Credit: Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts
Lien-Cheng Wang (TW)
Reading Plan is an interactive artwork with 23 automatic page-turning machines. When audiences enter the exhibition room, the machines start to turn the pages automatically and read their contents in the voice of elementary school students. The machines are a metaphor for a Taiwanese classroom.
In 2016 in Taiwan there was an average of 23 students per primary school class.
“When people go to school in Taiwan, they don’t have much power to decide what they want to read and study. It is like being controlled by a huge invisible gear. The authorities’ education policy prioritizes industry value and competitiveness. The government wants to promote a money-making machine rather than self-exploration and humanistic thinking. This is a complete realization of dogmatic rules and state apparatus.” (Lien-Cheng Wang)
The machines read an extract from The Analects of Confucius—a book that has influenced Asian countries for thousands of years in ethics, philosophy, and morality. The content reads: “The Master said, ‘Is it not pleasant to learn with a constant perseverance and application?’ ‘Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters?’ ‘Is he not a man of complete virtue, who feels no discomposure though men may take no note of him?’” The essence of the book is a metaphor of ancient China, which wanted to control surrounding countries for thousands of years. Reading Plan creates a space of discussion localization, education, thoughts and state apparatus.
Supported by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government