1349 Trail of Imagination
In this project, the "1349" used in the title refers to the book "Brief Record of the Island Barbarians", written by WANG Day-Uan, a navigator in the Yuan Dynasty. During that period, the Plains Indigenous People in Taiwan "boiled sea water for salt and made wines from sugarcane syrup". It was the first time "sugarcane" was recorded in written documents.
With the decline of the sugar industry, the sugarcane fields in Madou have been disappearing gradually. My work in the 2019 Madou Sugar Industry Art Triennial aims to recreate memories of the old landscapes of sugarcane fields, and to rebuild the scene for the next generation to remember using materials of different textures through the concept of "replanting". Visitors can imagine that they are walking along the trail of time and may feel the existence of sugarcane fields on this land in ancient times.
Presented irregularly around the Arts Center, the work is made up of hand-cut iron pieces which show the lines of sketches, like the stalks of sugarcane growing from hands. A craft artist is just like a farmer in terms of their manual labor. Handicraft, experience, knowledge, and consciousness are all introduced to this sugarcane field made of engraved iron, newly planted by my own hands. As visitors see the interlacing hollowed-out sugarcane leaves and the changes of light and shadow in the trail, sweet memories of childhood are revived once more.