Leung Mee-Ping’s work has been interpreted as a meditation on memory, and it is not difficult to see how the accumulation of artifacts from different individuals and families amounts to a form of cultural memory. Not unlike a time capsule, except that it is not stored out of sight until a pre-determined future date, Daily invites audiences to make sense of material culture as a window onto historical forces and collective desires operative in the locale at a given moment in time. It activates the public space in which it stands, the direct relevance of the objects to daily life in Taiwan functioning as a magnet for encounters and conversations between visitors.
The quotidian nature of the objects and the participatory dimension of the project are noteworthy for the fact that they incarnate a different organizational logic with regard to cultural memory-making. They stand opposed to the collection practices of most museums as well as to the historical commissioning of much public art in Taiwan, which have tended towards hierarchical organization, with expert curators and “the will of elites” determining the contents of collections. The latter logic yields histories (cultural memories) of‘great’and wealthy personages whereas the former produces memories of the so-called “common people.” We might call these logics monarchical and democratic, commending Daily as a social and artistic experiment that privileges the ‘public’in public art.
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