Originally from Japan, Yutaka Tani moved to Malaysia in 1911 with his family and he later became a bandit known as Harimau (Malay word for tiger) after seeking vengeance on behalf of his sisters. In Japanese films and TV dramas adapted from his life stories, Tani was depicted as a secret agent, muslim, and even a cowboy. He even appeared in a Taiwanese Hokkien-speaking film, the Battle of the Dragon and Tiger (龍虎鬥, 1966).
This film is the second part of Au Sow Yee’s trilogy, the Extreme Journey of Perwira and the Calm Sea. In this new work, the director reimagined Tani’s journey and explored how the changing concept of borders and boundaries can be translated into physical and visual embodiment through image and sound devices. A film of this project was shot in both Taiwan and Malaysia. In the part filmed in the Guling Street Avant-garde Theatre, a Taiwanese actress reenacted Tani’s shifting images through gender crossing. The other part of the shooting was taken in the Kelantan coast of Malaya, which was a landing point of the Japanese troops in 1941. A clip of this work, entitled Interstellar and the Battle Drum, was screened online for three days between 19th and 21st November with a Q&A on the 20th. In the Q&A moderated by curator and art historian Li Yu-Chieh, Au Sow Yee had an in-depth discussion with Filipino curator Tessa Maria Guazon. In addition to the film shooting, the Her Lab Space also organized the Traveler and Songs Lecture Series to touch on the exchange history of sound and music between Japan, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.On 9th October, a lecture was given by Wilson Lau, a PhD candidate of the National Taiwan University in musicology and the other lecture was given by Wang Ying-Fen, Professor of Musicology at the National Taiwan University on the 16th October. While the first lecture traced the transmission history of Taiwanese pop songs in Southeast Asia before the Second World War, the second lecture focused on Takatomo Kurosawa’s research journeys in Taiwan and other regions further south.
Born in Malaysia but now living in Taipei, Au Sow Yee is an artist and also the co-founder of the Rumah Attap Library & Collective. Combining audiovisual, conceptual, and installation arts, her works explore how visual productions respond to history, politics, and power. In addition to her creative works, she works for Nomansland as a roving editor.
For more information about her works, visit her website at http://pausowyee.cargo.site
Yor-Ruu is the founder and director of Her Lab Space. She is also a theater and art practitioner. Her creative tactics include sound, video, installation and live performances. With her interest in integrating the local environment and sound, she explores relations between space, body, and sound, while observing daily lives and experiences.