Lee Li-Chung: Night Flight - The Memo of Formosa Air Battle, The Final Chapter

 

Artist | Lee Li-Chung

Duration | July 17 – August 15, 2021 (10:00-19:00 Closed on Mondays)

Artist Talk I | July 17 Sat. 3:00 p.m. Talk with Lee Hsu-Pin

Artist Talk II | July 31 Sat. 3:00 p.m. Talk with Enkaryon Ang

Venue | Powen Gallery map

 

*Powen Gallery will be open by appointment only. Each hour is limited to a group of 5 people. Please private message or call us at least one day in advance to schedule your visit.

*The artist talk on July 17 will be conducted by live streaming, and the link will be posted on the Powen Gallery Facebook at 2:30 p.m. on the same day. 

 

After the outbreak of the air battle in Taiwan in October 1944, the American air force had total command of air during the day. This led to counterstrikes at night by the Japanese air force. Unfortunately, Japan’s military capabilities by now were simply too weak to undertake the task. Eventually, military pigeons were entrusted for the mission. These pigeons usually carried out tasks at very high risk as they were faced with the unknown situations in the air. It was a matter of life and death. I came across a novel called “Night Flight,” written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of a world classic “The Little Prince.” The book also relies on flying to show the oxymoron between human beings’ strengths and weaknesses. In the novel, one is courageous enough to transcend oneself and overcome various difficulties while fearing the consequences of uncertainties ahead. The flying experience embodied by the novel’s protagonist and a war pigeon as my reincarnation faithfully reveals my inner struggle and anxiety about life.

 

In the final chapter of “the Memo of Formosa Air Battle,” my exhibition deliberately appropriates the title of the literary work “Night Flight,” and focuses on the intersection of the parallel universes between the author of “The Little Prince” and my military pigeon. The exhibition no longer features the theme of blood and tears in the war, and shifts to the roles of pigeon and creator in the reinterpretation of the event. The narration of the work still uses military pigeons as a means, and the intelligence obtained through reconnaissance activities also corresponds to the problems of space conversion under colonization, capitalist development, and disappearance of residual space. The video that was filmed at the historical site attempts to reconstruct the historical scene to describe the situations of military pigeons with personification and narrations. The pigeons (and me) that underwent repeated training as if they were Sisyphus developing a series of muttering composed by images, space and body. This signifies the visual effects created through the eyes of others and through the hints of nuanced historical details, the futile resistance of pigeons against their then living environment.

 

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