Military Dependants Villages (眷村 or juàncūn) are an important part of the cultural landscape in Taoyuan, Taiwan. Lufeianna Wang’s latest exhibit Through Lost Lands; Juancun Nostalgia aims to capture the unique beauty of one particular village.
Whilst the nationalists fled mainland China to Taiwan in 1949, the 93rd division escaped south through Yunnan province to the mountainous hills of Burma. Isolated from Taiwan, they established a foothold and persevered for years, with nothing but their patriotism and a dream of retaking their homeland. With little support, the 93rd Division was forced to cultivate and export opium in order to buy arms, thus giving rise to what has became infamously known as the Golden Triangle.
Under international pressure the majority of this armed force was repatriated to Taiwan. But the soldiers weren’t alone. Countless years in the wilderness had introduced them to the plethora of ethnic tribes in the area, each with their own distinct culture, history, cuisine and language. The result was a colourful blending of Chinese patriotism and a magical, previously almost unheard of people and their way of life.
Upon arrival in Taiwan, this unique group settled across a handful of juancun, including Longgang in Taoyuan. Their cultural blend deepened further, taking into it elements of local life, to create a culture that is truly unique to Taiwan.
Through Lost Lands; Juancun Nostalgia is a curatorial piece celebrating the three facets of a people whose patriotism, cultural diversity and repatriation presented them with great hardships, but ultimately led to a community with utmost authenticity and beauty. These people who were constantly on the move finally have a home and way of life they can call their own.
The exhibit is open from 3rd to 18th October 2015, 09:00 to 21:00, at the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Taoyuan City Exhibition Hall.