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When Islands Dream

Anchor point

Post date:2021-12-17

Updates:2021-12-17

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When Islands Dream
Event Time
2021-12-14~2022-02-20
Tue - Sun 10:00 - 18:00
Event Location
NO.39,Chang-An West Road, Datong Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C
On Beigan Island of Matsu, there is a custom of Dreaming Ceremony. On the 29th of the first lunar month, people go to temple to fall asleep and dream with their questions about the future. The images that appear in their dreams are the replies of the gods. Sometimes, when the questioner has difficulty falling asleep, a more sensitive "dreamer" may be appointed to ask a dream on their behalf to help receive the gods' instructions. Here, "dreaming" becomes a form of questioning, and it is not limited to one-to-one Q&A. The questioner gives away their subjectivity and invites the participation of the dreamer, to approach through a more sensitive and intuitive way.

The exhibition When Islands Dream thus borrows the concept of "dreamer" from the Dreaming Ceremony, and considers whether it is possible for artists to play the role of the dreamer and to dream in place of Matsu. The poet Bai Ling once described the offshore islands as always serving the main island, "seemingly on the border, but always dreaming someone else's dream, unable to choose their own future.”By inviting artists who are "non-Matsu" or even "non-Taiwanese" to use Matsu as an anchor point for reflection, we attempt to revisit the islands as the military front line, which had experienced even longer-lasting and harsher martial law than the main island of Taiwan, with restrictions on transportation, currency, fishing sailing hours, and no lights at night. The various sacrifices made at the front line for a long time also made it difficult for the stance of "Kinmen-Matsu Abandonment" to be accepted by the islanders after the rise of Taiwanization. Yet the museums and relics that showcase the history of the "proudly defending the country" rarely touch upon such subtle emotions and ordinary experiences. Is it possible that dreams can be a gateway that allows us to get a little closer and explore the emotions and spiritual states that are hidden like underground tunnels?

The exhibition invites five artists to Matsu to create artworks where they each respond to the exhibition theme with their unique approaches, forming different dreamscapes that echo one another. Whether they perceive the island in a personal and physical way, or collect the memories and perspectives of local residents, the artists try to treat the island as the main subject, while their personal perspectives still intersect with the residents and the place. And this very nature is where the unique value of “dreaming for others” lies—we are allowed to withdraw from ourselves to immerse in the state of the other, and then to return to ourselves to convey and interpret the dreams of others.

So, welcome to the Matsu dreamland built by local, foreign, national, and international visions with your questions. Whether you are a Matsu native or familiar with Matsu or not, we hope that you will gain some insight through the visions of the artists, namely, the dreamers, which hopefully will lead to more realistic inquiries and exchanges.

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