Commuting first encounters on display in the Taipei 101 Metro station
Some people think of commuting as an opportunity to meet new people, others avoid eye contact at all costs. To showcase the first encounters that often happen to and from work, multimedia artist Hsin-Chien Huang has created a three-part installation for the Taipei Metro called The Moment We Meet. His work also makes use of split-flap displays, a retro piece of technology that is slowly fading away.
The first part of the installation includes two separate split-flap displays depicting 10×10 matrices of different faces. One features only the faces of small children, while the other showcases expressions from the elderly population. Each block can also be used to display one huge face, or a collection of smaller faces featuring completely different expressions.
Apart from meeting people on your commute, Huang’s website explains that the project is about promoting the message “care for old and young people like they were your family.”
Part two of the installation consists of mounted kinetic sculptures that depict close-ups of the human body. Close-ups of eyes show the importance of eye contact, while close-ups of a person’s mouth show different expressions. Together, these images reflect “the meeting process as time progresses.”
Finally, the artist commissioned the poetry of four famous Taiwanese writers (Roan Ching-Yueh, Chen I-Chih, Shiu, Wen-Wei, and Liao Hui-Ying) on the topics of family, ethnicity, history, and “the future.” These poems were then placed in intricate glass boxes throughout the subway station where people could stop and read.
It’s unclear whether the displays are still in place, but if they are, you can find them in the underground passage connecting Taipei 101 and the MRT station.
Images by Hsin-Chien Huang