The specific appearance of human desire: photographer Yao Ruizhong's "Giant God Connection"

It is obviously the last sunny day before turning cold, but it is a few rains in the afternoon.Yao RuizhongSay, as long as you shoot a bog with a bottle, it will be rainy. We sat in the pavilion next to the Guanyin Guanyin on the Beitou Mountain. While waiting for the rain to stop, I heard him tell the story of the statue of the gods in the past year and a half. Surrounded by grass and trees, but the sky is shining from time to time, so that this rare pavilion will add a little clear atmosphere.


Black, black pants, and a black Pentax 67 negative camera on the hand, that's all. In the past 18 months, Yao Ruizhong used this equipment every week to drive around to shoot big statues. Around the island, I walked through more than 230 temples and took 370 rolls of film. It took a lot of effort to go back to the light. But he is tired, but he is persistent and wants to finish. "There are always signs, let me search again." He said, "I have never failed to make a film. But once I came back from Tainan, even the four volumes rushed out are black. I feel weird, there must be a leak. Sure enough. I found 15 fewer people and went back and forth 600 kilometers the next day."


When Yao Rui was a child, he often played in the temples next to the Ayi family in Taixi, Taixi. At that time, he liked the Buddha statue very much. In 2006, the "very temple art space" created by friends in the art circle came from this. On the day of the interview, at the Guangjing Temple in Beitou, some of the Buddha images taken by him last year have been removed, which is somewhat lost. However, the intermittent heavy rain that followed, not only let people know the power of the water Guanyin, but also remove the summer heat before the autumn, so that the whole conversation is refreshing and happy.
Accident and Buddha "have an appointment"

Investing in contemporary art for 30 years, photography has always been one of Yao Ruizhong's main creative types. Since 2010, he has been carrying out the well-known "Maritime City: Taiwan's idle public facilities photography project". With the help of students, he has found the mosquito museum in the mountains and the sea carpet. It is the first long-term photography project for the abandoned construction in China. Five books have been published so far. In addition to the value of art, it also forms the long-term supervision of the rulers. But before the sixth episode was still in progress, she had a quarrel with her mother last March, and then her mother left home. He rushed to the temple to worship bye. As a result, he dreamed of the unknown voice at night and said, "Go and shoot a big statue!" He remembered some Buddha statues that were scattered in the past when he walked around, and decided to use this as a theme. The "Giant God" in Taiwan has been wiped out. Only when I started shooting, my mother came back and was unharmed.


How big is the desire, how big is the idol

Although the beginning of the opportunity is somewhat magical, this series of photography called "The Great God Connected" has nothing to do with singing. Yao Ruizhong specializes in selecting medium-sized or larger statues that are at least twice as tall as the average person. The purpose is to point out the collections that they accept as if they were intended to project. The more effective the gods, the more the believers donate, the more they have the money to cover the super-sized gods. This way back and forth, its growing posture is like the embodiment of super desire.


Chaoyin Temple, Guanxi Town, Hsinchu County.

The idol is a computer concept. Going to the temple and asking a god to come back is the same as buying a computer. When the computer is turned on, it requires a password, and it is necessary to fill the software. The believer will not find a mage to fill it. Different religions have different specifications. The leader is the CEO, so that everyone can connect. Don't you think that the sound of the server dial is similar to the sound of the chanting in the temple?


If the mosquito house was traced before, it is the hospice of the building. This visit to the local gods is like capturing the human imagination of the unknown world after death; but the same point is the political struggle behind the lock. The abandoned construction of weeds is the remnant of all kinds of political parties and the speculation of the land; and the temple has no intervention from all parties? The hidden underground economy is even more amazing. After the self-reliance of Taiwan, the temple flourished. From the early traditional temples to the four famous mountains of Buddhism in the 1990s, it was operated by the group. In recent years, there have even been sightseeing places like the Da'an Gang Mazu Theme Park, which combined with the concept of the Wenchuang Park. The form has always changed, but what remains unchanged is the desire that people cannot stop. "In particular, in the past few years, people have been in a state of exploitation and anxiety. It is easy to ask for help from unknown forces. Many temples will become strange, like Miaochan."


Rainbow Mountain Buddha in Liugui District, Kaohsiung City.

Yao Ruizhong bluntly said that everything in Taiwan is developing in the direction of "secularization." Art wants to create a park, and religion is also creative, making money become the first goal. "Doing a god, it is a blessing to make a fortune, and then you give back to him. This is an exchange of interests! Is this true faith?"


As complex as humans

Although there is an inexhaustible power relationship, the temple is still a unique aesthetic of the people. "Taiwan is the most religious place in the entire Chinese region. Even Japan has no prosperity. If you look at China, they can't talk about it. The Communist Party is atheism, can't worship cows and ghosts, so the mainland only has a consumer culture, like a luxury. Computers and software only have that set. Taiwan is a ragged computer, but it has a variety of software, but because things are too complicated, they often crash."


There are as many as 12,000 temples in the whole Taiwan, more than 7-11, which is enough to prove how religious culture penetrates into the daily life of the people. After the chaotic lanes and telephone poles of various counties and cities, a statue with a thick brow and a round face suddenly came out and became an ordinary landscape. However, perhaps because the faith is too vigorous, the gods and the believers are too close to let Yao Ruizhong see the other side of them. "When God is very hard, dealing with demons and ghosts every day, it is not enough to be kind and kind. God is human, and there is darkness and kindness in human nature." He chose the high-definition black-and-white photo that he is best at, and photographed the coldness of the Buddha statue. In order to highlight the "magic" implied by the gods.


Reclining Buddha at King Kong Palace, Shimen District, New Taipei City.

"Looking at these photos will be ridiculous at the end. God is like a super computer that satisfies human desires. But the things on the screen, the so-called color and fragrance touch, are illusory images. For me Really, God will not be in the image of God, just like the concept that Google God is not on the computer." Everything is vain, and removing the attachment to the appearance may be the only way out of the eternal robbery.


There is blessing

From 1994, the video of the series of installations of the "Occupational Occupation Action" series of Taiwan's subjectivity was discussed. From 2007 to the "Golden Foil Landscape Painting" developed by the Scottish resident in the village, to the sixth volume of the mirage: Taiwan's idle public facilities photography Painting, and the "Giant Connection" that was accidentally completed today, Yao Ruizhong's creation has always been "grounded", starting from the essence of living in the earth, and the quality is both. Asked how to go in the next decade, he said frankly, he also quoted the line of the movie "Holocaust Rebirth": "You never know what the wave of life will bring." The only thing that is certain is that he has a bad heart. During this period, I did not feel discomfort at all, but the more I took it, the more spirit I took. "A lot of temples are in the feng shui treasure, the magnetic field is super good, so in the process of making the temple, I also feel comfortable. Haha!"


Text/ Ouyang Chenrou
Interview Photography/ Wang Defan
Photo courtesy of work / Yao Ruizhong
[This article is Polysh x La Vie activistCooperation article]


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