Four-channel video installation, 3' 40" ~ 8' 40", 2017
Drones, Frosted Bats and the Testimony of the Deceased is filmed at the abandoned site of Hsinchu Branch of the Sixth Japanese Naval Fuel Plant. During the World War II, the fuel plant was used to produce aviation fuel with butyl alcohol developed by the Department of Industrial Fermentation at the Industrial Research Institute. As a victim of the war, the deserted buildings reveal the stories of the past with the bullet holes on the walls as the eyewitness. The bullet holes on these deserted buildings reveal atrocities of war - scars evident of their pasts. Hsu utilizes the unique mobile perspectives of a drone, using it as exposed photographic equipment and casting it as an actor anthropomorphically in the video. Aside from the shots taken by the drone, this video also includes several different shots, for instance, a scene of frosted bats in a big chimney. Frosted bats are mostly found in the high latitudes of Japan, Korea, and North China. Yet, for unknown reasons, this northern species of frosted bats resides in the chimney of the military plant from May to July in recent years. The plant is the only place where the frosted bats can be found in Taiwan. Moreover, the video contains footages of bombers from World War II when United States allied with China to bomb Taiwan. However, this incident slowly faded as authorities shifted in the Asia-Pacific region. Hsu uses imageries of flying objects as essential elements of this video, including the original function of the fuel plant as an aviation fuel producer, drones, bats, and bombers.
The video narration originated from memoirs of factory employees at the time. Nineteen oral accounts dubbed by four voice actors in Japanese and the video archive manipulated by a computer program are arranged randomly on the playlist to constantly shift the structure of the video. As the narrator recounts: “After the War, most of the documents were incinerated. Quantity, date, people, accidents, sequence, cause and effects, evidences were all lost. Now, only the abstract and unreliable images remain.” Through the random calculations of the program, Hsu presents in this video the uncertainty of these memories and his response to the scattered historical text.
四頻道錄像裝置，3’40 ~ 8’40’’，2017