This is no country music
This is no country music continues to trace the musical trajectory of Taiwan-born composer, Koh Bunya. It positions a listening/feeling prism onto the geopolitical time-space of the 1935 Hsinchu-Taichung Earthquake. At the invitation of Taiwan People News, Koh Bunya composed the Earthquake Relief Song for a relief concert soon after the quake.
Taking this lost Earthquake Relief Song as a point of departure, This is no country music attempts to traverse geology, catastrophe, body, society, and history. In the project scours the archive not only for historical seismic data, as well as written and oral records of mutual aid and survival strategies, but also for modern paradigms of seismic monitoring, and technologies of colonial governance. In the process of probing, it seeks to collectively imagine a kind of apparatus constructed beyond the binaries of humans / nature, nation / state, science / humanity, or human / nonhuman as defined by global modernity— perhaps something like a speculative seismographic hybrid.
This is no country music takes the form of an “open rehearsal to navigate between sites relevant to the 1935 earthquake and Koh in Taichung. Together with the musicologist Liou Lin-Yu and the seismologists Ma Kuo-Fong and Cheng Shih-Nan, the rehearsals’ participants query how to critically feel and grapple with a heterogeneity of materialities and rhythms. As we experiment with various modes of cooperation and exchange at once with one another and with everything else around us, a tentative concert may unfold.
About the Artist
Born in Huwei, Taiwan, Hong-Kai Wang’s research-based practice confronts the politics of knowledges lost in colonial and diasporic encounters at the intersection of lived experience, power, and “listening.” Through experimental modes of sonic sociality, her multidisciplinary work seeks to conceive of other time-spaces that critically interweave the production of desire, histories of labor, economies of co-habitation, and formations of knowledge.
Wang has presented her practice internationally at Theater Commons Tokyo 2019, Sculpture Center New York, dOCUMENTA 14, Taipei Biennial 2016, Liquid Architecture, Museum of Modern Art New York, among others.