The Opposite Survivor: 1950 - 1995
彼岸的遺民：1950 - 1995
Printmaking Archive Installation
Silkscreen printing on black iron- black iron plate; acrylic;
silk banner; SINGER sewing machine; books; Documentary video
Silkscreen printing on black iron- black iron plate, acrylic: 14x21, 10 pieces; 29x42, 25 pieces; 42x59, 5pieces;
Video: 23minutes and 22 seconds
民國67年國慶香港調景嶺回國代表祝賀團錦旗、SINGER衣車、《香港調景嶺營的誕生與消失 : 張寒松等先生訪談錄》、《自由的代價 : 中華民國與香港調景嶺難民營1950-1961》、《調景嶺義民反共奮鬥史實》、《點滴記憶：再會舊社區》、《硝煙歲月：「日落調景嶺」前傳》、《九龍照舊》、《山河．家國．難民情：調景嶺小故事》、調景嶺檔案錄像
During the years between 1950 and 1995, there was a community linking Hong Kong and Taiwan. This may not be known by all Taiwanese and Hong Kongers. This is where the flags of the Republic of China were proudly hoisted, where the Three People’s Principles were chanted with glory, where the school syllabus was in accordance with that of Taiwan’s Ministry of Education. The 10th of October would have been the biggest event of the year. This under-reported community, located then in the wilderness, is called “Tiu Keng Leng”.
"Tiu Keng Leng" was a military dependents' village of the Republic of China in Hong Kong, resided by military and government personnel, teachers as well as the educated and the intellectuals. They lived with good character and sophistication. The Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) once described these people had "rich intellectual assets and an incredible ability to adapt and survive". However, compared with the military dependents’ villages already settled in Taiwan, the villagers in Tiu Keng Leng seemed less fortunate, regarding themselves an abandoned group, stranded in Hong Kong. No government was willing to come to their rescue. Although the Hong Kong government granted them refugee status for short-term stay, the latter did not benefit from any more help due to financial and political issues arising from other refugees. Kuomintang, freshly settled to Taiwan, was unconvinced of the refugees’ real allegiance and dreaded the Communist infiltration, therefore they did not dare to provide assistance. The side of the Chinese Communist Party acknowledged the fundamental conflict in regards to the political consciousness of the remnants of their opponents. Absorbing this community was obviously useless, not to say threatening. Under the struggle of these three conflicting forces, the refugees in Tiu Keng Leng were disillusioned of such slim chance to rejoin Kuomintang’s Taiwan. They resorted to survive on their own. Little by little, a collective life was developed in this strangely unfamiliar habitat.
“The Opposite Survivor: 1950-1995” is an exhibition that sends us back in the old Tiu Keng Leng. Along the timeline stretching these fifty years, we would revisit the habitants’ distinctive social rituals, the religious communities, and experience how the adults struggled with everyday life, how the children enjoyed themselves, how the animals lived wildly and domestically. Life might have been full of hardship in terms of materialistic satisfaction but it was nevertheless spiritually fulfilling. This transient utopian enclave now seems so far behind our times. The exhibition intends to flip the usual perspective adopted from Tiu Keng Leng to Taiwan, as the audience now situate themselves on the Taiwan side overlooking their counterparts in Hong Kong, who strived hard towards an entirely different destination.