A Practice of Singing : Japanese Songs, 2012

Hong Kong 2019
Chi-Wen Gallery
Single-channel Video, Colour, Sound, 15’12”

5+1AP (#1/5)
Yu Cheng-Ta (b. 1983) currently lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan. This work examines the fidelity of exported culture. Yu selected five popular Japanese songs to highlight cultural migration from Japan to Taiwan. The songs’ lyrics were translated based on phonetic similarities from Japanese into English and again from English into Mandarin. He then sang those oldies in mangled pidgin Japanese while reading the translated texts written on giant cue cards. Awkward pronunciation and lack of fluency were notable even to non-native speakers, which calls the act of translating cultures into question.