Grilling Borders Book Reading

[About Grilling Borders]

The unfixed and unknown fluid state of invisible boundaries, are like organisms that transform with different contexts and conditions. The Chinese character “烤” (kǎo) is used as a homophone for “考” (kǎo), which means “to investigate” or “to excavate”. It points to the meaning of textual research and excavation, and on the other hand, borrows its connotations of heat and the gathering of heat and temperature. In the late 19th century, photographic imaging and development techniques often resulted in overexposure or even combustion due to excessive contact between the single-frame image on the film and fire or light, ultimately leading to the destruction and even death of the image. The fluidity of “boundaries” and the gathering characteristics of “grilling” seem to be a paradox, but fluidity and gathering also happen to form organic, non-fixed, and meaningful multiple combinations through the dynamics of the two, echoing and unfolding the notion of “boundary” as something organic. Through the fluidity of the “border” and the unstable scene formed by the idea of “grilling”, “Grilling Borders” focuses on the dialectic of border imaging, launching an exploration journey of the boundaries of geopolitics, skin color, nationality, nature, and images. 

Taiwan, located on the border between the South China Sea and the East China Sea, has been developing interactions with Southeast Asia region following the flow of monsoon since a long time ago. The path for Grilling Borders: 2024/2025 Art-Actor Network follows the trajectory and season of the monsoon, re-opening the possible imagination on borders between Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Officially launched in May 2024, Grilling Borders: 2024/2025 Art Actor-Network join hands with Southeast Asian regional cultural and art action organizations, the project invite artists, researchers, and curators from Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and other places to embark on various explorations into invisible boundaries such as politics, skin color, identity, nature, and images. This project is part of TheCube Project Space “Act for the Future”.

Organizer |  TheCube Project Space
Curator  |  Au Sow Yee
Exchange Partners |  Jatiwangi Sinematek X Rumah Attap Library and Collective
Collaborator  |  Open Contemporary Art Center
Sponsor  |  Act for the Future (National Culture and Arts Foundation)

The book reading stems from the foundation of book selection from the Grilling Borders Book Exhibition. Through a form of telling stories from selected books or publications, the event hopes to trigger and reflect multifaceted thoughts and imagination, inviting audiences to take part in discussion after.

Members from Grilling Borders: 2024/2025 Art-Actor Network exchange partner Rumah Attap Library and Collective, together with Taiwanese artists Wu Chi-Yu and researcher/curator Chen Zian, will select books or readings related to “borders” respectively from their own background and profession.

01 Wu Chi-Yu x Chen Zian
The Shade of Coconut Trees (Kawakami Takiya), Time Archives (Nakao Eki)

Wu Chi-Yu lives and works in Taipei, a multimedia artist whose works include films, video installations and photography. He was a resident artist at Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten (2014-2015), and his works have been exhibited at Times Museum, Guangzhou (2021), MoCA, Taipei (2020), Shanghai Biennale (2018), Taipei Biennial (2016) etc.

Chen Zian is currently Contributing Editor for Ocula Magazine’s Chinese platform. His collaborative research and curatorial projects realized with other practitioners have been presented at institutions such as the Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai; Power Station of Art, Shanghai; Ming Contemporary Art Museum, Shanghai; Times Museum, Guangzhou; Nida Art Colony, Lithuania, and the Bleed Biennial in Melbourne, among others.

02 Cheong Wey Jin
The Politics of Cultural Work (Mark Bank)

Cheong Wey Jin lives and works in Kuala Lumpur,  co-founded and runs Rumah Attap Library & Collective since 2017. She was also a part time lecturer and former sub-editor at the local online media, Malaysiakini. She also co-founded In Between Cultura in 2015.

03 Loo Pei Yi
Strangers on a Pier (Tash Aw)

Loo Pei Yi lives and works in Kuala Lumpur,  co-founded and runs Rumah Attap Library & Collective since 2017. She was an editor in Mentor Publishing and for literature magazine “What?!Poetry”. Pei Yi currently serves as a columnist for Sin Chew Daily Literary Supplement.

04 Goh Siew Poh
The People’s Constitutional Proposals for Malaya

Goh Siew Poh lives and works in Kuala Lumpur,  co-founded and runs Rumah Attap Library & Collective since 2017. He is an Associate Research Fellow at the Centre for Malaysian Chinese Studies, and a member of Amatuer, a local cultural agency in Malaysia.