農家樂 創作理念 文／張哲榕
Happy Farm Series Design Notes by Sim Chang
【Past Memories】 As someone who grew up in the city, the concept of the land undergoing transformation is very vague to me. I remember that when I was a child, an international house close to home was torn down. Because construction plans had come to a standstill, my adventurous father took me to that abandoned place. Because of burst pipes, water had flowed into the ground and formed small ponds. That place which was almost the predecessor of the World Trade Center, which even had ice sculpture exhibits, was now a swamp, and chairs stacked together formed mountains. Suddenly, in a flash of white before me was a heron, looking on elegantly. That sense of surprise and wonder followed me for a long time, until I was able to reexperience it in the dormitories in Taichung.
【The Land Begins to Change】 Looking out from my dorm window there used to be a small vegetable garden. After it was turned out by large excavators, the seemingly dry land began to grow as the rain fell. Two stray dogs played in the field as if they were the only ones there. Then, I saw that white shadow again, the heron. Herons are cautious, and are very picky about their habitat. This one was familiar with how the land felt, and was at ease to stay here; this moved me. But in a few days, the groundbreaking ceremony was held, and the land began to be gutted out for cement. In the face of this change, and in the face of this funeral of the land, I continued to shoot pictures, and even noticed some coincidences. The expanse of cement was almost like a field, and the steel bars were stuck in like rice plants. As they swayed in the evening wind, past memories of the land came rushing back.
【Modern Cities and the Role of Farming】 From constant observation, shooting, and imagination, I've collected this series of images to form a theme and continue the process of creation, reliving my fondness for the land. Maybe the arched backs of the farmers can only do so much before cultivation is stopped. Maybe we can never go back to when the land would transform, maybe we won't make it to its funeral service. Only remember that food is life, remember the beautiful work of the farmers who created life, remember where it all began for this land. As Taiwan has joined the WTO in recent years, our happy farmers have been oppressed. In the documentary Let It Be, Huang Kun-Bin's laughter echoes the goodwill for the land held by many generations. As skycraper headstones are erected over the burial of the land, one cannot escape the fleeting memory of farming life. Today, there is nothing that hasn't changed before, but through my documentation, I hope to express that field that was once in my heart, and present a humble offering to this land.