Q1: Can you briefly explain the history and features of Ehagaki? Why did you choose it as your main concept?

 

In Japanese, a postcard is called Hagaki, and Ehagaki means a photo or picture postcard. In 1905, just after Japan had won the Russo-Japanese War, the Japanese government officially published the first batch of Ehagaki, named "10th Anniversary of Governance Ehagaki." Later, with the trend of stamp collecting, some private companies also started to publish their own Ehagaki collections. In this project I mainly choose Ehagaki sold by the public sector, with pictures of well-known attractions of Taiwan, even those of now disappeared scenic areas.

 

Pictures of well-known sites like Shintakayama (now known as Yushan) and New Park (now known as 228 Peace Memorial Park) and now disappeared places like Takasago Park are included in this project, for example.

 

What Ehagaki attracts me the most is that it is a blend of photography and painting, while being a carrier of memorial, important and emotional traveling experiences. At that time, photographs were black and white, and colorful Ehagaki were hand-colored or printed by people. Except of those handmade postcards, some Ehagaki pictures were "designed" by artists, using their already finished artworks.

 

The concept of such memories of journey is the reason why I have selected the theme of scenic areas and attractions. Some pictures show iconic tourist sites that we all have been to, or are familiar with today, while some are not existing anymore. In this process, we can re-discover the historical context and meanings of every scene. Today, many tourist sites and recreation areas feel overly artificial and pretended; meanings and the history of scenic areas were intentionally changed and erased into broken pieces due to previous ideological reasons. Via this experience of mutual gazing, I can find my identifies and recognition pathways of those places. Therefore, watching Ehagaki is like opening a window.

 

Q2: In this project, "remaking" and "resampling" play important roles. Can you share with us the processes of said techniques, and the message behind re-presenting such already made images in your works?

 

Many paintings are topped with sentimental narrations or stories after the images are made. But I try to find a new way instead of that overly used path.

 

Every artist making paintings must have encountered self-problems of what/how to draw, and is the concept or style used by someone else or even some masters. In current world of contemporary arts, paintings are in an embarrassing position: people say the art of painting has died and has no new thing to be shown. To extend its life, paintings have to constantly transform themselves by absorbing nutrients from other fields. It is true that the form of paintings has its limit, and it does needs improvements to compete with ideas or forms of other contemporary arts. Yet, when directly facing the nature of paintings, you can find many aspects that are worth more depth studies.

 

The message of painting here is an opener of pathways of observations. In concepts of my previous works, I have discussed and responded to the relationship between images and paintings. In this stage, I start to directly identify the status-quo of paintings in the development of Taiwanese arts, and meanings of images used in landscape paintings. It is a process of observing and selecting image files. In this era of image overload, making a new painting is making a new image, and then the image also enters the history of image files. What I am doing is collecting, connecting and interpreting these elements.

 

This process of making, observing, putting aside, removing and vaguely glimpsing seems to be like one of my thoughts of Taiwan: a process of resetting itself, and it is exhausting and has many problems to be solved.

 

Q3: How will you consider your future works after this year's Taipei Arts Awards? Will you continue your discussion of re-presenting images?

 

This series is a conceptual sequel to my solo exhibition at Nanhai Gallery in 2013 and a part of my another solo exhibition several months ago. I will try to find and explore more, but I am not very sure about how to represent them in the future. Actually, I have finished quite a few of them, and it is the time for me to carefully think how to further improve the overall quality of the collection instead of blindly finding and drawing new pictures.

 

1945 was an influential year to the world, and that was especially true for Taiwan. All documents I have collected are from the time before it, and I plan to collect and analyze more. For my next step, I expect myself to develop my own observations and self-identities by using materials from more areas as reference.

 

 

 

Q1. 能否簡單跟觀眾介紹繪葉書的歷史背景與特色? 而您選擇繪葉書的原因是什麼?

 

明信片在日文裡叫做葉書,而繪葉書是指風景明信片或是圖畫明信片。最早在台灣發行的年份是1905年也就是日本打贏日俄戰爭之後,那時候稱為始政紀念繪葉書,是官方發行。後來因為集郵的風氣盛行,一些民間單位也有發行繪葉書,而我這次選取的主要是官方發行的繪葉書,特別是當時看待台灣所具有的代表性風景以及一些目前已消失的風景區。

 

代表性的風景像是新高山,也就是現在的玉山,新公園也就是現在的台北228公園,消失的地點像是高砂公園。

 

繪葉書最吸引我的是它具有攝影圖像以及繪畫這兩種狀態的混合,同時他又乘載紀念性,代表性或感性的旅行經驗傳輸。那時候的照片幾乎是黑白照片,而繪葉書的圖像會變彩色都是人們手工上色或是用版畫印刷技術去呈現。除此之外也有些繪葉書的圖像就直接請當時的藝術家親自”操刀設計“也就是直接使用他們的繪畫作品作為明信片的圖像來發行。

 

而這種旅行的意義又扣回我選則風景區觀光景點的目的,因為這些地方有些也是我們現在常去或是會去的旅遊景點以及代表性風景,而在這過程中會漸漸發現那些消失的地點,以及重新發現風景背後的歷史脈絡與意義。對照現況,現在很多觀光景點或是休閒踏青的地方都相當刻意與人工化,而風景區的歷史意義也因過去的意識形態刻意抹除與粉飾變得破碎模糊,在這種交互觀看中我去找出自己觀看這地方的認同感與認識路徑。繪葉書就像開啟一扇窗。

 

Q2.“復刻”或“重復取樣”的技法在您這次作品中佔了重要的部分,能否與觀眾分享使用這樣技法的過程以及再現既成圖像在您創作中的意義?

 

很多繪畫在製造圖像後會放入許多感性描述與故事,我試著在這氾濫的路徑另尋他路。

 

我想每個以繪畫作為媒材的創作者都會面臨到畫什麼的問題以及怎麼畫,這樣畫是不是已經有前面的大師或誰誰誰風格類似了。繪畫在今天的當代藝術世界中處在一個詭異的位置,人們說繪畫已死,或沒把戲了,死不了但似乎又要不斷吸取日月精華跟跨界的血液不斷生存變形下去,的確他的形式有限,要跟當代藝術的觀念與形式車拼,他確實有待努力。但如果直接去面對它本身狀態會發現很多有趣值得探討的東西。

 

繪畫的意義在這裡是一個觀看路徑的開啟。也就是說在我過去的作品脈絡裡不斷圍繞著處理與回應影像與繪畫之間的關係,發展到現在這階段我直接去面對繪畫在台灣藝術發展中的狀態以及風景畫與所挑選的圖像的意義,這像是一種檔案圖像觀看篩選。在今天影像氾濫的時代,繪畫同時也是不斷在製造圖像,製造完之後,他也進入檔案圖像的時間軌跡之中。我就是把這些元素彼此擷取串連然後詮釋。

 

而這種製造,觀看,與再放置一旁,抹除以及曖昧的觀看似乎是我對於台灣這個地方的一個看法,好像不斷不斷再reset,很累,很多問題要處理。

 

Q3. 您怎麼看自己在今年臺北獎之後的創作? 是否會繼續討論關於圖像再現的議題呢?

 

這系列是延續2013年在南海藝廊個展的內容脈絡,也是前幾個月剛結束的個展作品之一,我會繼續找資料探索,但之後會以怎樣的方式呈現我還沒有一個明確輪廓,很高興繪葉書系列能在這次台北獎完整獨立出來呈現,其實也畫蠻多張的了,接下來針對這系列應該也是好好想想該如何再一次篩選,而不是一直找圖然後就畫它。

 

1945年對全世界來說我想是影響深遠的一年,台灣更是。我目前處理到的年份是環繞在這之前,接下來會繼續處理。而我希望接下來的視角是能夠綜合更多地區彼此參照來提出我的觀察與自我的認同。