Rock the Spot: Our Youth was an event designed to evoke the nostalgia of our youth while inspiring us toward our futures. As a part of film “Our Youth in Taiwan’s North America & Europe Tour”, this event brought together local artists, musicians, and filmmakers to share visionary Taiwanese perspectives with the West. The event’s headliners included award-winning Taiwanese film director, Fu Yue, renowned comedian of “The Night Night Show (博恩夜夜秀)”, Brian, and producer of “Taiwan Bar”, Hauer, whose profound and provocative art forms were shared in an atmosphere of stimulating thought and conversation. With their combined reach exceeding the millions in Youtube viewers, each of our featured guests continued to fulfill their vision to educate and unite people within Taiwan and on the world stage. With incredible honesty and humour, they showed us that through meaningful connection and communication, laughter and tears, we found each other, and ultimately, found ourselves.
Fu Yue works in documentary film production. Her films have received several awards at the Youth Film Festival in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. “Dialogue between Blue and Green” won the Best Documentary at the First International Film Festival Xining in 2013. “A Perfect Crash” won the Best Short Documentary at the Hong Kong Chinese Documentary Festival in 2016. “Our Youth In Taiwan (我們的青春，在台灣) ” won the Best Documentary at Taipei Golden Hourse Awards and Taipei Film Awards in 2011.
Brian Tseng, Taiwan’s first western-style stand-up comedian, is the host of “The Night Night Show (博恩夜夜秀)”. The show just had its premiere in August, 2018 and made a huge splash all over the internet. Brian follows his own passions and instincts, does anime script writing for “Taiwan Bar (臺灣吧)”, a self-produced startup media company dedicated to create educational yet entertaining content for audience in Taiwan, during the day, and practices how to be a stand-up comedian at night.
Hauer Hsieh is the producer of “The Night Night Show (博恩夜夜秀)” and co-founder of Taiwanbar Studio, a website featuring humorous animation on a wide range of social issues. Their videos regularly net hundreds of thousands of views. Propelled by the strong success of their first video series, which covered Taiwan history, Taiwan Bar continues to expand its catalogue of online courses, most recently releasing the series on law. Thinking Taiwan as the free speech pioneer in the Chinese world, the producer of the show DJ Hauer, and Brian feel people are actually ready for this type of satire show because at the same time, it is a necessary outlet for Taiwanese to talk about their feelings and opinions on public affairs and issues.
Featuring Art Exhibition
Rock the Spot: Our Youth exhibition endeavoured to bridge the divide between diverse people by making art more visible and accessible to the community. The combination of art, film, and comedy was made possible through the collaboration of esteemed artists, such as Peter Chan, Yi Shuan Lee, Liang Wang and Alicia Chen, comedian, Brian; and film director, Fu Yue. The role of the arts in Rock the Spot is to unite diverse people, overturn misperceptions and biases, and forge new, inclusive relationships. Underlying this artistic showcase is the shared intention to highlight the participants’ awareness of differences and inspire an attitude of tolerance, open-mindedness and mutual respect.
With the rising tension between China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, we gathered together through our laughter and tears to celebrate a night of meaningful connection. During a time of dramatic change in world politics, technology, climate and lifestyle, our youth is faced with conflict and difficult choices. Through the lens of art, we are able to find beauty in their mistakes and meet them with compassion. The art forms in this exhibit both highlighted this uncertainty and doubt while illuminating a brighter, and more inspired path to the future.
Peter Chan is a celebrated Toronto artist whose artwork has been showcased at renowned galleries in New York, Toronto, Montreal, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Paris. He has participated in Art with Heart, where his art was acquired by influential collectors at the Art Gallery of Ontario auction to benefit Casey House. Chan teaches painting workshops privately and in institutions including OCAD U, Sheridan College, Seneca College, and Algonquin College.
Having grown up in Hong Kong during the first few years of his life, there are evidence of asian pop culture influence in his work. Chan recalls such influence in music where he listened to artists such as Jay Chou, and watched films by directors like Wong Kar Wai. Through some of these inspirations, it helped him develop a unique way of storytelling through oil painting. Chan dreams of expanding his visual practice into other areas of collaborations in the future, such as including his imageries in video and installations. For Chan, painting is meditation. It helps him practice letting go, and is a space to channel his memories of past moments and lost people.
Yi-Shuan Lee is a Canadian emerging artist currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada. Lee’s multidisciplinary practice includes painting, sculpture, and film. His works feature striking plays on odd and surreal narratives along with a cinematic approach to his palette. Lee received his BFA from OCAD University in 2017; he has since exhibited works across Canada, Italy, France, China, and Taiwan. Lee exhibited most recently at Arid Gallery in Toronto.
Liang Wang is a Toronto-based painter raised in various parts of Taiwan, China, Australia and Canada. He has exhibited work in numerous groups shows at locations including Northern Contemporary Gallery (Toronto); Federation Gallery, Turnbull Gallery (Vancouver); and Rutherford Galleria (Edmonton). His work is in private collections in Canada and New Zealand.
Alicia Chen is a multi-disciplinary artist and curator from Toronto, Canada. She holds degrees in Visual Arts and Art History from the University of British Columbia and trained under several of America’s modern masters in New York City, including Max Ginsburg, Costa Vavagiakis and Ephraim Rubenstein. She has worked, collaborated and showcased her artwork with and at influential institutions and corporations such as, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Harbourfront Center, Peter Triantos Art Gallery, Arta Gallery, University of Toronto Architecture Faculty, the University of British Columbia, Rotary International, TTC (Toronto Transit Commission), 4Cats Art Studio and private professionals. Her artworks are in private collections in New York, LA, Vancouver, Toronto, and Taipei.
Professionally trained in New York City, Chen creates versatile artwork inspired by the human experience in a wide range styles. From fine art to commercial product design/illustration, and from exhibition curatorial to editorial writing, she enjoys connecting with diverse people through her creativity. Chen curates exhibitions and arts/cultural events at galleries and regularly gives back to her community. Her most recent community service venture involves teaching at Villa Charities.
Link was born in Taiwan and has been living in the U.S. and Canada since 2004. He moved to Toronto in 2018 after completion of his audio engineer training in London. He is a music producer working with singers, rappers, film directors, and game developers in North America and Europe. Having grown up with classical music, the only acceptable genre at home, it wasn’t until age 10, he discovered pop music for the first time on a plane ride and was deeply touched by the movement of rhythms and melodies. In the following years, without previous training in music theory, he self-taught to play the piano by ear, and experimented with combinations of keys to find emotionally charged patterns.
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Rock the Spot (RTS) was originally an annual breakdancing event held in London, Canada. It first debuted in 2001 and was organized by Kyler Ayim and Matthew Kang. The revival of RTS came in 2005, when lead organizer Joseph Hsieh and executive members of the UWO Breakers spearheaded their second to fourth breakout events until 2007.
In September 2016, Joseph Hsieh reunited the event team to launch “Toronto Taiwanese Film Festival: 52Hz I Love You”. This new and exciting endeavour was so well received that curator, Alicia Chen, initiated a full-scale rebranding of Rock the Spot. Chen’s vision to introduce an marvellous fusion of art, music, and film into the mix lifted the event to never before seen heights. As a direct result of her cross-cultural, multi-media approach to event planning, September 2018’s “On Happiness Road” went down in history as the most successful RTS event to date. Joseph and Alicia are to curate more Rock the Spot events which bring together Toronto communities for an evening of stimulating conversation with local and renowned international talent in the arts.