Symphony Program Department: MFA in Visual Studies
I am conducting nature. Nature is the performer as well as the audience. I dress in a suit as a symbol of control and respectfulness. While I am aware of the soundscape in my surroundings, I feel how the sonic waves touch and locate the life forms in my environment, including the tremble of the leaves in the breeze, the songs of birds and humans’ commuting. While continuously conducting my environment, I find myself also being conducted at the same time. I can't synchronize the sounds because they always happen first, so I am perceiving and negotiating with them. I turn around my body and the play of the environment gradually becomes a 360° sound map in my mind. I follow the rules of nature and the ecosystem I was in rather than direct the course of events.
From the video documentation, I'm involved and connected in the natural environment. The human audience can vividly and intermittently hear the sounds of car-rushing and airplanes flying from all around. My harmonic physicality is relational, tuned, and sensitive to respond to the oppression and invasion of the urban and human-made noise in the natural world. My conducting addresses how the human and natural world ecologically coexists in this specific environment.
Shih-Ying Hu is a Taiwanese creative ecological artist who is passionate about investigating the natural and cultural contexts in which our bodies exist, and how that exploration can help us better understand how to protect the Earth. He experiments with an embodied practice, which includes humankind's physical and spiritual intimacy with the earth and our ecology, integrated into his performance art and invites the audience into evolving perspectives in unique and diverse ways of witnessing. He thinks art involves saving us from ourselves, it questions our understanding of what it means to be human, and in the process deepen our humanity.
Shih-Ying holds an MFA in Visual Studies at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, Oregon. He has attended ecologically-minded residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Caldera Arts Center and Aboriginal Amis Langasan Theatre.