Suann Hai |山海
Light box、Hanji collage、Spray paint、Acrylic on canvas
91x61 cm、59x42 cm、24x34 cm、27x41 cm、40.5x31.5 cm
Light, color and material are the constant elements in my work, and collectively, they serve as a starting point of my imagination.
For this work, I create colorful layers using Korean paper mounted on a light box to create the main color tones and structure. Based on my impression of my hometown, two terms from the Taiwanese dialect (Minnamese) – “suann hái” (“山海,” meaning mountain and sea) and “tshiah-iānn” (“赤焱,” meaning sizzling hot, usually used to describe the weather) – are spelled out phonetically and spray-painted on the Korean paper with semi-translucent paint. With image layers formed by the paper, the light from the light box below reveals the words that seem partly concealed and partly revealed, whereas the colors of the paper are blended in the light, giving a different look from ordinary coloration.
During my stay in Seoul, the linguistic disparity between Korean and Chinese left a strong impression in my mind. The same Chinese characters or terms might have similar pronunciation and meanings, but would be expressed and interpreted in different ways.
Taking control over languages and written words has been one of the main strategies for rulers to establish their regimes. Due to political reasons, Korea underwent several polices to abolish the use of Chinese characters after WWII. In Taiwan’s early modern history, different political regimes also implemented policies to reinforce the speaking of Japanese or Mandarin. There are studies showing that the population speaking Taiwanese dialects, such as Minanmese, in Taiwan will rapidly decrease in the next decades. The current disappearance of languages is resulting from reasons different from the past, such as political intervention and the formation of national identity; instead, it is the result of drastic changes in the social and communal structure, environment and family structure.
The settlement pattern and development state of newly developed towns in Incheon differ from the city center of Seoul, where traditional architecture and modern skyscrapers co-exist in high density. I have re-examined my own imagination about myself and Taiwan through my observation of colors, written characters as well as the phenomena, lifestyle and cityscape derived from a similar historical context that has also been influenced by Chinese culture and Japanese colonization.
這件作品以韓紙拼貼色彩圖層裝裱於平板燈箱上作為主色調與結構，選自我對家鄉印象的詞彙：“山海 suann hái “、“赤焱 tshiah-iānn”閩南語羅馬拼音文字，以半透明噴漆將拼音文字噴畫在韓紙上。紙張像是影像圖層疊合，底部燈箱的光源透出使得文字若隱若現，紙張的色彩也因光線而重新混色透出，有別於顏料染色的所見樣貌。