Hsu participated an artist resident program called “ Flow & Flux” in May 2017 for one month; it’s an art village in countryside called “Sian Ciao” located in Chong Ming Island, witch in the north of Shanghai City, take one hour by car.
After arriving Shanghai, there are two places shocked me a lot, one is there are slogans everywhere, telling you should be a civilized people, we should build a civilized city, again and again, with the sentences teaching you how to do, such as don’t throw garbage on the road, to be quiet, respect elder, to be polite...
The other thing shocked Hsu is these families’ instructions are fake; most of them are given by government, this is a policy happened four years ago, government mean to pretend this village are well-educated, they made lots of instructions and gave to families forced them hanging on the wall. Only few families thought by themselves, anyway, these families’ instructions are not old, they are new and created by policy.
Hsu began to think about what is civilization, how they define it, why it's important to be civilized, why are they rushing to be civilized people? Do their methods really work efficiently? How are the idea effect local people?
In Taiwan, it’s rare to hear “families’ instructions” this kind of antiquated words. About moral education, only in the school, our Chinese class still teaching The Four Books and Five Classics. In my childhood, I did recite the Di Zi Gui and Three Characters, beside the “static moral education”, all the elementary school have “healthy gymnastics”, in this “body education” system, government trying to keep children’ physical quality.
Based on the rules of education for people’s thought and body, Hsu connect these disciplines, and think about if they really work. Under the culture of controlling in China, Hsu tried to be an intermediary developing an exercising plan, using the families’ instructions in the Village and the slogans in Shanghai City, following the meaning of the words, developing their action then created “healthy gymnastics”.
However, do we really become healthy by doing “healthy gymnastics”? Do people have great moral after set the “families’ instructions”? Beautify the village will be civilized? Following the Sian Ciao Village Healthy Gymnastics artist created, It seems efficient but actually ineffective, make it be ironic within the truth of the media and advertisement, reflect the behavior of pursuit civilization and the purposeful discipline.
During the project, Hsu invited local people share the stories of instructions, developed the action for Healthy Gymnastics and danced together. In total, there are 12 families accepted interview, 10 families did the Families’ Instruction Healthy Gymnastics with artist. End of project, Hsu made a teaching video for the village and gave back to these 10 families, then, hold activities to teach local people doing this “Families’ Instruction Healthy Gymnastics” in their village activity area and also in the art village.
Here are the questions of the interviews:
1. What are your families’ instructions?
How they came from?
Do they passed down from ancestors or created by yourself?
2. Do you agree with your families’ instructions?
Do you like it?
What’s the connection with you, do you want to change your families’ instructions?
Do you educate your kids by these instructions?
3. Do you know the policy of this families’ instructions and the beautify village plan?
How do you think about this policy?
Do they bring any benefit to you or not?
How is the changing of labor situation and your life?
4. Would you create the Families’ Instruction Healthy Gymnastics with us and make it
become video for this village?