top of page


The Test

Steel, photovoltaic panel, LED light tubes, acrylic panels

Installation size


In Buster Keaton's silent film Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928), an exaggerated storm blows over a small town. The actor stands in a precarious position at an open window of a collapsing house and manages to avoid being hit by the falling facade. Standing in the right place was both a test and a stroke of luck. This classic scene has been paid homage to in many subsequent works of film and art, such as Steve McQueen's Deadpan (1997) and The Chemical Brothers' The Test (2002). Different contexts from different eras bring different interpretations.

In this edition of the Yuguang Art Festival, this dramatic scene is reinterpreted on-site with a freeze-frame-like installation. In the original film, the window that Keaton could have walked through is replaced by a photovoltaic panel, which stores energy and illuminates a collapsing neon light at sunset. This is quoted from The Test, which describes the waves and illusions with the lyrics, "I'm seeing waves breaking form to my horizon."

For the installation, a piece of land on the edge of a windbreak forest with a few scattered buildings was chosen. It had become a dark corner after the Chiumao Park was abandoned and eventually buried with soil to become the installation site. Echoing the falling facade, a glowing window frame surrounds the original pit, illuminating the abandoned building debris that was previously unseen below.

Due to the weather conditions, the photovoltaic panel may not generate enough power to light up the neon light every day. Can it light up at sunset? Whether the photovoltaic energy can predict the landscape prophecy of this psychedelic coast depends on the weather and luck. The photovoltaic panel is a gift from Taiwan's weather environment, and it is hoped that it will light up a better future. However, what is left behind will also be a test of whether it is construction or a ruin.

Anchor 1
bottom of page