- Formed in 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan.
- Based in Taipei, Taiwan and Berlin, Germany.
- Yu Cheng-Ta, born 1983 in Tainan, Taiwan.
- Ming Wong, born 1971 in Singapore.
Taipei resident Yu Cheng-Ta and Berlin based Ming Wong took their inspiration for this project from 1960s Chinese Opera cinema and the works of Taiwanese film director Tsai Ming-liang. As performance duo Watermelon Sisters, they adopt the persona of gender-fluid queer sisters from a supernatural butch/femme community who want to help humankind twerk* its way to sexual freedom.
For the festival, the duo created an installation that uses the entire space of a former nursing schoolʼs auditorium cum audiovisual room. Passing through curtains into the installation, viewers first encounter Watermelon Love, a video work created in 2017 for a survey show of LGBTQ art, celebrating a ruling by Taiwanʼs high court that same-sex marriage is constitutional. Targeting people who are all too eager to establish boundaries and who do not share love, the video features the sisters—celestial fairies descended to earth—encouraging humans to embrace each other.
Small sculptures visible beyond a slanted wall constitute a new work inspired by the venueʼs nursing school history. Such figures, representing 3D avatars of the sisters, are on sale through a third-party agency, with the proceeds to be donated to a nursing association in Japan. Worldwide, frontline medical heroes have put in an incredible effort during the pandemic. Over about thirty years, 844 people graduated from this educational institution, and this work is a tribute to their former school. The activities of the Watermelon Sisters affirm the fundamental motivation provided by diverse life and diverse sex, suggesting a solution to worries about how to survive in contemporary times and at individual moments.
The Watermelon Sisters have participated in exhibitions and events including Queering Now: Dreamality, Chinese Arts Now (2021; London, UK); Diagonal, Magician Space (2020; Beijing, China), Queering Umwelt, Tao Art Space (2020; Taipei, Taiwan); and Watermelon Sisters Go Camping in Paris, Centre national de la danse (2019; Pantin, France).
* Twerk is a provocative dance that was an element of bounce culture before extending into hip-hop in general. Twerking involves a variety of moves based on the classic approach of bending low, thrusting back, and shaking your booty.
- Selected Works & Awards
- Queering Now: Dreamality, Chinese Arts Now, London, UK
- Diagonal, Magician Space, Beijing, China
- Queering Umwelt, Tao Art Space, Taipei, Taiwan
- Watermelon Sisters Go Camping in Paris, Centre national de la danse, Pantin, France
*Last admission 15 min before closing time
- Mondays (except for public holidays)
- Venue / Access
- Former Ichinomiya Central Nursing School (4F)
- 16 minutes on foot from Owari-Ichinomiya Station on the JR Tokaido Line.
- 16 minutes on foot from Meitetsu Ichinomiya Station on the Meitetsu Nagoya Line.