About A Present for Grandpa
The economy of Taiwan was boosted by textile industry and processing industry after transforming from an agrarian society to an industrial society in the 70s. The economic growth, which was owing to the hard-working personality of the Taiwanese, compensated for the diplomatic difficulty of Taiwan. Because of the higer living standard, more and more taxis were running on the roads. Owning a private car was therefore a dream come true for many households.
When cars were no longer being considered as luxurious goods, Yulon, a Taiwanese car manufacturing company, started to produce affordable cars for the general public in order to meet the needs of the market. In 1983, Yulon even produced commercial vehicles for carpenters, plumbers, gardeners, and farmers, which became the best business partners for the older generations.
Long before Yulon’s products, “Nissan Sunny”, cars produced by Japanese company, became the symbol of the middle class when Taiwan was experiencing “Economic Miracle” in the 60s. The reason that the Japanese cars were popular was that during the Japanese colonial period (1895-1945) , Japanese culture was deeply rooted in people’s mind. The influence even continued after the restoration of Taiwan to the Republic of China.
When I was little, my grandparents often spoke and sang Japanese songs to me. The systematic streets we walk on nowadays were the legacy of urban planning done by the Japanese government. The Japanese style buildings in the sugar refinery in Kao Hsiung then became cultural preservation park. The train which were once transporting sugar canes are now shuttle bus for tourists. To me, who were born in the 80s, the sensibility of beauty was nourished by everyday life and the history.
Like little boys collecting toy cars, I never considered this piece of work art, but simply bathed in the joy of “having this car”. I expressed my respect to Showa period by modifying this Yulon 303T according to Japanese standard. I drove this car with a shiny heart.
Pogs, a game that was popular among children during the mid 90s, accompanied me growing up. The cartoon characters and the local celebrity portraits painted on the pogs are both the representation of my childhood and the connection between the older generation and my generation. I used pogs as my car foil pattern, trying to wrap my childhood memories onto this car, an icon of my grandparents’ generation. I created this piece of work as a gift for all the grandpas.