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I incidentally came across an article on the internet about military pigeons during World War II. The article included an image depicting a human perspective of how the pigeons broke through defense lines and returned home safely after completing their mission. The article triggered my curiosity about the past and present of the pigeons. In order to verify the article, I investigated relevant historical records and documents and found that in the 1944 Formosa Air Battle, not only were Taiwanese child laborers involved, so were a mysterious bloodline of internationally-famous Taiwanese racing pigeons. Moreover, Feiyan Military- dependent’s village, a place struggling for existence in the face of colonial trajectory and capitalist development, also played a part. This work is an attempt to reenact the air battle scene on 12th October 1944 with my pigeons. I envisioned the sky’s chaos and calmness from the view of a pigeon-imagining how it feels to return to the heat of battle while sensing the strong pull of home, and the burden of a military pigeon that is unable to escape the manipulation of fate.

The memo of Formosa Air Battle, Taiwan Biennial,
National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung Taiwan, 2020
Video, photography, sculpture, newspaper clippings, archive files
Dimensions Variable




© Lee Lichung 2020, All Rights Reserved