Endearing Insanity

Poyen Wang &

Just like a cave with its own peculiar charm, ENDEARING INSANITY invites the spectator into an unfamiliar world in order to confront them with the duality of fear and intimacy. Oscillating between the sleek and clean interior and the horror that lies within, the camera lets the creature that lives here introduce itself in a deep voice that emanates from the compartments, shelves, objects, and devices. The shot plays with the stereotype of the cute Asian boy living in a secluded studio apartment.

The appearance evokes associations to Anime characters and distorted selfportraits. In this claustrophobic journey, the words coming out of the character’s mouth seem arbitrary. They are anonymously attributed to a person who was just born and is still covered in blood. The burning feeling of desire and the dilemma of being desired is on their mind.

Poyen Wang describes this contradictory setting as a piece of performance art, like the intimate encounters between Vito Acconci and his camera. Moreover, it was inspired by Julia Kristeva’s writings on abjection. With instability as its central theme, the queer body transforms into the absurd self and the intimate other, shrinking and growing emotionally and proportionally. It floats inside the womb as its postures express the painful flexibility of a restless body and the alienating comfort of a talking embryo.

The domestic yet unfamiliar space is haunted by a non-human and incessant gaze. It leaves the observer with nothing but a lust for touching mundane objects or concepts: the cold metal finish, the organic textures, and the unsettling words coming out of an invisible mouth. For a moment, things start to feel serene, until the glass wall shatters to pieces, creating a necessary breakdown: drowning, sinking, throwing up, displacing, and looping back an amalgam of pain and pleasure. Then everything goes back to where it started; the piece is constantly dragged out from within and beyond, simultaneously representing an open invitation and a curse. (Amirali Ghasemi)

Supported by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government

*We can only show an excerpt of this work in the online archive. For the complete version, please contact the artist.

Images: Poyen Wang, Endearing Insanity, 2021 – 2022 © Poyen Wang

About the video

Title Endearing Insanity
Year 2022
Videonale VIDEONALE.19
Length 00:08:36
Format 4:3
Country Taiwan, USA,
Language English
Courtesy of the artist
Specifications color, sound, single-channel video

About the artist

Poyen Wang
  • 1987 in Taichung, TWN, lives and works in New York City, USA.
    Studied at the Taipei National University of the Arts, TWN, and the School of Visual Arts, New York City, USA

Insights at Videonale X

desktop selfie
A 3D Room Tour in Brooklyn, NY. A behind the scenes look at the working process of Poyen Wang.
Xtra view
Amirali Ghasemi explores how the parallels, ambiguity, and different channels within Poyen Wang’s ‘Endearing Insanity’ lead to both, intimacy and fear.