馬力歐（Mario Subeldia）和凱特雷（Daniel Rea Ketter）分別是菲律賓籍移工和在台的美國人。馬力歐在菲律賓是學藝術的，父親也是地方的議員，因家中突來的變故，只好離鄉來到新竹科學園區從事底層的作業員工作。熱愛藝術的他，工作之餘不忘創作，從繪畫、沙畫現場展演、服裝設計都很在行，拿到街頭藝人證照後，經常在街頭可以看到他的身影。在自己有些資源後，也積極鼓勵指導其他在台同鄉作創作，或是邀請他們參與他的街頭服裝走秀，希望讓台灣社會認識菲律賓、關注這些菲律賓移工；去年馬力歐和在幼兒園教英語的女友結婚，他的身分於是從移工轉變成外配。凱特雷生長在美國較鄉下的地方，父親是位工程師，家庭一向有手作的習慣。2004年第一次來到台灣，以教英語為業展開了在台灣的生活；2011年在台灣朋友和女朋友Lucia的鼓勵下開始了美國復古老物的進口買賣；2012年和Lucia結婚，成了台灣女婿。這次展出他復古店裡常用的工作臺等物件，和藝術家黃亦中以這對夫婦為對象拍攝的影像紀錄。凱特雷喜歡動手修理復古物品，常將老物件融和現代科技讓大家能重新使用這些有個性的東西。「我不喜歡破壞原有的功能或外觀」這是凱特雷對物件修復的習慣。被問到有沒有計畫搬回美國，他說：「我已經在台灣居住了14年，我真的很喜歡這裡。我們希望盡可能延續目前的生活方式。」。這兩位外國人，在台灣這新的移居地展開生活，但他們也都試著引入自身原生文化，延續著過去的記憶及生活經驗。然而當人們記憶不再依附在原鄉的過濾，而是與自己身體、經驗來看待記憶時，或許又將激盪出另一種新的生活記憶。
程仁珮延續了她的「食譜演化運動」（Recipe evolution movement）計畫，以遠嫁台灣的外籍配偶料理作為創作內容，讓濃濃的家鄉記憶及在地生活的點滴從一張張料理影像中穿透而出。食物（家鄉菜）、味道形成一個循環論證，如藝術家提問的「『家鄉菜』是移居人們想念家鄉的一種方法，然而生活在台灣的異族媳婦是否家鄉菜已經融入了台灣的味道？或是被台灣的味道取代？亦或，家鄉的味道又摻入的更多移居人生的滋味？」
Home is the base where people attach their emotions to and position themselves. Whether home exists physically or in people’s imagination, it is where people live securely. Each home should have a patron saint that guards its memories as well as the fragile and complicated bonds within. Being forced to migrate from their hometown, migrants leave their patron saints. Then how do they reside with the new patron saints in their new home?
Migrations in the globalization era have intensified due to economic migrations among international enterprises and refugees migrations from wars. While the migration types and meanings differ, migrations reflect the current situation of our society. Taiwan is a society of immigrants that consists of different immigrants from each historical stage. In the past, as we overemphasized on cultural homogeneity and cultural fusion, refusing to appreciate the differences in our society, the personalities of the immigrants’ society were hidden. Hsinchu city is also a city of immigrants. Aside from the traditional residents, immigrants from China after WWII, middle class immigrants and migrant workers to the Hsinchu Science Park and foreign spouses immigrated successively. Either living temporarily or permanently, Hsinchu has become the immigrants’ new home. The amount of foreign spouses and migrant workers is growing, we may pass by foreigners from south-east Asia in the train station, hearing and even conversing with them. These immigrants from various backgrounds create a new culture through cultural clash, while residing and moving in the city shared with the others. The cultural creation is derived from the dynamic relationship these immigrants have with the migration place, positioning the immigrants, the others and the world, further providing possibilities for cross border conversation. In the creating process, memories have become the conversing media between their hometown and the migration place, which can be sensed in the art works exhibited.
In the exhibition The Immigrants, two aspects are displayed, one being the expressions and observations of the immigrants’ daily life, the other being the complicated process the immigrants went through when protecting memories of their hometown, bringing the memories into the migration place. Through the exhibited project creations, the traces of the immigrants’ migrations and daily life are reproduced and transformed by art, breeding a conversing media. The visitors can see how each immigrant adapts to the migration place, further creating a penetrating new culture.
The exhibition includes seven different immigration types, vendors in markets, foreign spouses, aboriginals in cities, crews on cruises, migrant workers, foreign residents in Taiwan, etc., creating seven scenes to meet these immigrants. Cooperating with JUT Foundation for Arts & Architecture, the artist CHEN Yung-Hsien’s photography works “The Multitudes in Market” capture vendors in the U-mkt in Wanhua District, Taipei. In the traditional markets, stands that sell vegetable, meat, grocery, cooked food and ingredients gather and feed the residents. The vendors include local residents and immigrants from other cities and countries. They sell ingredients of their cultures in different dialects, striving for a living and showing common people’s life. Dong Men market is near Hsinchu Gallery, are you interested in conversing with the vendors inside?
Mario Rafa Subeldia and Daniel Rea Ketter are immigrants from the Philippines and the America separately. Mario is the son of a legislator, he studied arts in the Philippines. Due to accidents at home, he immigrated to Taiwan and worked in Hsinchu Science Park. Being a passionate artist, he created paintings, sand paintings and fashion design in his leisure time. After obtaining the street artist’s certification, he started to perform on the streets. Mario encourages Filipinos in Taiwan to create art works or invites them to participate in his street fashion shows, looking forward to letting the Taiwanese learn about the Philippines and pay attention to these Filipino migrant workers. He married his girlfriend last year, turning into a foreign spouse from a migrant worker. Ketter is the son of an engineer and grew up in a family that made handicrafts in a rural area in the USA. He taught English when he came to Taiwan in 2004; then with encouragements from his friends and girlfriend Lucia, he began his business in importing retro furniture in 2011; in 2012, he married Lucia and became a foreign spouse. Objects in his furniture store, such as the working desk, are exhibited in the gallery, along with the video of Ketter and Lucia, shot by the artist HUANG Yi-Chung. “I don’t like to destroy objects’ original functions or exterior,” said Ketter. Being fond of repairing retro furniture, he combines old objects and modern technologies and create reusable stylish furniture. When asked if he has the plan to move back to the USA, Ketter replied, “I have been living in Taiwan for 14 years and I love this place, and we want to extend the current lifestyle as much as possible”. While beginning a new life in Taiwan, the two foreigners try to bring in the culture of their hometown, extending their memories and life experiences from the past. Nevertheless, as people experience memories with their senses rather than with the cultural filter of their hometown, a different type of memories could be generated.
The artist CHENG Jen Pei extends her project “Recipe Evolution Movement”, taking dishes made by foreign spouses in Taiwan as subjects, revealing these wives’ memories and daily life of their hometown with photography. As a means for the immigrants to recall their home, hometown flavors form a circular reasoning. The artist quested: “Have the foreign spouses added Taiwanese elements to their dishes?” “Are their hometown flavors replaced by Taiwanese flavors?” “Could there be more flavors of immigration be added to the dishes?”
DOU Yi Jen, an aboriginal artist from the Saisiyat, focuses her creation on two internalized elements of her tribe: ancestors and taboos. By leaving the reality in cities temporarily, she joined the ancient festival of her tribe, displaying the physical and spiritual movement of an aboriginal in the urban city. The artist HUANG Yu Chia brings up another immigrating experience that crews on cruises usually stay on board for over six months, which is much longer than they are on the land. Her series work “A Piece of Faded Blue On The Sea” displays the crews’ life on cruises. In contrast to the blast among the guests, the crews are isolated from the people and the ferry, having a blurred vision on events on board, not knowing where they are.
“UNFOLDING” is an art project the artist CHEN Chia Jen joined in Baan Noorg, Thailand. A Myanmarese couple who worked as migrant workers in Thailand applied for the project. The artist made the couple practice folding paper elephants, through which displaying the migrant workers’ desire for breaking through being in a rut. Taking the origami’s silhouette as the video’s subject, the artist invites the audiences to involve themselves in the repetitive unfolding process, developing more questions on the artist’s unsolved quests.
Everyone’s life experience is not only a vivid immigrating story but also part of the entire society’s history. Often wandering between dreams and the reality, the immigrants’ memories could be part of their dreams while they seem to be in the reality. Memories are on the edge of vanishing if they are not supported by real memorial objects or places. The tangled and complicated experiences in the migration place have become sources for reproducing memories, constructing the immigrants’ new spiritual home.
展期｜2018/8/9(四)-2018/10/14(日) 9:00-17:00 (免費參觀，每週一休館)
策展團隊｜沃沃美學 wòwò Aesthetics