柯曉如 KE Siao-Ru
黃泓栩 HUANG Hong-Xe
Meeting the freshmen at Green Island
2020 / 繪本
2020 / picture book
A political prisoner detained in the "New Life Correction Center" at Greed Island from the 1950s to the 1970s is referred to as a "freshman". As the "New Life Correction Center" was more a thought reform labor concentration camp than a typical closed prison, many local residents of the Green Island in those days had experiences interacting with those political prisoners, i.e.the freshmen. Meeting the freshmen at Green Island, as the title suggests, tells stories of the residents who met "freshmen." Meanwhile, the title also implies that the arrivals of the political prisoners brought Green Island residents a fresh "new life".
This work chooses to look back to this memory from the perspective of the islanders. The picture book is created based on oral materials collected from the islanders, with whom the visitors may experience what the locals have lived in their childhood. It is an attempt to explore another way of understanding the past by establishing a narrative model different from that of the political victims and transforming usual bystanders into the subjects of the narrative. A heartwarming short story is fabricated from a childlike perspective based the collected historical records combined with field survey of current status and mixed with some imaginary elements. It reconstructs, together with visual creative works, the magical memory of the political prison island belonging to Green Island children.
In addition to the picture book, this work, combined with the organization of an interactive workshop, brings this distant and lost memory to the children of the contemporary Green Island. Under the guidance of co-creation, the visitors are invited to explore the stories with the children from the Gongguan primary school with the theme of "My Secret Base". Through collective creation, the space imagination of the political prison will be jointly reversed.