交陪_2_4

文───梁任宏

蘇厝.信仰.王船

我小時候住在蘇厝,在蘇厝裡有兩間廟:長興宮與真護宮。村內稱長興宮叫舊廟,真護宮叫新廟。蘇厝有幾個比較大的姓,照理說應該蘇姓最多,但就我的記憶,姓蘇的並不多,王姓、梁姓反而比較多。姓梁的人大部分都有親戚關係,在地緣上也跟真護宮比較近,所以都是真護宮的信徒。北邊長興宮附近住的大多姓王,他們也多是長興宮的信徒,說明了蘇厝在信仰上是跟村子的地緣比較有關係。雖然村子很小,兩宮之間步行距離也大概十分鐘以內,但在祭拜上還是有些地緣之分。
長興宮祭拜瘟王,之後真護宮因為想祭拜王爺而從長興宮分支出去。真護宮從長興宮獨立出來之初的發展,我有參與了一些,也看到一些。當時真護宮雖然已經找到地要蓋廟,但把神像迎回來,總是要有個地方設神壇、安座神像。我叔叔是乩童,非常熱心參與廟務,所以有些神明就放在我家,乩童、法師也在我家辦事。我那時覺得乩童蠻有趣的,會學大人起乩,拿鐵釘釘在木板上,還玩到流血!好像變成乩童就無所不能,有點自我麻醉,其他小孩也會起哄說:「吼吼吼,操ㄌㄨㄟ,操ㄌㄨㄟ。」
我們家族與真護宮較有關係,但我讀的是長興宮的幼稚園,而且只念了三天。小時候我不知道什麼是幼稚園,聽隔壁小朋友說去幼稚園會發糖果,我就要求媽媽讓我去上幼稚園,但她覺得太奢侈了,不讓我去。我哭鬧了很長一段時間,終於有一天,我媽媽知道幼稚園快舉行畢業典禮,就讓我去讀,三天之後他們就畢業了。長興宮的廟結構有「伸手」(閩式建築護龍),位置上與市場連在一起,小朋友喜歡跟大人去買菜,去買菜就會有零食,一開始我也只因這樣才會接近廟的環境,廟宇內實質的參與大概要等真護宮出現後才有較多的接觸。
每年蘇厝真護宮最大的日子是農曆4月26日:李府千歲的生日。這時候長輩都會問出外工作的人:「你們26日要回來嗎?」。真護宮一開始是九年一醮,後來慢慢改成三年一醮。如果建醮就會請外頭的客人來,不然都自己人回來。那時候遇到臺灣的經濟正在起步,建醮都是空前浩大,雖然車輛不像現在這麼多,但人群還是密密麻麻,連走回家都很不簡單。之後大家買車買得起了,建醮也越來越氣派,流水席不限人數、不限時間,車都要停在隔壁庄再走進來,不然無法進去庄頭。
在蘇厝最有名的就是宋江陣跟王船。宋江陣有三十六將,每一個陣頭、排序、武器、隊形及運作方式都有師傅在教。剛開始找外地的師傅來教,等自己學起來後就再繼續傳承下去。一般陣頭的領頭羊就是拿頭旗,第二位一定是拿雙斧,我叔叔就是拿這兩種的。這些廟事村裡孔武有力的男人都會參與,它也變成一種娛樂。小時候我吃飽飯就會去廟埕等著看人練宋江。我小學的時候也曾跟陣頭去遊街,小朋友負責拿寫肅靜的牌子,不然就舉一支桿子上頭插一顆木瓜,也會分到一件長袍馬褂,囡仔陣就一路跟著陣頭走。
王船有一艘是一直被供奉在廟裡,這艘造價也比較高。每年王船祭前則會有一票人住在廟裡紮營工作,製作一艘較簡易的王船供燒化用。我覺得這些造王船的人真的很厲害,小時候就很羨慕他們的技術,以前古代那個手藝都是真功夫,既使是臨時工也是用竹釘,不像現在用鐵釘。王船裡有些木頭的基本構造,結構體不能太脆弱,還要考慮到運送及遊行,做工很複雜。
真護宮有很多傳說,像我們廟裡有一位元老,大家都叫他土牛伯,聽說他很厲害,手一指,劍就會跑到地下去。不過是真是假我不知道,但是廟一定要有這些傳說才會旺,又例如:陣頭的刺鐵球在祭典時會被拋得很高,有一次乩童拋球拋歪了,刺鐵球掉落到觀眾群,刮傷了小孩,乩童用符水吹一吹,那小孩就不哭了。
真護宮後方就是嘉南大圳,除了灌溉期外,整片都是乾燥的,供大夥收成後曬榖之用。每年8月15日,村裡的小朋友會聚在大圳的空地「觀四腳仔神」。在「觀四腳仔神」的儀式中會請一位小孩綁頭巾、蹲在地上,其他小朋友則拿香、圍圈、助念力,八字輕的小孩很容易就會「發」。道教中「觀」和「發」的意思似乎很難以文字完全表達,我想「觀」是用在神或不明力量時,有點類似預備動作、集中念力等等的過程,而「發」則是觀成功後,神明或不明力量降臨時「啟動」的狀態。
小時候接觸很多宗教的慶典、儀式及傳說,但是當我國小在課文裡讀到一篇說孫中山要破除迷信、去除偶像崇拜而折斷神明的手時,我對他的舉動覺得很感動。雖然我在那個環境中,但宗教一直沒有辦法對我證明些具體的事,簡單講,我看很多人都喜歡跟神明求財,可是為什麼家裡還是一直都那麼窮?光是這一點我就沒有辦法相信宗教。另外,我發現大部分的鄉民都把家用錢投注在信仰上面,每個村子裡頭最大的建築物就是廟。有些東西是做給別人看的,就像做生意有在拜拜,但沒信神,只是跟著形式跑。我想寄附應該不是種形式而是心意,但心意是被神明感動才會去做的事。後來我多少也有寄附,但都是為了讓我爸高興。
因為以前大夥務農,大自然加諸在我們身上的不確定性太大,大家對自己很沒信心,有共同的宗教信仰會讓人感到有所依靠,這是很棒的事情。我想村裡的廟宇除了宗教之外,更大的功能是早期村內沒有活動中心,也沒有像現在那麼多娛樂,廟提供了大家聚會的場所。在那個場所中,大家常有聚會,彼此可以交流經驗、培養感情,讓整個村子裡有著和諧的關係。但現在的人不需要廟埕,公園都比廟埕還大,有很多替代的交流場所,而且大家使用廟的方式也不同了。
現在蘇厝變很多,變太多了,完全是兩個樣。風貌的改變幾乎所有鄉下都是一樣。我家大概是蘇厝比較早有二樓的,小時候我會在二樓寫生,看整個村子的屋頂,村莊整片紅瓦很漂亮,但現在我跑到二樓,旁邊的房子都比我們家高,看不到幾片紅瓦,我想是世俗化越來越嚴重。一開始蘇厝遶境或燒王船我都會回去,但我現在不會了,我感覺遶境或燒王船已經變成形式。起初村莊是藉由節慶,讓大家嗨一下,到後來弄越大,其目的在於收到更多的寄附!
對比歐洲與臺灣的鄉村風貌,我覺得歐洲鄉村的面貌改變非常緩慢,感覺時間是凝固的。我想這有幾個原因,第一,歐洲鄉村早先建構時就用永久材在思考。第二,氣候條件較乾燥,建築好保存。第三,歐洲有較豐厚的文化底子,會保存著可能不是很好用,但有文化價值的事物,所以面貌改變的很慢。臺灣欠缺這方面的思維,因為我們的首要之務,跟文化完全沒關係。城鄉的面貌是因應著我們的需要而產生,我們要的是快速累積經濟、要活下去,所以面貌不斷快速地變動,一直在改變。
雖然我對神有意見,可是我還是會去廟裡頭,像我們村裡有些長輩會出現在那兒,大夥聊天,坐下來泡個茶,那氣氛很好,在鄉下的廟都還存在著這種和諧的關係。我想能把人再抓回來的,除了信仰之外,跟人的記憶有關。過去的記憶好像重新有再去交陪的動力。

記憶.環境.身體

蘇厝的人文、地理環境,包括廟的圖騰與信仰也帶給我創作上的想像與思考空間。國小時,第一幅自己覺得滿意的圖是畫一條龍,且因為鄉下睡覺的地方是開放式通鋪,空的空間有一塊平板很像美術館,我就把這幅畫貼在牆上,貼了很久,別人要撕下來我都不肯,後來我還陸續畫了一些,也都貼上去。
小學五、六年級,我用黃麻桿做了一艘船。以前因為需要很多麻繩,所以種了許多黃麻桿,黃麻桿的皮被拿來做麻繩,黃麻桿芯末端嫩的部分,剖成兩半可拿來擦屁股,前端較粗的部分就當木材燒。那時因為我們村子就在曾文溪旁,每年都會做水災,我船造好後,就期待著快淹水,後來真的淹水了,船果然浮的很漂亮。
以前房子屋頂是用瓦做的,每年都一定有瓦掉落,找尖尖的就可以用來刻很深的線條。再加上我家庭院農忙時是曬榖場,農忙後一大片泥巴地沒使用,我就用樹枝、瓦片在地上畫東西。一開始是為了要跳格子而畫,畫一畫後手動了起來,就會去畫些動物。小時候對凶猛的野獸像老虎、獅子有崇拜心理,後來畫龍也是因為聽說龍最厲害。庭院非常好用,譬如在泥巴地畫一條線,大伙就丟出龍眼籽或是橄欖籽,誰最接近線,其他人所丟出去的籽就都是你的,蒐集越多植物種籽就越有優越感。那時一直把這件事當一回事,紙牌、玻璃珠都是比較後期才出現的,不要的種子對大人來說當然不值一文,可是對小孩子來說太重要了。
小時候的記憶影響著我長大之後的創作,2003年我參加墾丁的「風鈴季」,那時候開始接觸到風,墾丁的落山風就是大白天的颱風,我做了一艘船,整艘裝設有五百支風鈴的構造,當落山風強勁地吹過時會響起震耳的風鈴聲。後來我大概每年都有參加「風鈴季」,2004年我在小琉球做了一條魚,風越大,魚的擺動就越大,它也會隨著風的方向轉動,漁民能看著這件作品,就大概知道當下的氣候條件。後來我想不如把心力放在關心環境上比較實際,且關心環境很單純,並且現在我們也正面臨著人跟環境間的問題。
關心環境這件事同時也反映在我的工作室的建造上,譬如說所有屋頂的水都會被收集在一起,再種植水生植物防止水質優養化;屋頂也都是太陽能板,工作室中也沒裝瓦斯熱水器,就拿枯木來燒熱水。
我認為自然有些既存的條件,通常這些條件的變因都非常複雜,而人在面對這個狀態時,因為人不夠複雜,必須以較單純的方式去面對,所以我會整合很多不同、複雜的變因,然後想一個非常簡單的方法來相應。
城市就像圈養的環境,要什麼有什麼,都市人認為只要把錢送進資本家的口袋,他們就會幫忙準備好一切。雖然我是在鄉下長大,但是到城市去就很容易染上一些不好的習慣,感官都弱掉了。我喜歡跟自然環境相處,因為好單純!好快樂!
身體有個機制,當身體被交出來丟給環境的時候,它就會自行操作,比如說有人會因發功而自行旋轉、停不下來。我也曾經轉過十幾個小時 ,然後想說去床上睡一下,結果在床上也轉!意思是說,當我們把身體釋放出來,然後任由環境宰制時,就會發生一些對自己好的事情,就好像說松樹的氣場特別強,有些人體質弱就會抱松樹,身體貼近一分,自然環境會回饋十分。

有求未必應

在創作中,我經常使用科技、動力的方式與自然環境對話,另一方面,作品如果對應著社會、文化、宗教,我會希望能刺激到他人的價值。通常遇到事情沒有辦法解決的時候,大家就都會去問神,因為求神問卜很方便,且認為神會幫忙承擔一切,但我都是問人。如果去問神,我就不用再想,但是如果出現問題時是問人、問自己,我就必須積極地想,雖然問題可能會超出我的負擔,但一定要有這樣的過程才有可能真的被解決。
我有幾件作品跟宗教斂財有關,2009年在橋頭白屋展出的《南部藝術家功德會》作品中,我在一棵讓人覺得拜了會很靈驗,很像「青仔公」 的榕樹下,綁一條紅布,也特地去鹿港訂做一對很大的香筊,放一個箱子寫了很大字:「斂財箱」,主神叫做「未應公」。我以宗教形式配合諷刺文字,對觀眾擺明就是要斂財,不要拜沒有用的!但我反而是所有參展作品裡收入最好的。還有一件小作品《有錢未必應》也與宗教斂財有關,觀眾丟錢作品就會跳一次夏威夷舞。另外,2001年的《存在的儀式》, 作品因觀眾接近感應時,會啟動齒輪軸 ,上方就很熱鬧的乒乒乓乓,又會動又有聲音。後來《存在的儀式2》中又結合了一些影像。《音果》 也與宗教有關 ,一開始使用的材料大多是現成物,之後為了抵抗氣候、時間與外力,再逐漸轉向以永久材為材料。
其實有時候我會想要建廟,希望經由廟去談一些事情,我可以讓人有求必應,但會指出這「必應」的背後都是假的。我建的廟,不會放任何神像,要去除偶像崇拜,但裡面一定要充滿神蹟。我要在廟中操作出神蹟,要設計出一間斂財的廟,而且正大光明地告訴大家我就是要斂財。我之前進行的《有求未必應》其實也是前期的測試,如果大眾盲目到這種程度,讓我還有錢賺,表示只要操作得當,讓人感覺到信我者得永生,蓋一間假神的廟、一間我自己重新定義的廟,仍會產生良性的興旺效應。
廟方大部分的收入就是寄附,村裡的人就是基本盤,但基本盤不足以喝涼水,所以想擁有較大的收獲就要靠外力。有的廟會「興」,有的廟不會「興」,廟「興」就有油水,所以很多宗教都搞造神運動,造成功後就會「興」。只要大家相信,錢就會丟進來,有了好的效應,資金就會源源不絕。
此外,我想建的廟會非常科技,是因為我覺得科技跟神祕之間有個很有趣的地帶,因為人們總是「信以為真」。廟的建築形式應力求變異,這在聖嚴法師取名的「水月道場」就能感覺到,他當時針對建築形式所提出的意念就是一種宗教空間的突破。但大部分臺灣現在的廟宇美學是由廟方權力在控制,蓋一間廟不是找蓋廟的藝術家或建築師來討論廟的內涵與建築語言,而是廟方的管理委員想要呈現什麼就直接下達指示。可惜的是蓋了那麼多廟,廟的形式參考大陸一些廟宇的格局,卻跟臺灣的環境、氣候完全沒有關係,不管廟在海邊、山裡或城市,都是同樣的造型。建築不應該是這個樣子,我要蓋的廟建築形式會是抽象的,人無法從建築去聞到廟的味道,我會做徹底的顛覆。我如果不以這方式,無法在這課題裡產生效應。我要回到人,回到人才能談神,回到人才能重返批判的路線。


 

Before Talking about Gods, Let’s Think about Humanity
────── Jen-hung Liang

Religion and the King Boat of Sucuo

When I was a child, I lived in Sucuo where there are two temples: Chang-Xing Temple and Jen-Hu Temple. The former is known as the old temple whereas the latter is known as the new one. Since the place is called Sucuo, the family name “Su” should be the majority among local people. However, there are more people whose family name is Wang or Liang. For most of those bearing Liang as the family name, they are relatives. And since they live beside Jen-Hu Temple, they naturally become followers of the temple. On the other hand, those bearing the surname Wang live near Chang-Xing Temple located in the northern part of Sucuo village. Likewise, they are followers of Chang-Xing Temple. Even though it takes only about ten minutes to walk from one of the temples to the other, it is obvious that the belief in Sucuo is decided by geographical location.
Chang-Xing Temple worshiped Kings of Epidemics, but as some people wanted to worship other Kings, they separated from Chang-Xing Temple and built the other temple. As a child, I actually was a witness as well as a participant of the process. Before the new temple was built, we had to find a place to house the alter and the statues of gods. Since my uncle was a tâng-ki (spirit medium) who passionately took part in temple administration, some statues were placed at my home and other spirit mediums and Taoist priests would come to our house to do the rituals. I found the mediums very interesting, so I would imitate their movements such as fixing nails on wooden boards and sometimes with the encouragement of other children, I went so far that my hands bled. We used to think that if you became a spirit medium, you were invincible.
I went to the kindergarten affiliated to Chang-Xing Temple while my family was more related to Jen-Hu Temple. It was because when I learned from my neighbor that children who went there could get candy, I asked my mother to let me go to that kindergarten. At first, my mother thought it was a luxury for children to go to kindergarten, but after I threw a tantrum for a really long time, she took me there three days before the graduation. Chang-Xing Temple has one of its flanks (shen-shou also known as hulong in Min-style architecture) connect to a market where adults would buy children extra snacks. Every child liked to go grocery shopping with adults because of so and the reason that I enjoyed being in a temple is because I associated it with the snacks. It was not until the establishment of Jen-Hu Temple that I actually started to get more involved.
April Twenty-sixth of the lunar calendar, the birthday of Great King Lee, is the biggest day for Jen-Hu Temple. Those who work elsewhere will be asked by the elders to return for the significant celebration. The temple used to hold the sacrificial ceremony once per nine years, then it was changed to once per three years. We invite guests when the ceremony is held; otherwise, the event is mostly joined by the local. Back at the time when Taiwan was experiencing an economic takeoff, the ceremony was held on an unprecedented scale with crowds jammed the roads making it hard to return home, even on foot. People were better off, so they made the event magnificent with unlimited catering and the duration prolonged. The traffic could get so bad that people needed to park their cars at the neighboring village and walked into ours.
Sucuo is known for its King Boat and Sung-Jiang Battle Array in which there are thirty-six generals. All the formations, movements of exerting certain weapons and arrangement of the whole worship process are taught by professional masters. At first, the masters were not villagers living in Sucuo. Then, the knowledge was learned by the local people and passed down to younger generations. Generally, the leader of the array is the standard-bearer, and the second person holds twin axes. My uncle’s position was either one of the two. These temple events were also an entertainment participated by strong men in the village. As a child, I would run to the temple court to watch people practicing the formations after dinner. At elementary school, I joined the worship parade with the Sung-Jiang battle array. We children were in a robe distributed by the temple and held signs saying “Silence” or a stick with a papaya on the top. We were called the children’s troupe in the parade.
There is one King Boat worshiped in the temple, the price of this one is high. On the other hand, every year before the King Boat Burning Ritual, people station at the temple to make a rather humble king boat to be burned at the ritual. I have always admired the craftsmanship of these people since I was little. In the past, every piece of the boat was handmade, and these temporary craftsmen even used bamboo nails rather than iron nails we use today. Taking transportation and its use for parade into consideration, the wooden basic structure of this king boat should be strong, and the work involved is intricate.
There are many legends about Jen-Hu Temple. For instance, there was a senior whom we called Uncle Clay Ox. It is said that if he pointed his finger at a sword, it would pierce through the ground. Nobody knows whether it is true or not; nevertheless, people believe that with these legends, the temple will attract crowds of followers. Another legend is that once during the parade, the iron stick ball was thrown so high that it fell on the audience and hurt a child. As a tâng-ki blew charmed water, the child suddenly stopped crying!
Chianan Irrigation sits right at the back of Jen-Hu Temple, so the temple court was used for drying grains all year round except for the irrigation period. Every August Fifteenth, village children would gather at the court to perform “Summoning (kuan) of the Frog Spirit.” During the ceremony, one child would be asked to tie a kerchief on the head and crouch on the ground while other children held joss sticks and formed a circle to strengthen the psychokinesis for summoning. Those with lighter astrological weight at birth were subject to be possessed (huat). Though it is hard to put into words, in my opinion, “kuan” is participants’ state of mindfulness preparing for or gathering psychokinesis whereas “huat” is the moment when a god or unknown spirit successfully possesses the child.
Before I read about how Dr. Sun Yat-san broke a god’s arm to break superstition and idolism in elementary school, I had always been in close contact with religious ceremonies, rituals and legends. Even though my life was heavily influenced by traditional belief, I was touched by the article for religion had failed to provide solid proofs to convince me. For example, people asked gods for wealth yet they were still very poor. In addition, while the biggest building in every village was a temple and that most people spent their money on belief, yet they just followed whatever they were told to do. For me, donations should be the result after you are truly touched by the gods and it is all about sincerity not competing and showing off. I sometimes donate to temples, but the only reason is to make my father happy.
Back at the time when everyone was a farmer, to have a common religion allowed people to have something to cling to when confronting the uncertainty brought by the nature. This is great. In my point of view, other than the religious function, temples also served as an activity center where people gathered together for communication and entertainment. They played an important role to keep the harmonious relationship among villagers. Nowadays, parks larger than temples are easy to find and they have replaced the role of temples. As a consequence, the functions of temples also change.
Now Sucuo has changed to a completely different place. This happens to almost every rural village. Few decades ago, it was rare to have a two-story house, and mine happened to be one. When I was a child, I used to sketch on the second floor and overlooked the whole village. With red tiles covering all the roofs, the view was astonishing. However, I can barely see a red-tiled roof now when I climb up to the second floor, because neighboring houses are all taller than mine. I think it will only get worse. I used to go back and join the pilgrimage or the King Boat Burning Ritual, but not anymore. These events have become nothing but a form. In the beginning, the purpose was to make everyone happy at celebration. As the events grow bigger, now it is more about the donations than the events themselves.
Compared to Taiwan, the changing of European villages has been very slow. Time seems to stop there for several reasons: first of all, permanent materials are taken into consideration as a building is constructed; second, with the dry weather, buildings are better preserved; last but not least, with a strong cultural foundation, European countries tend to keep things that may not be useful but have cultural values. Because culture has not been our priority, we do not have this concept in Taiwan. What we ask for is the accumulation of wealth and how to make a living. As a consequence, it is inevitable that the villages change rapidly in order to meet the needs of the people.
Even though I am not for the gods, I still visit temples to chat and have a cup of tea with the elders. Temples in the countryside still has the function to keep this harmonious relationship among people. In addition to religion, memory is also key to bring people together. Memory of the past seems to revive our ability to connect.

Memory, Environment, Body

The cultural and geographical environment of Sucuo along with its temple totem and belief have inspired me in terms of imagination and creation. My first satisfying drawing in elementary school was a dragon. In the countryside, we usually slept in an open space with a wide bed for numerous people. If there was any empty space, there would be a board that resembled the exhibition board in an art museum. That was where I glued this dragon drawing. It was there for a very long time. Whenever people asked me to take it off, I rejected and glued some more afterwards.
When I was in the fifth or sixth grade, I used jute stems to make a boat. In the past, the demand for jute ropes was huge, so jute stems were all over the place. The skin of jute stem is made into ropes. As for the end part where it is soft, we cut it into two to make toilet paper while the rough part was used as logs for making fire. Our village sat next to Zengwun River that flooded every year, so after I finished my boat, I hoped that there would be a flood. As my hope came true, I saw my boat floating on the water and it floated the way exactly as I wished it to be. It looked beautiful.
In the old times, the roof of the house was made of tiles. The tiles that fell down every year became a carving tool, all you need is to find a sharp one. During harvest season, my courtyard was used to dry grains, and I would draw in harvested field with sticks and tiles. I started with drawing hopscotch boxes, then I started to draw animals. Among all animals, I admired wild beasts such as tigers and lions the most. I drew dragons for pretty much the same reason as people said they were the most powerful. Children used to play a game at the courtyard. We would draw a line on the mud ground, and each of us had to throw a seed of longan fruit or that of an olive. If your seed was the closest to the line, you might have others’ seeds. The more seeds you won, the more superior you would feel. Paper cards and glass balls were other toys we played later. At that time, grownups thought those were just unwanted seeds but we children treated them as treasure.
Childhood memory affects my creation. In 2003, I took part in Kenting Wind Bell Festival. That was when I began my creation inspired by wind. Katabatic wind in Kenting is as powerful as a typhoon, so I made a boat carrying five hundred wind bells which rang fiercely when the wind blew. After that, I joined the festival almost every year. In 2004, I made a fish at Liuqiu Shiang, and the stronger the wind was, the bigger movement my fish reacted to it. The fish changed directions with the wind so that fishermen could judge the weather condition simply by watching how it moved. What I learned from it is that I would rather be more concerned about the environment. It is more realistic and simple, not to mention that we are actually challenged by such an issue.
The design and construction of my studio illustrates my concern about the environment. Water on the roof is gathered and aquatic plants are grown in order to avoid eutrophication. Solar panels are set on the rooftop, and there is no gas boiler in the studio, only firewood is used for boiling water.
In nature, there exists certain conditions whose variables are very complicated. As far as I am concerned, compared to nature, human beings are not as complicated so that we have to face it in a much simpler way. That is the reason why I would integrate many different and complicated variables and come up with a very simple method to respond.
The city is like a farming pen, living in which people get whatever they need. In the mind of city people, all you have to do is put the money into the pockets of capitalists and they would get everything done. Even though I grow up in the countryside, it is easy for me to develop bad habits as I live in the city. All my senses become blunt. I love to be in the nature because of the simplicity and sheer joy.
When our body embraces the environment, there is a certain mechanism that would run automatically. There are cases that people would start spinning without stopping. It once happened to me. I thought I could sleep to make it stop, yet I could still spin in bed! In other words, when we release our body and let the environment take control of it, something good would happen. There is a saying that the “chi” of pine trees is so strong that people with weaker physique would embrace them to make themselves stronger. What your body gives to the nature, it returns with ten times of rewards.

Whatever is Requested Might Not be Granted

Technology and power are applied to my creation to converse with the nature. If my work echoes to the society, culture or religion, I would like others be prompted to think about their value systems. Usually when people encounter unsolvable problems, they would turn to gods since it is most convenient to make gods undertake all the responsibilities. I would rather turn to people for help. If I ask myself or other people for answers, I would have to think actively. Even though the problem is beyond my capability, I think this is the necessary process for us to identify a solution.
Some of my works are about religious racketeering, one of which was on the exhibition Southern Artists Charitable Organization at Bywood Art Village. I chose a banyan tree that was seemingly efficacious and worth worshiping. I tied a piece of red clothe on it and ordered a huge pair of moon blocks at Lukang to go with the installation. Near the tree, I put a box with big words saying “Racketeering Box,” and the god I placed there was called the “Requests-Never-Granted God.” By using a religious form and sarcastic words, my intention was explicit that it was a scam of money and people should not worship the useless god. Surprisingly, compared with other works at the exhibition, this one made the most money. Another small piece of work which deals with the same topic is called Unanswered Wishes. When viewers threw coins at the work, it started to do Hawaiian dance. There is still another work called The Ritual of Being Existent in 2001. Whenever a viewer walked by, its sensor would trigger its gear to move and make sounds. Later I added videos to make the second edition of The Ritual of Being Existent. Yin Guo (with its literal translation as “sound effect,” and its transliteration as “karma”) is another piece to do with religion. I started my creation with existing objects, but for the purpose to overcome challenges imposed by weather, time and external forces, I gradually turn to permanent materials.
Honestly, the idea of building a temple sometimes comes into my mind. I would use the temple to touch on certain topics. I would grant all requests but make it clear that everything is a lie. There will be no statues of gods in my temple so as to break idolization of gods. However, miracles are must. I will create miracles through manipulation and make it public that this temple is for racketeering and nothing else. In fact, Unanswered Wishes is a pilot to validate my theory that if people are so blind as to give me money, it makes sense that through appropriate manipulation, they would donate a fortune to me once they have faith in me and in the fake temple redefined by me.
Most income of a temple comes from donation of villagers. However, if a temple wants to gain more, it has to reach out. Some temples can make a fortune by attracting lots of followers while others cannot. As long as you can create gods that everyone believes in, it brings you the money, loads and loads of money pouring into your pocket non-stop.
If I am to build a temple, I will make it one featuring high-tech. Technology and mystery have one thing in common, that is, people think they are true and believe in them. In my opinion, the architectural construction of a temple should be changing. Water-Moon Monastery named by Master Sheng Yen is the best example. The master’s proposal is a breakthrough in religious space. Unfortunately, most temples in Taiwan fall under the control of administrative people and artists or architects do not have a say in a temple’s religious and architectural expressions. They are asked to simply follow directions. I feel sorry that even if there are numerous temples in Taiwan, they are imitation of those in China. They literally have nothing to do with the environment and weather in Taiwan. Whether the temples are located by the sea, in the mountains, or in the city, they all look the same and it is so wrong. My temple will be so abstract that no one can tell if it is a temple. I want to make a complete overturn which then forces people to think. I am concerned about people, so before talking about gods, let’s think about humanity. It is only by doing so can we retrieve our ability to think critically.

分享文章 Share this post


Notice: Undefined variable: post in /home/actaina5/public_html/wp-content/themes/sento/admin/main/options/05.blog.php on line 622

Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in /home/actaina5/public_html/wp-content/themes/sento/admin/main/options/05.blog.php on line 622

Notice: Undefined variable: post in /home/actaina5/public_html/wp-content/themes/sento/admin/main/options/05.blog.php on line 622

Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in /home/actaina5/public_html/wp-content/themes/sento/admin/main/options/05.blog.php on line 622
[related_post themes="flat" id="317"]