Photographic collage series, A Battlefield Is a Wishful Thinking, yet a Stamp Is a Piece of Paper, are on view in the... Read More
Photographic collage series, A Battlefield Is a Wishful Thinking, yet a Stamp Is a Piece of Paper, are on view in the exhibition, which are based on photographs taken by the artist during his visit to Kinmen. These photographs feature military and memorial relics and sites, such as the Kinmen Guesthouse, retired tanks, images of singer Teresa Teng’s visit to Kinmen for paying tribute and entertaining soldiers, along with other military ruins. The artist pastes old stamps, which represent a nation, onto the photographs, forming various signs, words, or meaningless patterns as a way to respond to or conceal scenes and objects of wars and battles in these “tourist” photographs.
Kinmen as a battlefield has long become an impractical yearning, which is repeatedly recycled and utilized on different levels as a nostalgic instrument for political and emotional manipulation. Stamps printed with political propaganda constitute a similar instrument, which is still used to convey messages that are almost obsolete but not quite. When the two are combined in this work, they are complementary to the formation of each other’s contexts while canceling them out at the same time— the once glorious and burdened battlefield becomes a mirage, and the great ideology is eventually reduced down to a tiny, practically insignificant, piece of paper.