●藝術家介紹黃孟雯，畢業於臺北藝術大學藝術跨域研究所、臺北大學社會研究所。透過田野檔案與社會學為方法，擅長以短篇電影、編導式攝影、錄像、裝置與書寫等為主要創作形式，關注台灣近代史中的性∕性別脈絡，藉以建構以女性∕酷兒為核心所述說的歷史視角，探討性工作與國家的邊緣史。2018年至韓國光州Spaceppong駐村，於當地舉行駐村雙個展，開始反思亞洲近代史中的女性議題，探究女同性戀對於傳統性別文化的反叛，與社會性別異議者的生命能動性與處境。作品視覺多採豔麗的色彩，藉由強烈的轉化意象紛呈探問被遺忘與隱匿的真實，使創作成為歷史與記憶的回聲，以藝術的幻術貼近邊緣歷史與情感真實。作品多次受邀參與海內外展覽與影展，如FASE阿根廷影像藝術節、阿根廷 VideoBardo 影像詩歌藝術節、日本Tokyo Lift-Off Film Festival、台灣國際酷兒影展、台南彩虹遊行性/別展覽、韓國Space One藝術空間、美國舊金山中華文化中心展出。
Exhibition venue｜Befitting ArtThese women had been called many names—yujo, geisha, comfort women, waitrees, waitresses, tea girls, liquor house girls, bar girls, licensed sex workers, and so on. They often showed up in the particular identity that a particular era, unit, or place needed them to be. Their ways of working might have changed for the era and their identity’s needs, but these women’s jobs were all similar—a major part of them was about sexual interactions.
People tend to have the impression that these women worked in the shiny sex-related entertainment industries. Little did they know about their silent dedication of their softness to the nation in the course of Taiwan’s history. Throughout Taiwan’s modern history, from Japan’s colonization, World War II, the post-war period, the Cold War, to Taiwan’s Economic Miracle, these women had been supported themselves or their families with their sex-related labor. They became a part of national mobilization whenever the policies demanded and they always carried out the tasks assigned to them by the government. Nevertheless, this sort of sex-related labor has been considered the disgraceful past of history by the nation. For a better image of the nation, these women had no choice but to be forgotten in people’s memories. They had always existed on the periphery of Taiwan’s so-called mainstream history.
Herstory Under the Flying Flag discusses how “these women”, the sex-related laborers, became a part of the national mobilization in Taiwan’s history. During the Japanese ruling period, the legal prostitution system had become one of Japan’s territorial expansion policies. In the post-war period, there were the patriotic liquor house girls; and the military paradises set up by the anti-communist Nationalist government with a mission of national salvation. Last but not least, there were also bar girls that accompanied the U.S. soldiers in Taiwan during the Cold War.
We could not help but wonder how the nation mobilized these women and used their bodies as a resource of the state apparatus throughout Taiwan’s modern history, from the Japanese ruling period to the post-Cold War period. This project attempts to connect all these similar biopolitics from different eras and illustrate a certain continuity in Taiwan’s history. Behind this continuity is the male-centered thinking in the state apparatus which, in combination with the state power mechanism, was reflected in the lives of these professional women. And these women could merely believe that the situation they were in was just their fate. These women, who had names and stories to tell, can only be referred to as “she” nowadays. This is a story about these women, these stigmatized women.
These women and I. My art projects often focus on gender and modern history. When I went through Taiwan’s history from the perspective of gender, I constantly saw traces of these women in all kinds of historical data. That was when I started to look for their footprints and figure out their past. To my surprise, these women’s past was highly related to the regime shifts and economic contexts of Taiwan. Behind this so-called embarrassing job of theirs, it was also about the nation, the wars, and the power. I wondered what a story of Taiwan’s modern history would be if it is told from these women’s perspectives.
These women softly embraced their stigmatized job with their bodies, and silently took in all the shame as well as all the twists and turns in Taiwan’s modern history. This project returns their tenderness in the name of art. With the dynamic images and the photographic moments captured, this project uses art as the spell to summon the long-forgotten collective memories. These women’s stories are indeed our past.