The exhibition Made in Taiwan | 台灣製造 temporarily re-brands the Chinese American Museum of Chicago into a product “COOL” or Country-of-Origin-Label for ‘Made in Taiwan’ as a commentary on the social and material contexts of our contemporary digital connectivity, or lack thereof. As one of multiple interventions throughout the institutional space of the museum, Taiwanese-Chinese-American and Cuban artists Cathy Hsiao and Nestor Siré further re-imagine the Spotlight gallery as an alternative production studio for an iPhone supply chain, but one from the perspective of Taiwan and Cuba as particularly contested sites of technological production and access. They propose a horizontal model of the speculative, the serious, the absurd and otherwise, taking porcelain and recycled plastic as material cues, reframing the supply chain of the iPhone into a socio-material one, and revealing in the process how social and cultural economies thrive under conditions of political and economic erasure.
Cathy Hsiao is a Chicago based artist and educator growing up between the US, Taiwan and HK. As a member of the KMT army, her grandfather participated in the inaugural legislature of the ROC, and this history informs much of her work. Previous work offered growing indigo as a response to 2019-20 HK pro-democracy protests, and recreating in large scale “ceramic” casts of memories of her childhood in Asia. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she was a New Artist Society Merit Fellow, and a BA in history and art history from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a 2019 Newcity Magazine Breakout Artist, a 2020 Graham Foundation Artist Grantee, a 2022 Hopper Prize winner and a 2022 Fountainhead Artist-in-Residence in Climate and Environmental Sustainability.
Nestor Siré’s artistic practice intervenes directly in social contexts in order to analyze specific cultural phenomena. His artistic methodology consists in engaging with existing social structures in order to explore new ways in which art can impact the complex relationships between official and informal networks. Often engaging with the particular idiosyncrasies of digital culture, he works within the vernacular infrastructures in the Cuban context. His works have been shown in the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Havana), Queens Museum (New York), Rhizome (New York), New Museum (New York), Ars Electronica (Linz), Hong-Gah Museum (Taipei), Museo d´art de Rouyn-Noranda (Canada), Transmediale (Berlin), The Photographers’ Gallery (London), among other places. He has participated in events such as the Havana Biennial (Cuba), the Gwangju Biennial (South Korea), the Curitiba Biennial (Brazil), the Warsaw Biennial (Poland), the International Biennial of Asuncion (Paraguay), the Festival of New Latin American Cinema of Cuba and the International Short Film Festival of Oberhausen (Germany). www.nestorsire.com.