I went to the Netherlands to study in the summer of 2013. Before I left Taiwan, I made two male puppets and put them in the house of my hometown Kaohsiung. The two puppets are the projections of my body in everyday experience for the past few years. For a long time they were placed in my bedroom, and if my mother came to clean my room, then, with a lonely gesture, they compensated for my absence.
I drilled a hole into each of their heads. When you put your ear close to the hole, you can hear the sound of air flowing through. I seek to build an entrance with these small apertures in their body, to enter into some imagination. I went to use these apertures as the collectors for stories about regret.
So in the summer of 2014, we held a ‘Regret Party’ at Zspace in Taichung. People were welcomed to bring a broken heart story to share, or join as a listener. I brought one of my puppets along as a recorder, collecting all the stories through a microphone in the hole on his head, an archive of this event.
In the beginning of the party, I told the audience one of my most regretful experiences, and then invited people in the space to improvise and participate in this competition.
There was free alcohol as the starter for this sad party. The most regrettable story earned a ‘Heritage Collection of Sorrowful Twelve Year Old Whiskey’. There was a vote to choose the champion by everyone in the space. As long as a person has a regretful experience (a bitter feeling in his/her mind), this person can be a judge in the game.
In Taiwan, if one goes study aboard, people say that one is gilding him/herself. Despite this, I sometimes still feel regret for leaving my own country to study aboard. I regret the events I missed, and some historical moments I was absent from.
So when I came back to Rotterdam after my summer vacation, I got a chance to exhibit my work; another two golden puppets that I made in the Netherlands, also with holes in the heads. The stories I collected in Taiwan were edited into a version and alternately played from the two holes in their heads.