Through an unsettling arrangement of sound, voice and moving images derived from on location interviews and footage as well as archival material, the single-channel video installation invites audiences to explore Chinese and Aboriginal (indigenous Taiwanese) philosophies and practices of healing as well as the dominant (’official’) Euro- American mental health paradigm, and to relate these to the larger social and historical framework of Taiwan’s development as a modern and post- colonial state. RTS relays fragmented blocs of sensation, sense-knowledge, in uneasy relations to each other. In so doing, it mirrors or relays fault-lines in Taiwan as a nation-assemblage, at the same time provoking the imagination of possibilities for new and more life affirming subjectivities, not only in Taiwan, where it was shot, but also wherever Rupini and Tan exhibit the work and extend it through conversations with different audiences and cultures.
In addition to the installation, Rupini and Tan have developed the public walks workshop as a means of exploring connections between different local histories, spaces and actors, in relation to the broad research themes of RTS. The first edition was introduced in Manila (Philippines) in 2013. The second edition is planned for Malmö in 2014. Given that the walks in Malmö will take place directly after the Swedish General Election, Rupini and Tan intend to explore issues of ’race,’ (a concept which, apparently, should be removed from Swedish legislation) discrimination and power in Sweden, and to relate these issues to Sweden’s international relations. Participants will be identified from the Skåne region, for example, a representative of the Arbetarröreslens Arkiv i Skåne (The Labour Movement’s Archives and Library), and invited to participate in the run up to the event.
Rupini and Tan are particularly interested in local views on current socio- political issues, for example, immigration and the rise of Sverige Demokraterna (the Sweden Democrats). The public walks effectively map the outlines of Sweden as a transnational assemblage, made up of global flows of people and capital, and changing relations between ’East’ and ’West’ as these change with the movements of colonisation and decolonisation. Participants are given the option of being recorded or not during the conversations.