Supported by the Ministry of Culture, "One Year Performance 1981-1982" by Taiwanese-American artist Hsieh Tehching (謝德慶) will be shown at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki from April 8 through Oct. 16, as part of the quinquennial ARS22 exhibition program. This is the first time Hsieh's work has been exhibited in Finland, and he is also the first artist from Taiwan to be invited to participate in this iconic Scandinavian contemporary arts festival.
"One Year Performance 1981-1982 (Outdoors)," is a record of Hsieh's year-long experience living on the streets of New York. The exhibition includes documentary film, photographs, hand-drawn maps by the artist, and manifestos shot with a Super 8 camera. Born in Pingtung County on Dec. 31, 1950, Hsieh became an early pioneer of performance art in Taiwan before embarking on a new life in New York in the early 1970s. After many years toiling in obscurity as an illegal immigrant and outsider in New York's art scene, he is now cited as a major influence by performance artists worldwide. Since 2008, Hsieh's work has received much in the way of international attention, including the United States Artists fellowship, and invitations to exhibit at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, São Paulo Biennial in Brazil, Liverpool Biennial in the UK and the Taiwan pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale.
ARS22 is the first exhibition held at Kiasma in two years, after the pandemic and major renovation work led to the temporary closure of the museum. Under the curation of director Leevi Haapala and chief curator João Laia, ARS22 brings together contemporary art from Finland as well as more than 50 countries around the globe. Hsieh's "One Year Performance 1981-1982" takes its place in this exhibition as a landmark piece of performance artwork, still cited as an influence today by many contemporary artists, pointed out by the curating team.
(Photo credit: Finnish National Gallery/Pirje Mykkänen)