Camel in Taipei
“...he knows it is a city, but he thinks of it as a camel from whose pack hang wine-skins and bags of candied fruit, date wine, tobacco leaves, and already he sees himself at the head of a long caravan taking him away from the desert of the sea, toward oases of fresh water in the palm trees’ jagged shade...”
Invisible Cities: Cities & Desire 3 by Italo Calvino
My old 50c.c. two-stroke motor scooter Dio used to accompany me all throughout the city. But it became too old and would break down at any given moment. The black exhaust fume that it spewed out was bothersome not only to me but also other riders on the road. Like a useless Don Quixote, I basked in the glory of my iconic Dio, as others looked on disapprovingly. This apparatus touted for its “futuristic high-speed mobility” made life more convenient in various ways but had become obsolete and was bound to be recycled. Nonetheless, a few machines remain which have not been swept away by the currents of time, and although my Dio is no longer able to move, it has seemingly grown with roots that extend out to grasp tightly onto its other compatriots. Together in an era they don’t belong in, they have assembled into a camel attempting to move forward under the blazing hot sun in Taipei. “Each city receives its form from the desert it opposes,” writes Calvino. In the year 2019, what mirage am I then confronted with in my everyday life in Taipei?
About the artist