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Shui Yuan Lin Legend Series
2013-2015
BY
CHEN I-Chun
Shui Yuan Lin Legend – First Episode
2013
color with sound
5'00"
Shui Yuan Lin Legend – Second Episode
2014
color with sound
5'00"
Shui Yuan Lin Legend – Third Episode
2014
color with sound
5'00"
Shui Yuan Lin Legend – Fourth Episode
2015
color with sound
5'00"
The Unofficial Life History of Shui Yuan Lin – Secretly Washing Clothes
2015
mixed media
48×58.6cm / 54×64.5cm
The Unofficial Life History of Shui Yuan Lin – Spirited Away Tea
2015
mixed media
48×58.6cm / 54×64.5cm
The Unofficial Life History of Shui Yuan Lin – Chickens for Everybody
2015
mixed media
48×58.6cm / 54×64.5cm
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Shui Yuan Lin Legend – First Episode. Shui Yuan Lin in his earlier years went to China to learn witchcraft. After returning to Taiwan, he started working in the fields, plowing with cattle. Every time, on the way to the field, he used to pass by a small temple. The cattle was reluctant to enter the field, because he was afraid of the temple. Therefore, Shui Yuan Lin went to the temple and made a promise to sacrifice his future to worshiping if the cattle would be able to easily enter the fields. Not long after, Shui Yuan Lin received a statue of Buddha from a local woodcarver, although he has not ordered one. The woodcarver came to Lin’s house and asked to pay money for the statue. Lin claimed that he has not asked for the statue, but woodcarver said some people asked him to make the Buddha statue for him. Shui Yuan Lin was very surprised to hear this, but suddenly remembered the promise he had made in the temple. During the Qing dynasty, the area around Lin’s worshiped temple turned into a graveyard, where General Su’s defeated army was buried. Now this place is known as the San Yi temple in Zhushan, Nantou. Recently, many police officers visit temple to ask for help in solving cases.

Shui Yuan Lin Legend – Second Episode. There were many farmers in the early rural society in Taiwan. One day, mother and son were picking fruits on the hillside, but, unfortunately, the child slipped and fell down the mountain. People in the village did not know how to pull the dead boy out from under the mountain, therefore they asked Shui Yuan Lin for help. It was known in the village that Shui Yuan Lin is able to control the body of the corpse so the body could walk up on its own, and, thus, could be buried to rest in peace. Although now it is only a legend, people are still talking about this marvelous spell of Shui Yuan Lin and his benevolence. In this work, I hope to talk about the magic regardless of whether it is marvelous or not. Shui Yuan Lin was kindhearted and assisted poor people free of charge, therefore, people still cherish and respect his memory.

Shui Yuan Lin Legend – Third Episode is based on a true story about Shui Yuan Lin exhorting people not to kill dogs and to eat dog meat. It was a time of famine that many countrymen without anything to eat had to kill dogs to alleviate the hunger. Mr. Lin’s exhortation was in vain, so he cast a spell on the dog eaters that they would see the same dogs that had been eaten by them on the next day. At first, the dog eaters didn’t realize they kept seeing the same dogs. After a couple of days, the repetitive presence of the dogs terrified the dog eaters. Since then, they had stopped killing dogs for their meat.

Shui Yuan Lin Legend – Fourth Episode. The story takes place in an early rural village in Nantou, where water is rare and valuable in the mountains, so women all come to the river to wash the clothes. The river is the gathering place to do laundry, while it also offers small fish and shrimps for the later meals of the day. Babies or small kids are on their mothers’ back, and older kids are playing at the river, running around and catching shrimps. The naughty ones are skipping from one stone to another, barefoot, ignoring mothers’ warning that “the misbehaving kids will be taken by the evil spirits in the river as replacement.” Mothers tell them that every year the evil spirits in the river take away the naughty kids playing at the river, and the taken kids become the evil spirits too, waiting for the next kid to come. The made-up folklore sounds so true from these mothers, making sure that the “ghost story” will keep all the kids safe around their moms and away from any river accident. The Fengshui Master Shui Yuan Lin thus follows the rural belief to make himself a wise man who protects the kids by bringing them fear.

ARTISTS
46 artworks / 190 exhibition
Painting , Video Art
Born in Nantou in 1980, I-Chun Chen entered the Doctoral Program in Art Creation and Theory at Tainan National University of the Arts in 2010 after receiving her master’s degree from the Graduate School of Arts & Technology at Taipei National Univ ...
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CHEN I-Chun, 2016, Video Art
CHEN I-Chun, , Video Art
CHEN I-Chun, , Video Art
CHEN I-Chun, 2011, Video Art
CHEN I-Chun, , Video Art
CHEN I-Chun, , Video Art
CHEN I-Chun, , Painting
CHEN I-Chun, , Video Art
CHEN I-Chun, , Video Art