Historically, Taiwan was colonized by the Dutch, Spanish, Han, Manchu, Japanese, and Chinese. The rise and fall of different political entities on the island have left behind traces of governance in varying degrees. Despite the freedom and democracy in today’s Taiwan, the ideologies embedded in historical remains continue to influence our sense of self and perception of Taiwan. 

This project aims to document Chinese Martyrs’ Shrines, formerly Japanese Shinto shrines, and their relations to all kinds of communities, ethnicities in Taiwan. It attempts to underscore the conflicts in the arena: between the dead and the living, between the sacred and the secular, and between national history and democratic values. The relational tensions between Chinese Martyrs’ Shrines and Taiwanese people, as well as the contemporary significance of Chinese Martyrs’ Shrine in the context of transitional justice, will be thus explored. 

On a personal level, I wonder what it means to be a Taiwanese today? How does one’s national consciousness come into being? What is the relationship between the historical figures memorized in Chinese Martyrs’ Shrines and I? How long does it take to be acknowledged as a Taiwanese? What are the values contained in the idea of Taiwanese, and how do they shape me as a person, and our future? 

 

回顧過去,台灣歷經荷蘭人、西班牙人、漢人、滿人、日本人、中國人的殖民統治。不同的政治實體在島嶼上興替,留下了或多或少的治理痕跡。然而,即便在民主開放的今日,那些遺跡背後的意識型態,仍持續影響著你我如何看待自己和理解台灣。

此一創作計畫主要記錄前身為日本神社的忠烈祠,及其與各方使用者的張力關係。並嘗試聚焦在場域裡亡者與生者、神聖與凡俗、國族歷史與民主價值之間的衝突,尤其,在轉型正義的籲求下,你我該如何理解忠烈祠之於今日台灣社會的意義與價值?忠烈祠當何去何從?

就個人而言,我好奇在2017年的今天,身為台灣人是什麼意思?台灣各地忠烈祠裡所崇祀的人物和我之間,有什麼樣的歷史淵源?成為台灣人,需要多久的時間?台灣意識是如何形成的?台灣人這個概念所蘊含的價值意識,又將怎樣地影響我作為一個人,以及身為台灣人的你我的未來?