Appendix of "The Nanshi Village Tales"
Are We Being Possessed Too Much
Novel, Single-channel video,
drawing books, iPad, wooden pallet,
bean bag sofas, a tour.
You will see a ritual altar, the one you see in Taiwanese Pudu rite.
You will see 120 Hero’s Drawing Books, each has its occupation and history on it but without a face.
You will see “ The Nan-Shih-Chuang Tales”divided into five chapters. Only after walking through these chapters, will you understand whom you walk for, what you’re walking through and what it’ll become afterwards.
All I say here is the thing that you’ve already known. Let us keep going only if you are interested.
Suddenly, there was a huge noise outside. We were still in the living room. My grandma went to the prayer’s room, which is just a wall behind to see what has happened. After a while, she came back and told us: “He( A-Ding’s son)’s been possessed (as a Tongji)”, then she led my mom and my aunt back to the prayer’s room.
There were my granduncle A-Ding, his wife, my grandfather, my dad and I in the living room. I set a Canon 60D in the corner and kept asking A-Ding about another Tongji ( spirit medium) in the neighboring village. A-Ding talked with a Lukang accent, as if nothing has happened. There was a murmuring sound drifting outside. I was very badly distracted because I wanted to listen to the both sides: one on one’s work, another off.
The meaning of “two sides” is not about two people, but two (or more) personal pronouns, two literary genres and two sorts of narration. In this project, Hero’s Drawing Books represent the individual narration, and “ The Nan-Shih-Chuang Tales” represent the grand narration consisted of the history, culture and the contradiction of the identity of Taiwan. I took “index” but “citation” to relate each other. In this way, I manage to construct a kind of narrative machine, which translates personal narrative and grand narrative at the same time. To sum up, the premise of the operation of this narrative machine is : although all drawings and texts in this project are based on real experiences, there is no attempt of representing the reality happening here and now. Compared to the documents, drawing books and the novel all looked fake and artificial. However, owing to the fakeness which was based on true content, a Mise en abyme was finally built.
I asked my mom what uncle had said. She said that He( Tai- Zi, a god) had asked what I was doing, and I told Him you were doing your work. “Then?” I asked. “I asked whether the method you used to make your work was impolite and Tai-Zi had replied, no, let her do what she wanted to do.” My mom said.