2020.10.24 - 11.29
Northeastern Asian Records：Manchuria Railway，War Captives & Repatriation from 1900--1949
2020.10.24 - 11.29
Northeast Asia Chronicle: Manchuria Railway, War Captives and the Repatriation from 1900 to 1940-Wang Xiqi's Solo Exhibition
The space station is honored to invite Professor Wang Xiqi from the Oil Painting Department of Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts to present his latest solo exhibition and to open the prelude of Northeast Asia Chronicle. Since 2011, Professor Wang Xiqi has been paying close attention to the artistic expression and visual presentation of geopolitics in Northeast Asia for a long time, and has examined the creation of history on the basis of collecting a large number of archival historical materials about Northeast Asia in the first half of the last century. Professor Wang Xiqi spent five years creating a giant oil painting "1946" with the theme of millions of Japanese overseas Chinese and the repatriation of prisoners. He was invited to be exhibited in Tokyo Art Club (2017), Kyoto Wuhe Yinyang Memorial Hall (2018) and Miyagi Prefecture Art Museum (2019). At the same time, there are also related series of works such as "Presence" and "Sea Soul" on display. "Presence" series of works is an artistic presentation of the buildings and streets left by Japanese troops in Northeast China during the Japanese puppet period. The series of "Sea Soul" is the artist's subjective expression of the landscape along the way.
Northeast Asia is the meeting place of China, Russia, Japan, South Korea and North Korea, and has always been the field where great powers compete for power. Since the beginning of last century, Northeast Asia, as a region, has played an increasingly important role in geopolitics. Under the special permission of the Sino-Russian Secret Agreement, Russia began to build railways in Northeast China in the late 1890s, extending the "Middle East Railway" to the hinterland of Northeast China. In 1900, in order to obtain an ice-free port along the Pacific coast, Russia sent troops to occupy Northeast China under the pretext of suppressing the Boxer Rebellion. Russia's monopoly of the Northeast aroused strong dissatisfaction from Japan, which led to the Japan-Russia War. After the Japan-Russia War, the coveting of Northeast Asia by various forces has increased. During World War II, as a member of the Allied Forces, the Soviet Union sent troops to the Northeast to help China repel Japanese troops. However, while winning militarily, the Soviet Union swept away the industrial facilities in the Northeast. Throughout the first half of the last century, Northeast China was a competition field for national strength. However, the host of the match was absent.
In the process of reviewing the history of Northeast Asia, we cannot ignore the word " Manchuria Railway". Manchuria Railway is the abbreviation of South Manchuria Railway Co., Ltd. It covers not only the construction and operation
of the railway, but also the political, economic and military command center of Japan's invasion in Northeast China. Its existence has a profound impact on the situation in Northeast Asia, especially after the beginning of World War II, Manchuria Railway has become an important part of the central nervous system in the Far East. The Pacific War broke out after Japan raided Pearl Harbor. In order to achieve the goal of supporting the war by war, the Japanese military enterprises in Fengtian (Shenyang) have continuously expanded their production scale and are in urgent need of a large number of labor. As a result, Japan built a prisoner-of-war camp in Mukden to hold allied prisoners of war and force them to take part in labor production. After the end of World War II, the Chinese government repatriated Japanese nationals and prisoners of war stranded in China for humanitarian reasons. Among them, as many as 1.05 million Japanese prisoners were repatriated from Huludao Port in Northeast China alone.
Professor Wang Xiqi's works on display are based on the research and creation of the above historical documents. They have re-examined the economic and political positions assumed by Manchuria Railway and ports in the complicated war history. They have recreated the individual files of US prisoners of war and repatriated Japanese nationals by means of portrait research and restored the basic mental state of that era. These portraits reflect the collective psychological experience of how individuals were forced to flow in the geopolitical turmoil of the times and the historical trauma they carried. In the background of different races and different political camps, the real subject of emotional memory is like a multi-faceted mirror reflecting the narration of mainstream linear historical view. The exhibition also shows the means of transportation used as economic and war weapons at that time, attacking or defending, winning or dying. After breaking away from the background of time and space, the ideological symbol that once had a long history of life and death has become a blurred symbol on the screen. Different from the narration of mainstream history, Wang Xiqi's works and documents give a personalized interpretation of the history of Northeast Asia. Let's uncover this dusty historical time and space with these faltering and strange steps.
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