This is the portrait of my father-in-law who once fought the Korean War, and the scenery behind him was captured during the war. I was motivated to conceive this work when I saw the documentary of the Korean War on TV in the hotel in Seoul during the summer 2011. It was really an impact for me because I knew that my father-in-law was one of the Chinese soldiers who came to Taiwan from Korea after the war. There were more than fourteen thousand soldiers like him sent to Taiwan at that moment, and the Taiwanese government named the 23th January the “Freedom day” after their migrant. Suddenly, I had a grasp that the scenery I saw in Korea was definitely different from what my father-in-law had seen before. Korea- is the country that changes his life. If I had not been to Korea, I would never realize this so true.
However, the sarcastic fact is that they were not “free” at all after their long cross-over-sea journey. They were sent to a small islet called Green Island next to Taiwan to “construct a new world,” which was totally nonsense and nihilistic. The truth is that the Chiang Kai-Shek Government forced them to do a great deal of laborious work- to weaken their power and deteriorate their sense of belonging toward China dominated by the Communist Party. If they rejected, they would be killed. Finally, they had been confined in the islet for more than ten years before they were released. Their golden age was entirely spent on the battlefield and the “construction of the new world.”
The aircrafts in the photos I found in a museum of New York City also once served in the War. They too witnessed the war on behave of the US and China separately. The indication of the museum tells us both their fighting records and abilities elaborately. In some way, my father-in-law was just like them utilized as fighting machines. Today, sixty years passed, the US built up The Korean War Memorial in Washington, DC to glorify their brave soldiers. Nevertheless, who will know and remember the story of those soldiers who once made their long journey from China, through Korea to Taiwan?
Most of the soldiers like my father-in-law who went to fight the Korean War didn’t know for what and for whom they were fighting at all. However, they didn’t have any other choices to survive. This work presents the mass and the absurdity of the situation through the dialogue of interview, and the images just reveal the vivid and miserable truth and freeze the horrible and inerasable memory.