「The Adventures in Mount Yu」Tu, Pei-Shih Solo Exhibition
The film Brazil directed by British Director Terry Gilliam describes a fictional future city dominated by bureaucracy and terrorists. Under the pressure of penetrating social machine and unpredictable risks, the main character, Sam Lowry, escapes and lands himself in a wonderful Utopia world out of his daydreams. To Sam, the real world's ineffectiveness (as shown in the powerful yet unchangeable mechanism in the reality) contrasted sharply with the dream world in which he was not only as free as a soaring bird but the hero who had saved a beautiful maiden. The story began ironically on one Christmas in the 20th century. The film in fact has nothing to do with Brazil. "Brazil" acts as a romantic or fantastic vector for the notion of escapism.
Such an escape derived from crises of relationship as well as the construct of imagination have always been my points of interest. The plot of Brazil also provides a contrast to what have been happening in current Taiwan. Ineffectiveness has long been something familiar yet oppressive, ranging from the fickleness in the international community, vainness and weariness in the pursuit of subjectivity to the expansion of bureaucratic power in the name of growth and development and futility in various kinds of struggles of the underclass. All these have contributed to the tremendously pan-politicized social manifestation that we see today and two entirely different types of artistic languages. The first one is a social approach in which social involvement through various means such as actions and events is emphasized, creating a global atmosphere with social characters pretty much manifested when compared with other areas. The second one; however, puts stress on self-expression and formalized languages for sentimental creations, which has totally evaded political power since the late 90's. The former may seem to be more respectable when it comes to appraisal. Perhaps it was due to artist's character of defiance. When being in an environment of artistic creation with much emphasis on social involvement (de-individuation, to certain extent), I have attempted to do something against the trend. That is, to compile and interpret those ineffective activities and events among social relationships with pretty much individualized styles in my creations and provide them with vectors of imaginations.
Extended from the mindset of experiment, "The Adventures in Mount Yu" has become a transformation of real life's ineffectiveness into a vector of emptiness: a series of seemingly beautiful and flourishing adventure stories in the mountains just as what was described in "Brazil." "The Adventures in Mount Yu" is a series of my video creations started in 2010. Literally it means mysterious whereabouts in Mount Yu (or in Taiwan in a sense). What is common in this series is that it interpret the vain struggling or various social activities or events yet completely effective with different narrative genre, including farmers' struggling of expropriated farmland in Dapu Town of Miaoli County, protest against sky-high property prices, and pursuit of Taiwan subjectivity. The Adventures refer to such actions yet completely effective. Presented both in flashback, The Adventures in Mount Yu I and The Adventures in Mount Yu IV are all with the same first half, describing the ideal totalitarian world in the novel "Ruins of Taiwan" by Song Zelai, in which a fiction of the ruins of Taiwan (called TNN Village) resulted from a serious explosion of nuclear plant in 2010 was plotted. People in the village live in an extremely totalitarian system. There leave only eating, drinking, sex and media as the important things in life. But villagers show insensitivity to the whole situation. With second halves interpreting different social struggling that did happen in 2010, the narration turns from fictions to realities.
Adopting a metaphor approach, The Adventures in Mount Yu II describes the hunting journey of a hunter (an analogy to the role of Nadou in the program of Love Taiwan PK Fight in Everybody Speaks Nonsenses II – Hot Pot) in high mountains. The Adventures in Mount Yu III silently exhibits the epitome of protests against sky-high property prices in front of five pictorial luxury houses. With animation used as a medium of fantasy expression, I tried to present visuals with more objectivity and stage-like effects in my interpretation without storyboard and film editing. Viewers observe numerous messages by themselves. Some may have to watch it several times before catching the meaning. To me, the intention of this series is not to achieve social concern through creations, or to turn ineffective actions in real life into effective ones. Social communication is simply not my purpose. Through narrative experiments, the thing that I pay attention to is to convey a superficial, stylized and trivial fancy construct, while it is exactly one of the characteristics of the era that I belong to.
《玉山迷蹤》除了由上述的實驗心態延伸而來，對我來說更重要的是讓事件在現實無效之餘，轉化為如「巴西」般，空缺的承載物 – 一系列看似美好繽紛的山林冒險故事。首先，《玉山迷蹤》是我自2010年起持續創作中的系列錄像作品，就字面來看，指的是發生在玉山（或至少說，發生在台灣）的，神祕的行蹤。這個系列中作品的共通處，在於以不同敘事方式演繹目前在台灣抗爭無效，或者尚未全然有效的各種社會行動與事件，當中包括苗栗大埔徵收戶的抗爭，無殼蝸牛抗議高房價，以及對台灣主體性的追求…等等，「迷蹤」二字指的便是這些「尚未全然有效的行動」。其中，《玉山迷蹤 之一》與《玉山迷蹤 之四》皆以倒敘的方式，前半部描繪宋澤萊小說 《廢墟台灣》中美好的理想極權世界：書裡虛構了2010年台灣因核電廠爆炸而淪為廢墟（稱為TNN村），人們生活在極度集權的體制下，生活中的重要事物只剩吃、喝、性、媒體，但島上的人對一切並沒有太大的感覺的狀態；後半部則各自演繹了同樣在2010年，卻真實發生的社會抗爭事件，敘事由小說式的虛構逐漸轉為寫實。
《玉山迷蹤 之二》 以隱喻的方式描述一名獵人（全民大悶鍋節目裡愛台灣PK戰的納豆）在深山中找尋獵物的過程；《玉山迷蹤 之三》則在五幅如詩如畫的豪宅美景前，無聲呈現無殼蝸牛抗議高房價之樣態。動畫作為具幻想本質的表現媒材，在演繹這些事件同時，我試圖以不做任何分鏡剪接的手法呈現較為客觀，略具舞台臨場特質的視覺畫面，觀者必需同時在眾多訊息中自行觀察，甚至重複觀看影像才得以形塑意義。對我來說，這系列作品的用意並非要透過創作文本達到社群關懷，或者讓現實中無效的行動化為有效 – 社會性的傳達並非我的首要訴求。我關注的，是透過敘事的實驗，傳達一種表象的，風格化而瑣碎的想像結構。而這，也是我當下所身處的時代特質。
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