From The Desk Of Oneida’s Kid Millions: Tehching Hsieh

In 2008, Oneida began the Thank Your Parents triptych with Preteen Weaponry. Since, the Brooklyn band—Kid Millions, Bobby Matador, Baby Hanoi Jane, Showtime and Barry London—has completed it with 2009’s Rated O and the new Absolute II (Jagjaguwar). The quintet is touring Europe in August and is also playing the Asbury Park, N.J.-based All Tomorrow’s Parties in October. In addition, Millions will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with him.

Millions: Tehching Hsieh‘s artworks of endurance resonate powerfully. He was the consummate outsider; even one of his pieces required him to stay outside in New York (“I shall not go into a building, subway, train, car, airplane, ship, cave or tent”) for an entire year. The statements for the pieces were austere, stern and breathed with an uncompromising and humbling clarity. The artifacts from these pieces are just those statements, the posters and a few photographs. As a viewer, you are left with a sense of the immensity of his undertakings and the very human implications of the endeavors. Hsieh was a resident alien in the U.S. from Taiwan until 1988—more than 10 years from the time he started his public works. From 1986 to 1999, he said he would make art and not show it publically. At the end of it, he released a poster with letters cut out from magazines: “I KEPT MYSELF ALIVE. I PASSED THE DECEMBER 31, 1999.”

Video after the jump.