The exhibition is a continuation of my previous projects, photographing abandoned western-style buildings on Kinmen Island.
Kinmen Island often becomes a war target and conflict zone due to its strategic importance. It was occupied by the Japanese in 1937, and returned to the Republic of China after World War II. It entered the Military control period after the outbreak of the Guningtou Battle in 1949, and the 823 Artillery Bombardment took place in 1958. Not until 1992 the martial law period was lifted. As the critical frontier of defending Taiwan during the civil war period, it has suffered from more than 40 years of long martial law period, and 36 years of battle field administrative experiments. Therefore the unique military heritages and landscapes of the Island are preserved and become the witness of its previous war history.
There are more than a hundred western-style buildings in total on Kinmen Island. The residents used to have difficult lives, therefore they moved to foreign lands of the colonial Southeast Asia. After became rich from successful business, these wealthy expatriates contributed money to their hometowns and built western-style buildings based on what they’ve seen in Southeast Asia. Additionally, Han Chinese culture and local characters are integrated in these architectures. Nonetheless, with the outbreak of war, many of these western-style buildings were occupied by the Japanese and the KMT Army in sequence. The owners of these buildings fled to the foreign lands, and many of them never had the chance to come back. However, the ultimate fate of these western-style buildings who represent status, wealth and knowledge, is to be desolated in the bushes, and gradually eroded and swallowed by the nature. These dilapidated western-style buildings are served as the metaphor and bearer of war history, reflecting the constantly restlessness and turbulent regime changes. They are like the nameless monuments forgotten by the era, while time and space are sealed into these uninhabited buildings.
The hidden past of these empty, sealed and abandoned spaces is what fascinates me. Those invisible historical voids become the fermented place for imaginations. With my personal awareness and perception to fill the voids, along with the image creation process channels through the tiny crevices, the imagination and meanings flow between inside and outside of the space boundaries, and between the visible and invisible.