駐村藝術家李立中個展《Pontanus的日誌本06：蕭壠城記》 The Diary 06 of Pontanus - The Story of Soulang City
時間 Date2023-06-21 ~ 2023-08-30
“Chronicling the situation, customs, battles, and incidents happening in Soulang City on Little Liuqiu Island. It’s what we’ve been able to explore and see personally so far.” -- The Story of Soulang City 1623
My obsession with the innate homing ability of Racing Homer pigeons is overwhelming. To satisfy my curiosity, I’ve been exploring where these pigeons non-native to Taiwan originated from. After delving into and analyzing loads of historical materials, fortuitously, I encountered Pontanus, the employee of the Vereenigde Oost-indische Compagnie (VOC), and started to imagine our adventures of looking for pigeons through the voyages of Dutch ships towards the East. I conducted field research during my residency, tracing the routes from the 17th-century colonizer by returning to the historic sites. From the perspective of Pontanus, a nobody in the Age of Sail, I carried out archaeological and modern-social investigations based on the approaches of topology, which have been implemented by sectioning texts into chapters and volumes as well as intertextuality in visual images. While searching for (in an archaeological manner) the presence of pigeons that were unbearably insignificant, I also paid very much attention on contemporary urban communities as well as environmental development in local regions (modern social phenomena). Straightforwardly speaking, I intend to pursue the stories of my beloved pigeons in the name of developing the series of “The Diary of Pontanus” that I’ve created in recent years. Like a time traveler, I embarked on a journey of discovery with an imperial ghost in this charming Formosa, a place that was foreign and exotic to him. The contrast between reality and imagination at the present has been constantly made during this trip.
In “The Diary 06 of Pontanus -The Story of Soulang City”, Soulang was the ancient name of Jiali District in Tainan. Four hundred years ago, Soulangh, one of the four major Siraya tribes, was a populous and well-connected community. Siao-long Cultural Park, which is based on the same territory today was transliterated from the name, Soulangh. In 1623, a year in advance of Dutch’s colonization of Taiwan, Soulangh tribe had already existed in the areas later investigated and mentioned by the Dutch. The report of certain field investigations, titled “The Story of Soulang City”, has become the first historical material about ancient Taiwan documented by the westerners. Four hundred years later, Jiali District has become a political and economic center of the Great Beimen Area in Tainan. Fortunately, economic imbalance between northern and southern Tainan and the problems of regional growth didn’t occur here after the merger of Tainan City and County because of population inflow owing to some factors, such as enterprise investment in the adjacent Tainan Science Park. However, local development also pushes prices up for the real estate market in hot zones. The project, according with the theme of the residency program, aims at creating a work that reflects the changes happening over four hundred years in Tainan under the circumstances of globalization, which has affected Taiwan’s role politically and economically as well as its post-colonization phenomena.