A Letter to Su Wanqin

尋找蘇萬欽|A Letter to Su Wanqin

This work is a cooperation with the long-time collaborator, scriptwriter Chen Wan-Yin. It based on a special tradition in the history of photography in Taiwan. It adopts a particular skill of making self-portraits in the 1960s by collaging a figure’s headshot with a painted body and background. These photos functioned as a memorial portrait of the old or the deceased. Due to the commodification, the same painted background in the pictures often appear in different families. The portrait photo of 103 years old Su Wanqin is the first example Hsu Che-Yu found that its background identical to Chen's grandfather’s photo. In the searching of the information about Su Wanqin, the artist learned that he once participated in the war in China as a Japanese soldier in the 1940s and now is the oldest Nationalist Party member alive.
After writing a letter telling him about the finding of identical painted background in the portraits, Hsu and Chen got a reply from the son of Su Wanqin. The son wrote on his father’s behalf to expose the condition of the old man’s late life. The artist built a relationship as short-term pen pals.

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