Some current thoughts for work
To conclude daily life and work for the past three weeks, I see myself as an assistant at the beginning, looking for my position while working, doing field research, interviewing, thinking, discussing, collecting materials, observing…I thought I had absolutely nothing to do with the word “research”, I thought this was not something I could do. However, through this process of learning, I realized that research can also be simply observing, analyzing, thinking, discovering, and recording. This is a simple thing, even without training, through continuous learning, searching, and checking, perhaps I can still have some new discoveries, thoughts, and understanding. Of course, I also keep trying to understand the so-called research systems, constantly reminding myself of my incomplete knowledge of it.
From the end of September to October as I worked alone, I started to slowly find my position and goal. I recorded everything I felt and observed, hoping that “the loss of culture” will have more complete discussion and development. I think this is more public.
I tried to create different forms of artwork using the connection and feeling in between myself and Tao culture, i.e. dance, painting, digital media, writing. I tried to use other methods that are not plain and direct when expressing my reflections on cultural conflicts and self-identification from the purest life and feeling. All these things originated from my connection with others. Then, I went on to express myself or my opinion through works of art, desiring for conversations with the audiences. This simple desire sparked my unstoppable curiosity and search.
As I was engaging in the field research, I naturally kept imagining the life of my ancestors, what sounds and sceneries they might have encountered, I questioned and I made guesses. Therefore, when I talked with elders or small children, I often asked them what they find “beautiful”. When I appreciated the view of the mountain and the ocean, I imagine how humans of different eras feel the change and cycle of seasons.
For example, during the full moon, I rode the bike on the road. Seeing the bright moon light, I decided to turn off the car light and slow down the pace. I imagined there were no electric lights in the past. They could see people and objects around them through the moon light in the night, which is more tender and romantic than sun light. It should have been apiya vehan (good moon)!
During this time, I wanted to learn the traditional culture while thinking with the youth about how to introduce our traditional culture back to the modern life. Through this process, we observe, describe, imagine the future of Tao. I put this imagination into the research and every interaction. Through collecting the Tao’s feelings of the culture and imagination of the future, we get to slowly build up the past, present, and future of the culture .
I understand that from some perspective, we are nothing but part of the process of cultural development. However, if the cultural conflict is seen as the cancer cell from the first gene mutation, our confusion and conflicts should be the great war of cells caused by our self-defense system. I was born in between, having two blood lines, this is also my naturally developed system to search consciously.
At this point, I decided myself that Tao culture is endangered. Thus, other than learning and recording, in order to find a new way for culture to live, in order to get closer to the vision that is about to disappear (the way older Tao feel and view this world), I think I still need to be familiar with both knowledge systems (traditional Tao’s concept and global concept) on top of observing my own modern life. Although I laughed it off saying I was making my work more complicated, I can’t help but want to solve this mystery of feeling and culture.
About the development and definition of life and culture, it is a combination of objective and subjective. There are too many values and moral issues to be concerned. There are too many developments that can not simply be classified as right or wrong. There are endless questions without answers about a person or the whole human history. Questions in mind are dynamic. We can only seem to make decisions and doubt within limited life. Both going with the flow or trying to go against the current will lead to happiness, but the meaning will be completely different.