The Wind from Taipei
- Single Channel Video
Every year during the winter season, the piercingly cold northeast monsoon blows across Taiwan, from the northern part of Taiwan, crossing the central mountain range, all the way to Hengchun in the southern part of Taiwan. When the wind swept through Hengchun, it creates the foehn (downslope wind) weather phenomenon unique to Hengchun. In particular, it brings about typhoon-like sand storms in the desert by the sea. This video was shot in a declining fishing village in southern Taiwan close to Hengchun. Just like many towns that await regeneration, there are dilemmas between development and local culture, in this village everyone has a different vision for its future, brimming with contradictions and expectations. The same wind blows, but it creates different humanities and landscapes from the north to south of Taiwan. Although artists from Taipei could understand this conflict, they can only objectively express their observations as “Taipeier” from a detached perspective.
“I come from Taipei. Sometimes we have certain feelings and imaginations for a foreign land, but I often wonder what this means for the locals.
Arriving in Hengchun, the downslope wind feels like a carving knife that shapes the cultural landscape of Kenting as well as how everyone adapts to and imagines life. I see local industries waiting to be revived, young people returning home to start their own businesses, local culture being passed on, and everyone’s daily life intertwined at the lively night market. However, whose imagination is this, and how is it going to be realized? I came here for the downslope wind, but I sensed the place is destined for development marked by local characteristics. This confusion also occurs in the urban and rural development around everyone. We often see people coming from the city to pursue their dreams, but the dreams turn out to be what the locals compete for in their daily life.
This act of exchanging daily life for dreams depicts a product that is formed through the intersection of different values, testing the humanistic value that has been cultivated by the downslope wind over time. Many people wish to experience the downslope wind when they come here, but people from Taipei believe, if the sand does not hurt when blown onto their cheeks, it must still be a dream.”
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