Planning An Exotic Journey
Acrylic on canvas、Digital Giclee Output、Photograph
In the "Planning an Exotic Journey" Exhibition, I take on the role of a foreign traveler who collects information, goes site seeing, and listens to stories. These aspects create imagination and understanding of the site, as the "travel sites" I encountered is Taiwan or so called Kaohsiung, this the place I live in for years. Such inspiration came from my experience of backpack travel in Europe last year. Prior to my travel, from the process of planning and gathering information I found numerous stories of online users' travel. These prior knowledge created interesting experiences toward the differences and surprises I encountered in my travel; as I carried the mood for exotic discovery and imagination with me.
The most intriguing thing was the history of German's killing of Jews and their Europe invasion in World War II, such contexts have been well depicted in movies or history books that arouse my curiosity toward such events. But in my travel I am surrounded by pleasant weather, vast forest, old buildings, where everything appeared very lovely. But what shocked me the most was the Topographie Des Terrors (it was originally the headquarter of Gestapo) which the site gives detail documentation and display reflecting German's on take of their own history.
After returning to Taiwan from my travel, I came to realize that I can also take on the same perspective toward my surround, excited by the idea of why not perceiving the place I live in through the view of a traveler. This was something that I haven't thought of, as I had been taking everything around me for granted.
This made me remember the time when I watch TV in the living room, my grandmother chat with me about things in the past, such as the stories of Japanese colonial era, old home or hiding from air raids. Those stories were once things I listen but care very little about because they were difficult for me to imagine such events. Although those stories were very cool but they were once things I listen to but bear very little in mind. Hence, I began to ask my grandmother about the memories of her old home at Toshien, where locals of site were once moved elsewhere to enable this site to be used by Japanese during World War II as a zone for Pacific warfare, as the place now becomes today's Zuoying Navy Harbor. This place is just next to the community I live in. As we talked further, my grandmother told me she forgot the way to her old home, while all she could remember was a longan tree near her home. I sudden realized that there is a longan tree planted in our garden! I asked her if this is the reason the tree is planted? She said yes. I had no idea of the such context until, as it I am fascinated by it, which I began to search for relevant historical information as a starting point to extend out exploring other events.
The aerial photograph of bombarded Chaushan, the star like bomb marks resemble the holes of golf court making the scenery carries the trace of the colonial and politics context. During the process of my research, I recalled a golf court outside of the Toshien military base perimeter, where I practiced golf swing in my junior high PE class. As result, these documents, historical contexts, sites, personal memories, intuitive imaginations, and family contexts all come to link to one another through my research.
The photographic document and painting are marks created by actions, and transformed into visible trace of the events. As I interchange between the role of foreigner and local (myself) come the exchange of perspective and context of this heterogeneous country.
Planning an exotic journey 這展覽,我將自己的角色位置與視角比擬成外來的旅行者,收 集資料、踏青、聽著口述故事,進行對一個地方的想像和認識,然而"旅行的地點"與對象 就是多年來自己身處的環境-台灣,或說是高雄。
這樣的動機來自於去年到歐洲自助旅行的經驗,在規劃、收集資料的過程中可以找到很多網 友的遊記,實地走訪時這一來一往的落差和意外感受相當有趣,同時我也帶著異國情調的想 像和認知前往。尤其是德國,二戰時屠殺猶太人與侵略歐洲的歷史,在電影題材以及歷史書籍描述下一直吸 引著我對那時代氛圍的好奇心。實地走訪後的確那裡的天氣、遼闊的森林、舊時代遺流下來 的建築、物件都很迷人,然而真正讓我感受衝擊的是參觀恐怖博物館 Topographie Des Terrors(原址是當時的納粹蓋世太保總部)時詳細的檔案文件陳列感受到德國人面對自己 歷史的態度。
我想到在客廳看電視時奶奶時不時就會對我們講古,講日本時代的故事、老家、或躲空襲的 往事,以前我都只是聽聽不以為意,只是很難想像那樣的事,好像很酷然後聽完就算了。於 是我開始問奶奶關於她桃子園老家的記憶,這地方其實在二戰時日本人為了打太平洋戰爭而 將居民遷村並規劃成現在的左營海軍軍港,且就在我們家住的社區旁邊而已。聊阿聊,奶奶 說她也忘了怎回去老家,只記得附近有種一棵龍眼樹,我忽然想到院子就種了棵龍眼樹!我 問奶奶是因為這原因才種的嗎? 她說對。
這樣的脈絡我過去完全不知道,現在覺得很耐人尋味,於是我開始找相關歷史資料並慢慢延 伸出去。柴山遭受轟炸的空照圖,那些星點般的轟炸痕跡也像是高爾夫球場的小洞,在那裡原先有座 日本時代建的高爾夫球場後來也在二戰時列為軍事管制區直到現在,風景勝地承載著殖民與 政治歷史的脈絡痕跡,在搜集資料的過程中我又回想起桃子園軍區外也有座高爾夫練習場, 國中的時後上體育課還曾經到那邊練習揮杆。這些文件、歷史脈絡、景點、個人記憶、直覺 想像、家族脈絡不斷地在搜尋過程中逐漸浮現並交互延伸連結起來。