The Square Underfoot
08/25 - 09/15/2019
Opening : 08/25/2019, 6-9pm
Venue: FOGSTAND @ St. Paul, MN, USA
1456 Edmund Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104
FOGSTAND is happy to present Jin-Da Lin’s first solo exhibition in the USA, The square underfoot, a trilogy of short films produced over the last eight years (with the most recent being exhibited for the first time). Jin-Da Lin strives to observe, detect and record experience as characteristic. Three short films that gauge and convey—at times literal, at times poetic, at times procedural—the feeling of being compressed under a square foot of space. Something to do with, to discuss over or to redefine any boundaries, textures and/or lengths of freedom.
GEOLOGY MUSEUM (2019)
Geology Museum is a 2019 short film documenting Jin-Da Lin and his friend as they open a geology museum in the middle of Taiwan with only one rock sample being on display. This specific sample was extracted 3,000 meters underground in 2010 by Chinese and Taiwanese energy investment corporations in central Africa. In keeping with Jin-Da Lin’s avoidance of narrative or cinematic conventions, the focus turns toward the lighting operator, “F (fake name)”, who suffers from insomnia and neck pain. Through his body movements, the film results into being an elliptical trace of light cascading over stone, somehow harkening back to the beginnings of human life.
THE QUIET HILL OF THE MIND (2016)
The Quiet Hill of the Mind is a 2016 short film attempting to trace back a memory when Jin-Da Lin was an art director for a five star resort located on the east side of Taiwan: a dog living bound to a short chain, outside and facing a mountain year long. The result is a lush black and white landscape without character, as it operates both as figure and ground, resulting in a series of fugitive characteristics pertaining to a chained dog without ever becoming a center (both formally and thematically). *
* While increasingly rare, some people in rural Taiwan still use caged or severely short chained dogs as little more than a “barking alarm”.
PLATFORM MOVIE (2012 - 2014)
Platform Movie is less a film and more a multi-disciplinary project captured into a video format between 2012 - 2014. Initially Jin-Da Lin converted an illegally occupied tin shed apartment near a MRT station in Taipei into a private museum of stolen hood ornaments, a camera obscura, cafe and public theatre.* The only way to access this space was word of mouth and by standing at a precise location on the platform. Additionally, it was mandatory for Jin-Da Lin to photograph the visitor looking up at his space. Upon entering, Jin-Da would then prepare siphon coffee, which was acting as a screen where the trains would project (by means of a pinhole) onto the glass siphon. Finally in the evenings, Jin-Da Lin would project personal recordings of heirloom artifacts (from the Taiwanese museum he was working at) out onto a wall of an adjacent building for people to see.
* Many buildings in Taipei have an illegal “additional story” built onto the rooftops. Usually these illegal apartments are occupied by migrant workers from other parts of Taiwan and, increasingly, from abroad.
Jin-Da Lin re-condenses a somewhere within the depths of his memory by shooting moving images of various locations and landscapes where memories find themselves being placed. In other words, Lin is not reproducing a similarity between two locations by shifting laterally, but, instead, is constantly adopting new locations into becoming fictional places for the purpose of retaining real memories. This kind of fictionalization allows him to produce narratives unaware of and unable to locate their own reoccurrences. From a mountain, to a city, across a harbor; from Taipei to Kaohsiung, Jin-Da Lin has and continues to fake a depth of memory in order to give favor to an ever-finding field, found in and, again, between real locations.