a firetime story - notes to The Hidden South 「南方以南」展覽群記

The art project, The Hidden South, is an experiment that has Taitung’s indigenous townships in the South-link region as a starting point and brings contemporary art into an unknown realm to facilitate exchange with and learning from the local culture. “The south” in this context does not refers to the geographical south. Instead, it beckons a deeper spiritual world that emerges from our connection with nature when we are given an opportunity to leave existing knowledge and logic behind to perceive the world rather with bodily senses and memory.

In the village, we often make a fire. Upon seeing the fire, it feels like that we are finally home. The power of fire not only kindles the life of civilizations, but also manifests two completely different states; it is an imagery of interweaving virtuality and reality as well as a medium that connects heaven and earth. Most of the stories and ideas in The Hidden South were born around the fire; and this is the origin of the book title, “a firetime story.” My experience of “the hidden south” has been a certain diverse and heterogenous oscillating process between past and present, tradition and innovation as well as myths and histories. Through The Hidden South, it is hoped that people could regain the ability to connect with nature, dreams and reality, preserving the fleeting inspiration within a rational mind.