Memento is a contemplation of the human condition: how we act and react to the inescapable forces that shape us. Memento has been developed out of research into the plight of illegal immigrants, such as the Chinese who remain hidden in society, the faujis from India, as well as the "burnt ones" - young Moroccans who often take great risks in the hope of living a more significant and meaningful life. Some, attempting to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, perish along the way.
Memento is a walk-through installation and consists of ropes, cut silhouettes, sound and video. The hand tied configuration alludes to fishing nets, traps, security fences and engulfing waves. The network of patterns is also reminiscent of the human circulatory, system, passageways and maps. The video shown within the structure depicts the artist negotiating the might of churning waves emphasizing human beings' vulnerability as well as celebrating their strength to confront and overcome difficulty. Memento is a continuation of Pien's ongoing interest in the otherworldly, invisibility, disappearance, and journeys. It poignantly reflects on the displaced, forgotten and unseen yet remains poetically open-ended, embracing multiple interpretations.
Ed Pien was born in Taiwan and moved to Canada aged 11. He received his Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Western Ontario and Master of Fine Art from York University. Pien has exhibited internationally including the Drawing Centre, New York; La Biennale de Montreal; Centro Nacional de Las Artes, Mexico City; plAAy, Blackburn and The Goethe Institute, Berlin.