A Journey to Mining Island
oil on canvas (112 x 194 cm)
This painting is part of Chien-Hsing Lien’s “Desolate Magic Realism” series and traces the romantic memory of the coal and copper mining industries of the long-since prosperous Jinguashi area in the northeast corner of Taiwan. Through these subjective recreations of the lost images of real landmarks and imagined environments, Chien-Hsing Lien recreates the industries and the emotions of the time. He also analyzes the contradictions and reflections between the development of material resources and the protection of the natural environment.
You enter the flying island by a spaceship from the left side to explore various visions of the memory. The visual memories include Shueinandong Fishing Port, the unpopulated mining village, Elephant Trunk Cave, the 13th century ruined mine of Jinguashi, Golden Falls, Golden Temple, Teapot Mountain, Jiufen, Taipei 101 in Taipei Basin, and finally the circular island chain of Keelung Port. In addition to these memories, on the right side outside the oil refinery, there is an alien sitting alone in their flying saucer, trapped in thought. It is the arrangement of these designs that tell the story. Finally, if we return to the front of the painting, we see the mining tracks on the ground, the male deer pushing the mining cars, the outline arrangement of the underground track facilities under the tunnel, the deer hiding in between to extend its head, the wild leopard stretching on the stone step in a cave and so on; all of these successively perform a play of wonder that takes us on a spirit journey on the mining flying island.