My dear, kiss me and goodbye
2020 / 霓虹燈、震動裝置
2020 / neon light, vibrate device
This artwork is located by the entrance of the Oasis Villa, in the middle of the Bagua Building. WANG Ding-Yeh has transformed the space, which was originally a place of incarceration that was under surveillance, into one that is lyrical and full of sentiments. Emotive words are shaped with neon light tubes, with the social setting experienced by people when they come to the site redefined during the exhibition period. The artwork wields an unusually gentle gesture that strikes back at the violence of the state machine.
WANG describes in his artist statement, “The sacrifices made to confront the times, the resistance between the people and the state machine, the inexplicable mourning, as a descendant of a White Terror victim, I can’t stop trying to simulate the ambiance of that era and to search for the truth that feels unresolvable. After reading many final letters written by victims of White Terror, I wrote down these words using the Taiwanese language, “Dear, please give me a kiss, and then, farewell.” The words written using neon light tubes flicker inside the solemn prison, appearing so gentle and lovely yet almost peculiar. A grandiose political slogan is written right in the center on the wall of the Oasis Villa, which shows a giant, single Chinese character that stands for “Honesty”（誠）, with two lines at the side that read, “Obey the Law, Be Disciplined, Respect the Law, Be Pragmatic”; the juxtaposition appears absurd and ironic.
Although no execution by shooting has ever taken place at the Oasis Villa in 1951-1987, this artwork, nevertheless, has chosen a stance that bids farewell to the constraints and the norms imposed by the “Big Others” (the nation, society, the law, and etc.). With personal desires set free, it allows the ultimate benevolence embodied in individual ethics to show thorough. As a descendant of a White Terror victim, WANG has created this perceptual, emotional artwork to comfort the victims and to also ridicule state violence.