Category: Teh Ching Hsieh

Teh Ching Hsieh | The Ideology Of Meaninglessness

Teh Ching Hsieh is a Taiwanese performance artist who’s artwork consists, most of the time, of sitting or standing around for a year doing nothing. Like the year he spent in a self-imposed jail at home, or the year punching time clocks on the hour every hour or the year living as a homeless person. Time seems to be the only constant linkage between the works, and the element that gives it meaning from his ideology of meaninglessness.

Cage Piece (1978) Teh Ching Hsieh
Cage Piece (1978) Teh Ching Hsieh

His first foray into the world of international art has been via by jumping off an oil tanker near Philadelphia and subsequently living in Manhattan as an illegal immigrant in the 1970s. He lived like that, working in Chinese restaurants until one day in 1978 he had an idea to do something about it, which was to build a cage at home and imprison himself for a year; an expression of how he felt his life was like. With strict rules not to talk to anyone or watch TV or do anything productive, this became known as the Cage Piece (1978).

Time Clock Piece (1981) Teh Ching Hsieh
Time Clock Piece (1981) Teh Ching Hsieh

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