Born in Nanzi District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1966. Since childhood, her mother has worked hard to cultivate her. She started to learn ballet at the age of four, and began to learn calligraphy, Chinese painting, and piano in the third grade of elementary school. She started to learn various art skills from childhood. When she was in the fifth grade of elementary school (1976), her father died suddenly in a car accident. Xu Shuzhen has always had a deep memory of the weather on the day of his father’s death. She once described that it was a summer season, and the air was filled with a sultry feeling similar to Foehn. Xu Shuzhen was suddenly called out of the classroom by her instructor and told her father the bad news. The air evaporated, and at such a young age, she seemed unusually calm. However, as long as she encounters similar weather in the future, her body will sense and respond. This is the beginning of her physical memory.
In junior high school, Su-Chen Hsu went to the private Daoming Middle School across districts. Although she continued to learn painting and dancing, her mother thought that “being an artist would make me hungry” and opposed her continuing to use art as a channel for further studies. During the rebellious period of teenagers, she deliberately gave up high school and chose to study in the fifth college, and entered the laboratory of China University of Medical Science and Technology. During the school, he organized a band and held concerts. The life of the fifth college was very active.
In 1986, she graduated from the Department of Laboratory Medicine, China University of Medical Science and Technology, and immediately had the opportunity to work in nuclear medicine at the Taipei Clinic. During her stay in Taipei, it happened that the Lanling Theater Workshop held a training program. From the 200 applicants, she passed all the way and successfully became one of the 40 candidates. During the training course, Su-Chen Hsu was exposed to post-modern issues and various contemporary thoughts for the first time, and the political and social atmosphere was turbulent one year before the lifting of martial law, which made Su-Chen Hsu, who grew up in the south and had never been exposed to such issues, have a strong impact . Also because of participating in the Lanling Theater Workshop’s first experimental performance in Taiwan’s outdoor environment theater at that time – admiring the true theater spirit is not in the theater, but exists in the interaction with the public, in the mountains, and planted deep seeds in Xu Shuzhen’s thinking .
From 1987 to 1994, she worked as a medical examiner in the Department of Clinical Pathology, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Hospital.
Married Dr. Zeng Jinhuang in 1990, daughter was born in 1991, son was born in 1995. Xu Shuzhen, who has become a full-time housewife, has regained her enthusiasm and talent for art with the support of her family.
In 1998, Su-Chen Hsu participated in the visual art exhibition “Kaohsiung Citizens’ Art Exhibition-Strung Up the River of Urban Memory” (Note 1) for the first time, and proposed a work “Opening the Box of Memory” with a mouthful of memory box, with mother as the narrative object; this work combines music, sensors, photo reproduction and other composite media, and rich narrative forms become the focus of the exhibition, and it is also Su-Chen Hsu’s first test work. In 1999, she held his first solo exhibition “Spiritual Network Room‧Looking at the Past” at the “Nine House Art Center” in Kaohsiung.
In 2000, entered the master class of Fine Arts Department of Higher Normal University. Before entering the research institute, Su-Chen Hsu had successively audited courses in the Fine Arts Department of Higher Normal University. During the graduate school, Su-Chen Hsu just started to learn to drive. The autonomy in action drove Su-Chen Hsu’s body, mind, mind, and vision to be completely liberated from the inside out.
In 2001, Su-Chen Hsu, who was still a graduate student, cooperated with Professor Cai Xianyou of Zhengxiu Art Center (now Zhengxiu Arts and Culture Department) to curate “Spiritual Translation – Dialogue between Psychiatry and Art”. In addition to being the first curator, she made a bolder attempt Cooperating with art and the psychiatric department of Kaohsiung Chang Gung Hospital, the exhibition was held successively in Kaohsiung “Zheng Xiu Art Center” and Taipei “Major Trends Art Space”.
2004 was a fruitful year for Su-Chen Hsu in her creative process. Not only did she formally obtain a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Fine Arts Department of Kaohsiung Normal University, but she also received a subsidy from the “Taiwan-UK Residency Program” in the same year. As a representative of several artists, she went to Huddersfield Media Arts in the UK The Center stayed in the village for three months, a record for its first foreign residency in a village. This foreign village experience opened her horizons in creation and curation, and at the same time made her deeply face the situation in Taiwan, which in turn influenced her creative thinking in the future. In addition, he curated the exhibition “Urban Travel – Release and Lost” (Note 2) at the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, and held a solo exhibition “”Conjoined Twins Symbiosis Project” Series – Research Before Pseudo-Science Fiction” (Note 2) at “Prototype Art Space” in Tainan 3), and both were shortlisted for the “Third Taishin Art Award” (seven annual visual art exhibitions) the following year.
In 2005, served as the chairman of the Taiwan Women’s Arts Association (2005-2007). In the same year, he cooperated with Lu Mingde and Zhang Xinpi to curate “Intertidal Zone Art Detection Station – 2005 Annual Plan” (Note 4). It was also through this large-scale curation that Su-Chen Hsu had a deeper reflection on artistic creation and ethics, the idea of suspending creation and curation came into being.
In 2006, Su-Chen Hsu got acquainted with Lu Jianming, the director of “Taiwan Field Factory” who lived in the fields and created in the fields through “Green Miracle: A Dialogue between Art and Environmental Ecology” curated by the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts. Su-Chen Hsu did not participate in the project, but offered to Lu Jianming his willingness to cooperate. Prior to this, Su-Chen Hsu had participated in field work for many times, including many cross-field cooperation models. Unfortunately, all of them were short-term cooperation, and there was a clear gap in the effect she expected. Due to past experience, when proposing cooperation to Lu Jianming, it was contrary to the strategic cooperation to complete a specific project in the past, and stated that it was not a position to complete one thing or one project first, but only exchanged past outputs and experiences with each other. However, when she participated in Lu Jianming’s rich field activities as an artist, the partnership began quietly.
Not only curating, creating and academic research, Su-Chen Hsu also has many experiences in art education and social construction. With the above foundation, Su-Chen Hsu puts herself completely in the field, and has a broader vision and deeper thinking in creation. No longer limited to the forms and frameworks of contemporary art, but participate in the practice of social actions, such as works “Animal Altar-Jia 155 County Road”, “Hehai Weisheng-Central Vietnam and North Gate of Taiwan”, “Love Mapping”, “Dynamic Residence – Taiwan, Vietnam and Australia”, etc. In 2007, Xu Shuzhen was then the chairman of the “Taiwan Women’s Arts Association”. In the name of the association, she cooperated with the “Tainan County Ecotourism Development Association” to organize the “Bin Lamai Project”. She also participated in “Animal Altar – Chia 155 County Road” and “Yu Hai Wei Sheng – Central Vietnam and North Gate of Taiwan”, thus breaking away from the existing art exhibition mode, and began to target specific audience groups, and held exhibitions in farming and fishing villages.
In addition to her personal creations, Su-Chen Hsu and Lu Jianming have crossed the fields of contemporary art, social movements, geography, ethnology, anthropology, etc. Since 2007, a series of exhibitions, publications, and participation in academic forum speeches have begun. The Taipei International Art Village subsidy and the residency program at the Victorian National Herbarium of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, Australia, are both regarded as part of the joint creation by the two. Among them, the exhibitions “Plant-Plant New Paradise – A Tribe Born from a Vegetable Garden” and “The Material World of Ami on the River Bank” in cooperation with the Sauwazhi Tribe in 2009 attracted the attention of Taiwan’s contemporary art circle, and won the “8th Prize” in 2010. The annual visual art award of the 2019 Taishin Art Awards, all the prize money of one million yuan will be donated back to the tribe as a rebuilding fund. In November 2010, Su-Chen Hsu, Lu Jianming and the Sawwazhi tribe were invited to participate in the “Fifth Cai Ruiyue Dance Festival: Returning to the Home of Nature”. The security agents of Taishin Financial Holdings participated in the performance (Lin Kexiao, general manager of Taishin Financial Holdings at the time, also participated in it).
In September 2011, Su-Chen Hsu was diagnosed with cancer for the first time and was admitted to the hospital for treatment. After being discharged from the hospital, she was still working in the fields while recuperating at home. On a certain day in September 2012, she participated in a hunting activity in Wufeng Township, Hsinchu County. This time was also the last time Su-Chen Hsu appeared in the field. The next day, she was hospitalized again until she died.
In 2012, director Huang Mingchuan filmed two documentaries for Su-Chen Hsu: “Contemporary Art Figures: Gaomei Museum Visual Art Video Database Xu Shuzhen” (Note 5) and “Su-Chen Hsu’s Landscape Body-Death of a Female Artist”. The latter was filmed by director Huang Mingchuan during Su-Chen Hsu’s last hospitalization.
Su-Chen Hsu died of illness in Kaohsiung on January 31, 2013. In March of the following year, the Kaohsiung Museum of Art held the “Su-Chen Hsu Memorial Exhibition” for Su-Chen Hsu. At the same time, “Su-Chen Hsun’s Landscape Body-Death of a Female Artist” premiered at the “Great Southern Spirit – 2014 Chiayi International Art Documentary Film Festival”.
Note 1: Venue: Shan Art Museum, Kaohsiung
Note 2: The exhibition was subsidized by the Cultural Council, Austria OK Contemporary Art Center, and Kaohsiung City Government Cultural Bureau
Note 3: The exhibition won the 93-2 cross-field art subsidy from the National Culture and Art Foundation of the consortium
Note 4: The exhibition received grants from the National Arts Council Visual Art Planning Exhibition, the British Council and the Arts Council of England
Note 5: Issuer: Kaohsiung Fine Arts Museum. Release Date March 2013