Tender Soul – Cold-War Era Beitou Waiter Memorial Steles
The Chill of the Exquisite Twin Cities – Cold-War Era Taipei Bar Girl Memorial Steles

2019 / Stone, object, document

Following the 2015 exhibition of Green Buds and Springtime Chill on a Harbor Night – Cold-War Era Kaohsiung Bar Girl Memorial Steles ?at the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, and the 2016 exhibition of Dance Trance at the Cold Spring Port – Cold-War Era Taichung Bar Girl Memorial Steles at the Unique Gallery, comes this rare opportunity to exhibit at the original site of the Air Force Command Headquarters. As the core of the Taiwanese military command during the Cold-War Era, the Air Force Command Headquarters is a location of unique historical significance, and is a perfect continuation of the Taiwan “Bar Girl” creative subject which redirects the focus to the capital city of Taipei following Kaohsiung Harbor and the Taichung Ching-Chun-Kang Air Force Base.

Compared with the unadorned single rectangular plaques of the Green Buds and Springtime Chill on a Harbor Night – Cold-War Era Kaohsiung Bar Girl Memorial Steles and the Dance Trance at the Cold Spring Port – Cold-War Era Taichung Bar Girl Memorial Steles, increased resources and support will enable the creation of a memorial submerged in water, with an intent to break through the standard-issue simple rectangular steles. The project proposes to re-enact the “Beitou Bathing Scene” of an American soldier sharing a hot spring bathtub with two Beitou waiters, with a carved stone “Beitou Waiter Memorial Steles” placed in the midst to reflect the imagery of Beitou’s warmth and hot springs.

In addition to two newly created steles commemorating “Cold-War Era Taipei Bar Girl” and “Beitou Waiter”, various documents related to “bar girls” gathered and accumulated over several years, represented by the “Beitou Bathing Scene” and “1953 International Bar”, will be juxtaposed organically coordinating with the two especially-created commemorative steles and the surrounding exhibition space in hopes that, in the special Cold-War era arena of the Air Force Command Headquarter, viewers will re-enter the time and space of this historical environment and context, and gain a new understanding and experience of the “bar girl” subject, so cruelly slighted and forgotten by history.

 About the artist

CHIN Cheng-Te

Known to his friends as “Ah Te,” CHIN was a key figure in the Cultural University Art Department Incident* back in the day. It was this incident that led to Ah Te establishing the the Spring Grass Arts Academy with his classmates, and pledging himself perpetually as “the Spring Grass Volunteer No. N”. Over the years, the Spring Grass Arts Academy has produced postcards based on imagery found in Taiwanese historical artifacts. In addition to gathering documents on Taiwanese history, he has developed a unique geographic fieldwork technique in his creative methodology, re-presenting and revealing moments in Taiwanese history that neglected by the grand narrative by  “erecting steles.” (Text by CHEN Cheng-Tao)

* CHIN Cheng-Te was expelled from the Cultural University for organizing the “Art Fascism” group to satirize the suppression of free speech by the Art Department faculty. This led to a protest movement among students, followed by a month of classroom boycott. Ultimately CHIN was reinstated, and the director of the art department was dismissed. During the boycott, the students established the Young Grass Art Academy, inviting external artists, teachers, and alumni to hold unsanctioned lectures in the school’s plaza, adding a layer of meaning to incident.

Other artworks


Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab

No. 177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City 106, Taiwan (R.O.C.)