Yenting Hsu: Fluid by Nature 自然的流動—許雁婷

Yenting Hsu: Fluid by Nature
Ric Spencer


Yenting Hsu was Asialink artist in residence at Fremantle Arts Centre during March, April and May in 2015. In Fremantle Yenting worked on her Sound Novel project, in which she explores sound as narration and the cultural effects on the perception of sound. Yenting spent much time walking around Fremantle, interviewing local residents and collecting pieces of Fremantle’s soundscape… the port, the cafes and the seaside.

The beach became a focus for Yenting’s understanding of Fremantle and the broader culture of Australia; a place of enjoyment, relaxation, family outings, the ebb and flow of the water and the point of contact for the gathering and dispersal of stories. Yenting’s Waterland was a culmination of this focus, a sandy beach in the gallery, inviting the audience to participate in sandcastle building, surrounded by the sounds of children playing, people talking and the lapping of the ocean water.

To me Yenting’s work is beautiful – it reminds me of floating, cascading worlds and of memories being made, held and forgotten. The association of sound and water is a poignant and visceral one, with time literally washing over you as you listen.

Yenting’s work is fluid in thematic but also in its relationship between sound and image. In her video works the focus between video and sound shifts back and forth – and in the gallery space the focus shifts between installation and sound. Physical movement and listening are also interchanged, one encouraging the other.

In her approach to her practice Yenting is also fluid – able to work with the environment she finds herself in. Her work is reflective but also steeped in research and documentation – immersed in the possibilities of place and the dynamics of spatial awareness Yenting maps through audio collection and discovers through the editing of spaces. In a radio interview Chris Cobilis described Yenting as a “sonic geographer” – I think this is a very apt description, bringing to my mind visions of Yenting moulding and sculpting locations out of sound shapes. Chris and Yenting collaborated together throughout her residency, culminating in a sound landscape which was played at FAC as a part of an open night for Waterland. The piece brought together ideas of narrative, movement, association and interaction, characteristics built into the work of Yenting – which is fluid by nature, not only in subject matter but as a thematic of process.

Dr Ric Spencer is an artist and writer and currently Curator at Fremantle Arts Centre.


海灘成為雁婷認識Fremantle和宏觀地了解澳洲文化的焦點所在。隨著潮汐韻律 的消長,這一個人們享受、放鬆和家庭聚會活動的地方,是各種生活故事聚生及散布的源點。雁婷的《水上樂園》一展是她對這個主題關注的成果—— 一個在藝廊裡的沙灘,邀請民眾在孩童躍水玩樂、人們談話與海水包圍的聲音中,一起參與堆沙堡。對我而言,雁婷的作品是悠美的,它讓我感受到那漂浮、流瀉,及記憶被形成, 持有與遺忘的世界。當你聆聽時,聲音和水之間細膩而強烈的內裡關聯,就宛如時間沖刷過你般的真實。


雁婷從她的創作途徑到實踐也是流動的——能夠在一個環境中找到自己的位置去創作。她的作品具反思性,但同時也深入於研究文獻紀錄中;將自己沈浸於地方的可能性與空間意識的動能,雁婷透過聲音蒐集繪製一地,透過空間的編輯來發掘一地。藝術家Chris Cobilis在電台訪問中形容雁婷是一個「聲音地理學者」,我想這是非常適切的描述,在我心裡顯現出雁婷以聲音形狀來鑄造雕塑不同地方的模樣。Chris和雁婷在她的駐村期間共同合作,在《水上樂園》的座談活動中一同表演。這場演出呈現了雁婷作品中的特質—敘事、移動、連結與互動,自然的流動,不只存在於作品主題,而是整個過程的意旨。

(Ric Spencer,藝術家、作家,現為Fremantle藝術中心策展人)