Marshal Tie Jia – Turtle Island

Author: Hsu Chia Wei

This video installation engages with the history of a tiny island off the coast of Matsu, situated in the Taiwan Strait. During the Qing Dynasty, the island was the site of a tiny temple. When Chiang Kai-Shek retreated to Taiwan, the temple was relocated to a larger neighboring island, and a bunker was constructed in its place. At present, the bunker is a ruin and ownership of the island has been transferred again to the proprietors of the original temple. The island is also under the command of a local frog deity called Marshal Tie Jia.

In this work, the island is used as a stage. Employing a green screen, Hsu places a fictional version of the original tiny temple on the island. Slowly, the camera zooms out and reveals the green screen. This forms the backdrop of a performance in which a local senior citizen sings a form of folk opera found only in the south of Fujian Province, recounting the experience of WWII. He is the last person capable of performing the opera, which has a long tradition and was known to be Marshal Tie Jia ‘s favorite pastime, but which has now fallen into oblivion.

Single channel HD video installation

For video’s call page, please click here.

Location Code: AV.HCW.MTJ1
Language: Hokkien
Year of Publication: 2012