I wish to express how human being transcends into the deity in my The Exorcist. In Taiwanese temple festivities exorcists are an indispensable character who helps communicate between the mortal and the deity. Regarded as people’s religious headquarters, many temples located in either rustic or urban areas are dominated by different sect of deities. These deities are conceptually called down from and become branches of some historical mother temples. Every time when the area suffers from any catastrophes or when the area celebrates deities’ birthday, people would go on a pilgrimage to the mother temple for help or for oracle. Exorcists then play an important role in conveying and communicating deities’ will. They fall in a trance, torturing themselves with burning incense or other instruments such as a sword, an axe or an iron-toothed rake. After all, they become possessed, as if out of mind, to declare deity’s will.
I try to shoot this sort of local festivities with black-and-white film, characterizing the ritual cruelty as another hysteric state of mind. In such doing, I dramatize in my works a set of spectacular and significant body movements and countenances as are the way I document the peculiar culture in Taiwan.