武士與鹿

Samurai and Deer

雙頻道錄像裝置

Two-channel video installation

2019

共六版+2AP

08min50sec

這個作品從十七世紀的貿易體系作為切入點,以當時流通的鹿皮作為線索,展開一個跨越文化與時空的超連結。十七世紀歐洲貨幣在亞洲並不受到歡迎,荷蘭東印度公司提出了「以物易物」的交易方法,例如從印尼得到香料,以換取台灣的鹿皮,再將大量的鹿皮運往日本出售,換取白銀,之後便以換取的白銀作為資本,繼續投入下一輪的貿易。

當時日本有大量的鹿皮需求,源自江戶時代的武士文化中,鹿皮被大量使用於武士的盔甲、配件與陣羽織等衣物。但經過幾年的濫捕,台灣的鹿皮產量已無法滿足日本的需求,荷蘭東印度公司便開始尋找其他的鹿皮來源,於是來到柬埔寨的金邊,企圖主導鹿皮市場。在此背景下,荷蘭東印度公司與柬埔寨發生了激烈的衝突,柬埔寨國王開始一場趕走荷蘭東印度公司的戰爭。從1643年到1644年間柬埔寨人與荷蘭人在湄公河一帶,發生海戰,這場戰役最終由柬埔寨人贏得勝利。

鹿皮的交易串起了武士文化、柬荷大戰與台灣的複雜關係。從這個線索出發,藝術家進一步開展出當代的連結。影片拍攝於柬埔寨與日本兩地,包括了金邊動物園與管理員的口述;當時柬荷大戰原址的湄公河空拍影像,以及今日的砂石貿易貨輪;也拍攝了東京的武士甲冑工坊,包含甲冑製作過程與訪談;另外也包括了水下考古以及沈船的影像。四段不同色調的影像,在游移的過程中,以跨越時空的方式連結。

Taking as its launch point the trading network of the 17th century, this work traces the common commodity of deerskin through hyperconnections transcending time and space. Since European coinage was not popularly accepted in 17th-century Asia, the Dutch East India Company relied on instead of barter, for example trading Indonesian spices for Taiwanese deerskins, and then reselling large quantities of deer skins in Japan for silver, and finally using this silver as capital for further trade.

 

Deerskin was in high demand in Japan, as Edo-period samurai culture consumed large quantities in armour, accessories, and clothing. Yet after years of overhunting, Taiwan could not keep up with the demand for deerskins in Japan, and as such the Dutch East India Company searched for alternative sources, finally coming to Phnom Penh in Cambodia in an attempt to corner the deerskin market. As a result, they came into conflict with the Cambodian king, who launched a series of naval wars from 1643 to 1644 along the Mekong River to expel the Dutch East India Company, and in the end succeeding in their efforts.

 

The deerskin trade brought samurai culture, Dutch-Cambodian wars, and Taiwan into a complicated, interconnected relationship, which the artist has brought into the contemporary age. Videos shot in Cambodian and Japan include oral narratives from keepers at the Phnom Penh zoo, aerial footage of the Mekong River at the location where the Dutch and Cambodian armies fought, and modern-day cargo ships carrying gravel, as well as interview and handicraft footage from a Tokyo samurai armour workshop, internet imagery, and Google Maps data — use of the modern-day digital Internet of Things to peer into the colonial Network of Things.