Chiang hall should remain empty 拆除(蔣廟)?不如順勢重新定位 ◎范姜提昂/Taipei Times+蘋果日報 2017-03-06

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Chiang hall should remain empty

By Christian Fan Jiang 范姜提昂

The final point of transitional justice is the question of how to repurpose the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei once Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) statue is removed. It has been suggested that the space dedicated to the worship of a dictator could provide the grounds for a new Legislative Yuan building — a symbol of democracy. In other words, destroying the building would do away with the problem of how to repurpose it, as it would cover Chiang with a new Legislative Yuan.

Doing so would not only solve the issue of building a new legislative building, but would also allow everyone to breathe easier.

However, this brings to mind the Tianma Tea House (天馬茶房) on 189 Nanjing W Rd in Taipei — where government agents confiscated contraband cigarettes on Feb. 27, 1947, which led to the 228 Incident the next day — which was torn down and replaced in 2005. Local community leaders and culture and history experts who felt that the demolition was wrong reopened the tea house on the third floor of the new building, featuring a display of historical materials and photographs.

In 2012, someone discovered that the memorial plaque put up by the Taipei City Government to commemorate the site of the incident was in the wrong place.

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This shows that the government and the public have a poor sense of history, and a rash decision can later be regretted.

When dealing with the hugely symbolic hall, some people follow their instincts and say that it would be better to demolish it. Following the same logic, would it not also be good to demolish the Executive Yuan, which used to house the chief executive’s office, a position held only by Chen Yi (陳儀), who ordered troops to fire at the crowd in 1947? Obviously not.

The National Theater and Concert Halls are focal points of the memorial. The plaza between the two cultural centers and their wide stairs provided the main stage for 1990’s Wild Lily student movement, which led to the abolishment of the Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of National Mobilization for Suppression of the Communist Rebellion (動員戡亂時期臨時條款), the lifting of the suspension on the National Assembly and paved the way for free legislative elections: all key milestones in Taiwan’s democratic development.

It has been a long time since the hall was only concerned with Chiang. Looking out from inside the hall, the surrounding environment has undergone many changes.

The first was made in 2007 by then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) when the inscription dazhong zhizheng (大中至正, which includes two characters of Chiang’s honorific) on the park’s main gate was changed to “Liberty Square.”

As Taiwanese society continues to evolve, Chiang continues to be replaced by more liberal attitudes. Last month, Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君) announced that Chiang-related products, promotional materials and songs will be removed from the hall’s gift store shelves, further removing Chiang’s presence. Once the trend starts, nothing will stop it.

That is just as it should be. The spirit of the word “liberty” has a unifying concept for the entire hall. The National Theater and Concert Halls, the real focus of the public, treat creative freedom as their focal point, further consolidating the hall’s liberal concept.

People should view the handling of the hall from the perspective of freedom. Chiang’s statue will one day be removed by heavy machinery and people will find that ritual to be overwhelming and everlasting. As they turn their eyes back to the empty base, they will feel liberated as if shackles had been removed and they will shout out in joy: “Give me liberty or give me death.”

If the hall is demolished, the issue will come to an end, and the sense of liberty brought by an empty hall would disappear with the building. People would not be able to learn from past mistakes, which is crucial in the push for transitional justice.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) is right: The building should be kept.

However, his proposal that the statue should also be kept is wrong. All installations featuring elements of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) party-state and designs copied from the imperial Forbidden City in Beijing should be eliminated.

When the base of the statue is the only thing left in the empty hall, it will create a feeling of spaciousness because the “idol” no longer exists. It will be a temple of liberty that deliberately leaves an empty space. As future generations and visitors try to explain why there is nothing there, they will have to review the 228 Incident and Taiwan’s transitional justice. They will repeatedly remind themselves that liberty does not come easily.

Should there be another statue of a great person or people in the hall? Replacing Chiang’s statue with other statues will only create more controversy. Perhaps the guards should continue their duty at the hall to safeguard this temple to liberty, free of idols.

Democracy serves as a means to reach the goal of liberty. As for how to present the image of liberty through emptiness and the unlimited creativity it holds, that will be the job of artists.

Christian Fan Jiang is a member of the Northern Taiwan Society.

Translated by Eddy Chang

拆除?不如順勢重新定位(范姜提昂)

 2017年03月01日

中正紀念堂轉型正義的終點在:蔣介石銅像移除後,紀念堂這個建築如何重新定位?有人主張從「紀念獨裁者的空間」轉變成「民主象徵的國會」;換言之,沒有重新定位問題,直接摧毀,再用國會新廈覆蓋蔣介石。

自由概念涵蓋園區

這樣做或許確能解決國會需要新廈的現實問題,又能出口氣,是很痛快的事。但這讓人想起二二八導火線「緝查私菸事件」引爆地,台北市南京西路189號,2005年就被拆了,改建大樓。事後,當地耆老與文史工作者覺得不妥,特在原址三樓重新開設「天馬茶房」,並在店內陳設史料照片。還有,2012年有人發現,市府煞有介事立碑,卻立錯位置。
可見不分官民,國人歷史感有時似乎難免凸槌,可能瞬間令人扼腕。面對「中正紀念堂」如此龐大的象徵性建築,若直覺認為拆了最好,則相同邏輯,當年開槍射殺群眾的行政長官公署,現在的行政院大廈,豈不也是拆了最好?顯然不是。
中正紀念堂園區就市民生活而言,兩廳院才是重心!而且兩廳院之間的廣場和寬廣的台階,還曾經是野百合學運的主舞台,促成廢除臨時條款,終結萬年國會,立下台灣民主發展史上極關鍵的里程碑。
其實長久來,園區已非「蔣介石概念」所能全盤涵蓋。從堂內往外看,外頭世界已經進行好幾波「地方包圍中央」,而第一個淪陷的就是大門口「大中至正」匾額,被扁政府換成「自由廣場」之後,就再也沒有掛回去。
從此,隨著社會進化,「自由廣場概念」逐漸覆蓋「蔣介石概念」。日前文化部鄭麗君部長宣布,蔣介石相關商品、文宣和紀念歌都要下架,可視為「蔣介石概念」的進一步限縮,形勢既成,莫之能禦。
順勢而為就對!當初或許誤打誤撞,如今「自由」已成為統合整個園區的空間總概念。市民生活角度的真正主體:兩廳院,音樂戲劇無不將創作「自由」視為第一生命,這一點也鞏固了「自由」概念在園區內涵中的骨幹地位。

留著才能記取教訓

於是我們何不用「自由」這個空間總概念凝視「中正紀念堂該如何處置」這個問題?當有一天,重型器械終於吊起蔣介石銅像,我們會發現這個儀式性動作本身,最為驚心動魄!也最能永垂不朽!而當銅像被移走後,我們把視線轉回到蔣介石端坐過的銅像基座,空蕩蕩,我們會有一種去掉枷鎖的解放感,甚至情不自禁高呼:自由!自由!不自由,毋寧死!
這時若緊接著把整個建築拆了,那就結束了,銅像基座沒了蔣介石的「自由空間感」因為失去建物,反而消失了!轉型正義要做的「記取教訓」也成為無形!柯文哲說得沒錯,留著。
但柯文哲也有錯!銅像不能留,所有黨國元素裝置,以及仿自紫禁城的帝王概念設計也都不能留。要留的是堂內只剩銅像基座,一種「去掉偶像」之後所形成的寬闊空間感:自由!這是自由殿堂,沒有偶像、沒有框架的「空白」殘留,讓後世的子孫或導覽者,為了解釋為何空無一物,他們將回顧二二八事件和轉型正義,他們將不斷提醒,自由得來不易!
不要有任何偉人?或偉人們?取代蔣介石,只會引爆更大爭議。衛兵繼續執行任務,守衛沒有偶像的自由殿堂!民主呢?隱含在自由概念中:自由是目的,民主是手段。至於如何表現空白自由意象,及其蘊藏之無限創造力,有請藝術家。

資深媒體工作者

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