Located at the subduction zone where the Eurasian Plate converges with the Philippine Sea Plate, the island of Taiwan has developed a unique topography as a result of the downwelling tectonic activity. Similarly, Taiwan’s position at the boundaries of different political forces within the global geography, and the hidden forces exerted by political, economic, cultural, and ideological plates, have shaped its national identity.
Taiwan’s unique landscape and geopolitical history serves as a theme for The Subduction Zone by Shake. Comprised of three short films entitled Our Status Quo, Our Story and Our Suite de Danses, the work traces the intersection of the tectonic plates and travel to Taipei’s Tatun Volcanoes; the Yuli to Antun section of the old railway line in Hualian that traverses the Eurasian Plate and Philippine Sea Plate; and to the Jili Badlands in Taitung. In the eyes of a geologist, these locations are ideal textbook examples of plate tectonics; but what Shake contemplates is whether these landscapes enable an imagining of the political struggles that have taken place on this island. How does an individual find a resting place within the conflicts of divergent social structures, political systems, and ideological modes? How can the status of the self be reimagined and the story of the self be told?
In addition to landscapes, Shake also includes constructions of narrative elements in the film, such as archived historical documents, personal memoire, school activities, and cultural rituals, in the artistic practice of cinematic writing.
Project manager: Dennis Wang
Aerial drone cinematography: DYNC
Cinematographer: Pei-min Cheng, Shake
Sound recording: Chun-yi Lee
Performers: Wen-tsui Wu and the ensemble of Van Body Theater
Military parade: Drama 19th, Taipei Municipal Fuxing Senior High School
Beiguan performance: The Hualian Club
Video filming with the support of: Hualien County Government and Hualian County Cultural Affairs Bureau
Special thanks to the Dalongdong Hehua Music Society