K’s room–the creation and destruction of the world
2020 / 單頻道有聲錄像、文件、裝置物件 / 15分鐘
2020 / single channel video, documents, objects installation / 15 mins
One room, one English grammar book, and one old man with Alzheimer’s disease—when the hourglass of memory is about to drop its last speck of sand, what will be accumulated and left in the end?
The work is based on the life journey of Mr. KE Qi-Hua, and constructs the room inhabited by a senior ex-political criminal diagnosed with Alzheimer before the final days of his life. This room serves as the “model prison,” built by the Kuomintang regime during the Cold War to demonstrate to the Western world. Moreover, it was also the editor’s office for the best-selling English learning book since the 60s, New English Grammar, as well as the prison cell of the book’s author, KE Qi-Hua—an imprisoned political criminal, who was forced to lie to his children that he was “working in the US.”
In the work, the room becomes an encompassing metaphor about nation and individual as well as border and class. During his imprisonment, KE continued revising New English Grammar and answering readers’ letters and English-related questions. In the world outside the prison, New English Grammar was an efficient instrument for Taiwanese youths growing up in the 60s and 70s to learn English, build their “American dreams” and venture into the “new world.” The work adopts two perspectives – the “author” and the “reader” of New English Grammar –and overlaps the image of Green Island and the US to rediscover the mirroring relationship informed by the mutual resistance, checks and balances, and continuous struggles between “the new life” and “the new continent.” Meanwhile, it radiates and maps out the political contour of youths living on this island through readers’ discussion about their learning experience using New English Grammar, trying to capture the bits and pieces that have sifted through the hourglass of memory about the period of martial law.
感謝名單 Special Thanks to
柯蔡阿李 KO TSAI A-LI / 柯志明 KO CHIH-MING / 許如華 HSU JU-HUA / 胡淑雯 HU SHU-WEN / 蔡侑蓉 TSAI YU-JUNG / 潘濘濬 PAN NING-JUI / 潘銘鍠 PAN MING- HUANG / 廖秋景 LIAO CHIU-CHING / 史德坌 SHIH TE-PEN / 陳碧桃 CHEN PI-TAO / 陳昭賓 CHEN CHAO-PIN / 思嘎亞．曦谷 Skaya SIKU / 錢國斌 CHIEN KUO-PIN / 林奎妙 LIN Kuei-Miao