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Mr. Shih and DouDou, and his friends

Author : Wu Szu Wei

The day was just like today's weather, a bit gloomy. Mr Shih and Mr Ilun, Miss Yin-yin, Mr Ye and Miss Yang-yang gathered before midnight, rolling tobaccos so professionally piled up as a perfect pyramid, and finished smoking all in the blink of an eye. The amount of alcohol in their blood would be record breaking if they had to take a breath testing. It was about three or four o'clock in the morning, the alarm went off just on time to wake everyone up from hangover. Sure they had to travel from one side to the other of the city before dawn, to a place that was hidden in the darkness to search for 'something'.

What was it exactly that they were looking for? There was no certain answer. The day's mission was to find a perfect pair of wings for Dou Dou, or at least some materials that would match her hair tone. Mr Ilun was going to make a pair of wings for Shih's beloved doggy Dou Dou. He was measuring her body with a tailor's tape and carefully constructing it. Mr llun and Miss Yin-yin helped Dou Dou to dress up, getting ready for a flying game, or more precisely Dou Dou's flying performance. Dou Dou was a bit nervous about the whole flying thing right from the beginning, and chose to staring at the baby doll lying on the table in order to distract herself.

There was another day when Mr Ilun, Miss Yin-yin and Mr Shih were driving a small time-travel like jeep, with Miss Yin-yin sitting at the back with Mr Ilun's buddy, Waxy-Greasy Pig.They were heading to the East of the island looking for a tailor shop to make a perfect outfit for naked Mr Waxy-Greasy Pig.

This is the usual life of Mr Shih, Dou Dou and his friends, and that is about what they do on their day-off. You may say that Shih is constantly travelling, collecting or creating in everyday life. He and Dou Dou and his friends living on a small East Asia island are actively mobile at the edges of the city. It is a city with a lot of variety, each district has its own gesture and character. Shih and his friends stay in different corners most of the time, they gather around from time to time for different activities. They would travel to faraway places with Mr Shih's 'things' to execute all kinds of unknown mission.

Nobody ever measured the amount of power or energy Shih input into each scene. Such as taking a picture for an antique doll with a vintage camera which requires burning out a light bulb. Before he could actually press that shutter button, a chair with an appropriate height for the doll needs to be picked, so that he could be sitting comfortably for a perfect photo shoot. On the other hand, Shih needs to find a right stand to set the vintage camera, and not to mention that he has to learn how to operate it in advance. The doll will soon be too old, Shih must capture the precious moment while the clock is ticking.

During the sleepless nights, Mr Shih would wear a sheep counting machine, watching the sheep moving steadily around his head allows him to count his sheep peacefully. Finally when he feels sleepy, he still needs to remove that machine before he can finally falls his head into the pillow. All the objects that appear in the scenarios took an enormous effort by Mr Shih in order to take them home from different corners of the world: the junk sale in Hong Kong, the antique stores in Turkey, the marginalized areas in Tokyo, ruined warehouse in Southern Taiwan and flea markets at the edges of Taipei. Each precious was being packed, transported and breaking through immigrations by different channels before they could reunite with Mr Shih. The scenarios that mentioned previously are all real, the location names appear in the artwork titles stated both the original source of the object as well as where the scene took place.

If anyone came up with the question, 'Why would Mr Shih wants to do this?' It would be same as asking questions like, 'Why do human beings have to give birth?' 'Why are we living?' 'Why do people get married?' 'Why would someone become an artist?' 'Why bother to fall in love then break up when there is nothing wrong with being single?' If there is actually a reason, then it must be some kind of obsession, or simply an abstract form of love to the world. Mr Shih and Dou Dou are deeply in love with all the things and scenes that are fading away, therefore, Mr Shih and Dou Dou and his friends try to document and create and live in the moment on this island.


We see every glamorous urban city with new construction buildings and network of highways, freshly made bridges with a scent of concrete and tar. Walking among the mirrored buildings during the day can barely allow anyone to keep their eyes open. Away from the heart of the city, gradually moving towards the old-time landscapes, where houses are closely interlacing with each other and laundry hanging in the field. New and old housing mix together in the alley, and rusty houses with peeling paint built on the slopes. It is a civilization of fineness that raise up by the past oldness.

At the beginning of time when every form in life was equal, and no names were given to anyone, people used body language to communicate with others. There were no such things as standard or correctness, it maybe refer to the prehistoric times. There were no rules in life, whether a person should use toilet paper with his left or right hand cleaning himself? Or should a person first put his head or arm through the jumper? No one ever had a correct answer, because anything was possible.

Back to the scenes of Mr Shih, you may well be able to name every object that appears in his work. However, it gives the audience a rather strange feeling of their composition and logic. It seems that every object was being set free in his painting. In the world of Mr Shih and Dou Dou and his friends, there are no regulations or ranks, simply without instructions, just like the beginning of time. Everything can remain just the way they are, no right or wrong about anything. So it always makes sense whatever they choose to do.

The day when I visited Mr Shih and Dou Dou and his friends, he was living as usual, playing and creating. In his universe of creation, he takes away all the boundaries separating our world, and replaced it with love. All the 'soap operas' that he directed inspire people to discover freedom and passion in life, somehow there is a parallel space to our reality where people can recover creativity and imagination.

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