Venzha Christ, new media artist from Indonesia, also an astronomy enthusiast, is invited by Open Contemporary Art Centre to undertake a residency and creative exchange project in Taiwan. The artist’s admiration for the boundless cosmic wonders and his belief in extra-terrestrial life and parallel universes underlies the primary narratives behind this project. In the past he travelled to many observatories around the world to learn about different operations and specialist research focuses.
During his recent stay in Taiwan, with kind support from Prof. Wing-Huen Ip (Institute Of Astronomy, National Central University), Venzha visits the Lulin Observatory, over 2800 metres above sea level. Throughout the brief but intense four weeks, Venzha comes across many artists and astronomers from Taiwan, as well as scientists from Indonesia. A creative collaboration is thus born out of contributions from various perspectives and interdisciplinary encounters and conversations.
The title of the exhibition is a code composed of a string of letters and numbers, in a standard format used by the observatory when searching the computer database for astronomical objects. In fact this code represents Comet Lulin. It is the first comet ever identified in Taiwan, and first photographed at the Lulin Observatory (the comet’s namesake) in 2007 by Mr. Lin Chi-Sheng, who also participates in this collaborative project.
Having visited our solar system, this non-periodic comet continues its journey, further and further into the infinite space and time. The limited lifetime of a human means it is impossible to see it again from the Earth. This kind of one and only chance encounter or destiny, like that between two people, conjures up a romantic imagery, and nonetheless a palpable reality. In this piece of work, the artist contemplates how humans, with theoretical reasoning and yet bounded by the limits of our perception, piece together, hypothesise or make contact with extra-terrestrial beings. On the other hand, this art residency project reinforces and expands a human network that interconnects locality and disciplines. Through this exhibition it looks forward to more future encounters with the unknown.
Artist: Venzha Christ