By Joyce Chi-Hui Liu
Director,International Center for Cultural Studies, NCTU
Chair, Graduate Institute for Social Research and Cultural Studies, NCTU
《原諒．遺忘》“For-giving．For-getting”，與《無/非 紀念碑》“Nonuments ”，這兩組十分具有歷史悖論的概念，在這次「六燃國際互動劇場」的策展中充分顯現其張力。
Headlining the Sixth Fuel Factory Interactive Theater, for-getting．forgiving and mnonuments are paradoxes of history incarnate having dramatic tension.
The historical relic of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s Sixth Fuel Factory in Hsinchu is a place where different historical conflicts and wartime memories overlapped. More specific, it used to be a fuel factory of the Imperial Japanese Navy, serving as a part of the large-scale military infrastructure propelled by nanshin-ron (the Southern Expansion Doctrine) in the Empire of Japan during the Pacific War. After the Nationalist government retreated from China in the early post-war era, this place was repurposed for a military medical center and training site for the Air Force Engineering Wing, and a military dependents’ settlement later. Within this historical context, military opponents from different times converged upon this place where several generations of dwellers could physically and mentally survive and thrive.
Just as the idea proposed by Wen-Shu Lai, the producer and artistic director of the interactive theater, the big chimney factory in Hsinchu has become a living museum capable of stimulating great creativity by means of artistic practice, humanistic reflection, and smart technology. This place will continue to revitalize the local life and encourage original ideas with the assistance of the Sixth Fuel Factory Documenta, interrogative design, 3D animation, and interactive theater.
Traces left by the Japanese colonization and the Pacific War are ubiquitous in Hsinchu. When Taiwan was under Japanese rule, the Sixth Fuel Factory was a stronghold for the Japanese Southern Expansion Doctrine. The Hsinchu Airport was a base of the Japanese Kamikaze Special Attack Unit, and the Yule Theater (now the Image Museum of Hsinchu City) was an entertainment venue for the Kamikaze aviators before they executed their missions. The Autonomous Chateau in the Lichi Park (now the Glass Museum of Hsinchu City) was a place for the lodging and resting of Japanese royal family when they visited Taiwan. Jinglu was previously the Kagura Hall of the Shinto shrine in Hsinchu. The Hsinchu railway station and the city government building are also part of the legacies from the Japanese colonial period.
Most historical events have been consigned to oblivion, let alone the dead revolving around these historical relics, together with their tenderness or hatred as well as their inspired creative cultures and passions.
“Forgetting” implies denying the lives of those who once existed.
How should we confront and accept the historical imprints on the lives of Taiwanese people?
How should we resist the firm denial from “dis-remembering” without erecting a substitute—a monument that obscures the real history?
How should we resist the arbitrary judgements made during the process of “remembering”?
How should we approach those memories insofar as to liberate ourselves from deep hatred and show our complete forgiveness?
In collaboration with the post theater from Germany, the transArt NCTU team led by Prof. Wen-Shu Lai presented the Sixth Fuel Factory Interactive Theater with for-getting．forgiving and mnonuments as its two pieces of performance, thereby immersing the spectators in a fantastic space of living metaphors and urging them to consider the thorny issues arising from the paradoxes between remembering and forgetting. Whatever one thinks of the final thesis, the journey here is definitely worth the ride.