Going Home 魂歸故里
Two channels video, Object, Flowers, Pottery, Digital imaging output
Size Variable / 視場地尺寸而定
( Installation view of Taoyuan International Art Award Exhibition, Taoyuan, 2021 )
The work Going Home attempts to re-examine the political figures in the history of autonomy, especially the early Tainan County Council. Having gone through the Japanese colonization, Taiwanese elites actively devoted themselves to the participation of local elections after World War II. Before becoming the first chair of the Tainan County Council, Chen Huazong had been the head of Xuejia region in Showa 10 (1935), when the entire Office of the Taiwan Governor-General was mobilized to hold the Taiwan Exposition to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Japan’s governance of Taiwan, promoting local urban planning and land division. Xuejia thus became one of the few townships where urban planning was completed before the war.In 1947, the February 28 incident broke out. Chen Huazong, Senator Wu Xinrong and others were arrested, being accused of civil disturbance. Originally sentenced to death, they were then acquitted of the charge. After being released from prison, Chen Huazong actively participated in Taiwan’s politics. He has served as the county commissioner for four terms consecutively and became the leader of the "Beimen Group", the latter being the precursor of the "Sea Group." In November 1968, Chen Huazong as senator of the Taiwan Province was killed in a car accident near the Presidential Office Building on his way to the provincial council guest house in Taipei, with his car being crashed by a truck. He passed away after being sent to a hospital. The sudden accident led to the longtime local rumour that his death was related to his advocacy in the county council to establish an international port in the North Gate.
The Going Home takes Chen Huazong as the prototype of the story. It begins with a young man revisiting Chen’s former residence: an eclectic-style building hidden in a deserted place infested with weed that has been ruined for a long time, before taking to the statue of Chen Huazong in the storage room of the council building. Through his story, I attempt to show the many intertwined networks of reality and fusion behind a historic site.The part of work, digs into the building of the Tainan City Council, discussing how the ideology of the country's rulers can be spread or enhanced by symbols in space. Completed in 1980, the council building has an Eight Trigrams-shaped roof whose corners and ridge were ornamented with statues of immortals riding beasts appropriated from ancient Chinese architecture. This kind of architectural elements resembling the style of the northern palaces appeared abundantly in the official architectural design of the 1970s, incarnating how art was employed as an instrument for political propaganda. After the county council was moved into the building, the Eight Trigrams with the function of exorcism and golden glazed tiles as symbols of emperor failed to bring better feng shui. Many councillors died of disease or accidents, arousing clamorous rumours. The county people rumoured that the Chinese-style official building had the negative effect of worsening the feng shui, leading to the final decision of the council to remove the roof crown to appease the voices from all parties. Although this incident happened after Chen Huazong had died of the car accident for more than a decade, all sorts of rumours around local politics implying coincidences and conspiracies remained to be exorcised. I took a photo of the completion of the council building as a reference and remade the pottery roof crown that had been left behind for decades. Finally, the original function and beauty of the object as a container got restored. But how can life be separated from frames of politics and ideology? I still doubt.