《一帆風順》, Afterimage, 2021
The exhibition has been divided into three parts of “Jinshui” 、 “Nantian.” and “Oral Room” .The exhibits of “Jinshui” start from Jinshui Camp Historic Trail and focus on messengers of Taiwanese Plains Indigenous Peoples going back and forth on the historic trail. They coincide with the image of the “fleet-footed aboriginals” and probe into the political meaning of this historic trail that has been dubbed “compressed Taiwan’s history” and into diverse, moving and indefinable “actant” walking on it. With respect to “Nantian,” it stretches outward, and it connects the relationship between Golden Triangle of Myanmar and Taiwan through drugs, linking issues such as historical legacies left behind by Chinese Civil War, drugs and commericialized coasts.These have formed bizarre scenery in my estranged “homecoming” journey.The "Oral Room" is the related field oral record of the two parts above.
The exhibition "Be Plain Sailing" is derived from two routes to Taitung. The first route is the "JinShuiYing Historic Trail", an ancient road with both official and commercial trail. The second is the route of drug transport by seaway. Every year, there are a lot of heroin and amphetamines transported to Taitung from the Golden Triangle which is the junction area of Thai-Myanmar and Laos. The plastic package of Drug has words "SBe Plain Sailing" printed on it .
My hometown is in Shangwu Village of Dawu Township in Taitung County. My grandparents on both my father’s and mother’s sides moved to the village from western Taiwan. When I was little, my parents often took us there. Crystal clear streams and rivers, enormously loud waves, fishing ports that were silted up, hairtails, gray pillar-like tornadoes in the distance over the sea, patriotic compatriots from Dachen Island with strange accents, and the Paiwan who lived in a village adjacent to ours were all my childhood memories. JinShuiYing Historic Trail that was still used in the 1960s and 1970s was a trail for my ancestors to move to Taitung from Pingtung. My grandfather on my mother’s side herded cattle for a long distance to Shuidiliao in Pingtung to sell along the historic trail.
However, Shangwu Village still possesses deeper and darker memories including my grandfather Kao Shou whom I had never met. He committed suicide by drinking pesticide by Da-Lake in the depth of the village on November 30, 1961. On the household registration transcript, it noted his death was caused by committing suicide by poisoning himself. Many years later, my uncle on my father’s side committed suicide by hanging himself at the same place unexpectedly. My uncle on my mother’s side went astray, and his body was filled with needle tracks because he had been smoking and injecting heroin. However, this is not the only case in the village. It's like the word "poison" is intertwined of my memory of Shangwu. In 2019, a piece of news titled “Heroin Found on Taitung Beach” talked about the coast south of Dawu that is famous for beautiful Nantian stones was covered up with heroin bricks. It was later found out that the villagers of my hometown mostly smoked heroin brand-named Double UOGlobe from Golden Triangle, with the phrase of “smooth sailing” being printed at the bottom of the package.