Off” on the television program “Swimming in the Sea of Books” hosted by Zhang Da-chun. I recorded parts of the dialogues, taking them out of their context and transplanting them in the telephone transmitter, just like sending off Huang Guo-Jun and witnessing his own death, or also like sending off the family memory in the video.
The Voice of Yuan, the Farewell Video of Huang, and the Animation and Statue that Rub the Giant Breasts:Behind the table that has telephone on it and the plant and chair, the back of triple-screen projection is seen by the audience, who have to go around to read the content of the video. Three videos are: Yuan imitating the way his grandfather killed himself under the wall, the funeral service of Huang that can be searched on the Web, and the Animation and Statue that Rub the Giant Breasts, respectively.
翻模一雙（我的）手與（她的）胸部 Making Molds of (My) Hands and (Her) Breasts
玻璃纖維、平面輸出 Glass Fiber, Graphic Image Output
There was once a guy who picked up beautiful women on the streets. After showing his admiral on her well-developed breasts, he would reveal himself as an artist, take her to a motel and do a body casting towards her breasts. The woman could not move a single step during the process, and therefore was sexually harassed by this “artist”. After he was caught, police found many body castings towards hands and breasts during the investigation, and the news covering this event reminded people that body castings are different from sculptures –The latter are art while the former are not. I also wanted to do body castings towards pretty women’s breasts, but that guy was sentenced for 10 years.This reminded me of one kind of category of porn movies: “Authentic: Secretly Filmed and Rape”. What a weird typology. Though indicated as “absolutely illegal”, it does not matter if these porn movies are “authentic” or not, as we only need to imagine as they were. It also doesn’t matter if we are sexually fantasizing towards a true news story, as we only need to imagine as it was fake.