WONDEO LAENDEU  (Wonderland)

根據字典,WONDERLAND的意思是:

1. 一個想像的奇幻世界

2. 一個充滿偉大、奇幻或是異常美麗事物的真實場所或場景

世界上有很多地方都叫做Wonderland,所以我們,也跟愛麗絲一樣只是在做夢嗎?

According to the dictionary, WONDERLAND is:

1. an imaginary land of marvels or wonders

2. an actual place or scene of great or strange beauty or wonder

There are so many places called Wonderland in the world, but are we also dreaming now, as Alice did?

中文 / EN

「wonderland」的意思是,不存在於人世間的異常美麗的地方。然而世界上有很多地方都跟仙境有關,甚至就叫做仙境。我們甚至都去過了其中的好幾個。這個名字很常見的被使用在書籍(最有名的大概是愛麗絲夢遊仙境)、電影中,或是成為許多地方例如遊樂園的名字。

 

這代表我們真的去過仙境了嗎?

一方面來說我們「真的」去過了,去過了那些名為仙境的地方。另一方面來說也許我們根本沒去過,因為真正的仙境不存在於世間吧,所有的一切都只是對於仙境的想像,我們見過的都只是詩人、作家、藝術家或是商人模擬出來的美好之地。

 

藉由「원더 랜드」,我希望能討論對於「美好之地」的不同定義。每個人對於那個「異於人間的美麗地方」到底需要具備些什麼呢?是一頓家庭和樂融融的晚餐?辛苦工作後的優渥酬勞?還是偶像劇般的完美愛情?

 

真實和虛構的關係一直是我的作品很重要的元素,此處的虛構並不意味著虛假,而是相對於現實的未知、無法觸碰的部分。什麼是真?什麼又是假呢?真與假之間,是否有模糊的地帶,或是像磁鐵兩極,沒有討論的空間?wonderland像是一齣偶像劇,有的人認為那只是一個虛假的概念,包裝了許多現實的困難,只表達出美好的一面;我認為這份「虛假」同時也可以是很真實的,那個美好的一面實則也透露出了人們對於完美愛情/理想生活的想望,透過捕捉看似遙不可及的幻象的同時,也彰顯了最真實的情感、思想與物質需求。

 

是什麼原因讓我們,總是在追求更好的地方呢?

 

 

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홍티(Hongti)藝術中心位於釜山南端的工廠區,展覽模擬附近圍繞的工廠廠房,仿製廠房正門的配置與樣貌,包含:隔離外界的長長鐵捲門、一塊偌大的空地、永遠緊閉的大門、只能聞其聲的看門土狗、還有高處明顯的,遠方就能閱讀的招牌看板。同時又插入了一些突兀的生活碎片,例如結合餐廳(寫著歡迎光臨的地墊)與住家(感應照明燈泡)的弱小接待儀式,迎接人們來到這個名為「원더 랜드」,長得像又不真的是的工廠。

展名「원더 랜드」是英文wonderland音譯的韓字拼音,發音為wondeo laendeu。雖然已有이상한 나라的翻譯(直譯為:奇異之地),不過如同其他外來語的韓字拼音化,外來語與現有詞並行的普遍現象中,相同的意思人們傾向於認為音譯的名字顯得更有神秘的異國風情。此處以韓化的翻譯為名,雖然人們已經看過各種(模擬的)仙境(이상한 나라),而wondeo laendeu(원더 랜드)在此彷彿被異化成了一個新的、未知的,熟悉又陌生的美好之地。

 

沒有人去過仙境,我們無從證明此地的存在與否,只能試著用文化、語言或是生活經驗,從無限寬廣的定義中討論「不屬於」此地的方式找到「屬於」此地的東西,或是從很邊際的地方摸索、勾勒一些飄渺的線條,試著想像它。

 

 

 

 

Humans are always dreaming for somewhere pure, perfect without sorrow. The concept of “wonderland” is present in many languages and cultures. For example ‘仙境’ in Chinese means ‘the place where gods live’. 

We might have been to many of these wonderlands. The name is often used in book titles (the most famous one is probably Lewis Carroll’s 19th-century novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) movies, music, art, and it has become a common name for playgrounds, shops and even the name of an apartment.

 

But have we really been to Wonderland yet?

On one hand, we have indeed ‘been there;’ we have been to those places of the same name or at least somewhere similar. On the other hand, we have not been there, because a true wonderland does not exist in the real world. They are all just a fantasy of a perfect world. The so-called ‘wonderlands’ are just beautiful illusions mimicked by poets, writers, artists and businessmen.

In the exhibition, I attempt to discuss the definition of ‘wonderland’ further. Everyone has different thoughts about that ‘unbelievable beautiful land.’ What is the basic element for a wonderland? A fun family dinner? A nice bonus after hard work? A perfect romance like the ones in Korean TV drama? Or.............

 

The relationship between reality and unreality has always been a very important element of my work. The word “unreality” here does not mean fake, but tries to describe the unknown and untouchable part of reality. What is true? What is fake? Is there a grey area between real and unreal? Or there is no room for discussion, like two poles of a magnet? 

The concept of ‘Wonderland' is like a TV drama in that it is unreal. It covers many difficulties in real life and only expresses the beautiful side. But for me, in some way this “unreal" part is also real at the same time. The beautiful side also reveals people's desire for perfect love or an ideal life. Through the desire of chasing a beautiful, unreachable illusion, it highlights our most real emotions and thoughts, as well as modern humans’ spiritual or material demands.

 

Why are we always seeking a better place?

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Located near Dadeapo beach at the southern end of Busan, the Hongti Art Centre is surrounded by factories. Inspired by them, for this exhibition I made a installation with similar look and system including a long automatic sliding gate, a huge area between the gate and the door, a big door that seldom opens, a dog that only can be heard, and a big sign in a highly visible position. There are also some strange elements seems like fragments from life: A ‘어서 오십시오(welcome)’ mat from a restaurant, a sensor door light from someone’s house and a big fake grass mat on the ground. Otherwise, it looks just like a factory with the name of 원더 랜드. 

The Korean name on the sign, “원더 랜드” is a phonemic translation from English word “wonderland,” which is pronounced “wondeo laendeu” in Korean. Although there is already a Korean word 이상한 나라 (which literally means “strange land”) that could be used as the translation of “wonderland,” it is common to use phonemic translated words from foreign languages nowadays. Somehow, between the two different words with the same meaning, one from the local language and one from a foreign language, people found the translated one is more attractive, mysterious, and exotic. The work/exhibition has a twice-translated name from English to Korean to English “Wondeo Laendeu,” which makes the ‘land’ more localised and closer to the audience. Although we all have seen many (mimic) wonderlands in books, movies or playgrounds, in here, the ‘wondeo laendeu’ is an alien version of the concept of wonderland: local but foreign, familiar but strange, a new and unknown but wonderful place.  

 

No one has been to wonderland. We cannot prove whether such a place really exists or not. The only thing we can do now is to find what might ‘belong’ to the wonderland by discussing what does not belong there. Through the experience of culture, languages, and life, we seek for the definition of this ideal place. Maybe we can only shape that place from somewhere very far away, as we try to draw the phantom from our imagination. 

 
 

© 2018 by CHAN YUNG-JEN