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Military Pigeon Report (Vol. 2) -Feiyan Military-dependent's village #01, 2020, photography & Vandy ke Brown prints & art paper, 16 × 9 cm. Courtesy of the artist.



Military Pigeon Report (Vol. 2) -Feiyan Military-dependent's village #09, 2020, photography & Vandy ke Brown prints & art paper, 16 × 9 cm. Courtesy of the artist.



Archive photo of military pigeon wreckage, 2020, photography & photo paper, 6 × 4 inch. Courtesy of the artist.



Raiden sounen, 2020, wood & paint, 157 × 138 × 26 cm. Courtesy of the artist.




LEE Li-Chung

The Third Genre: Portrait of Unknown Heroes



I incidentally came across an article on the internet about military pigeons during World War II. The article included an image depicting a human perspective of how the pigeons broke through defense lines and returned home safely after completing their mission. The article triggered my curiosity about the past and present of the pigeons. In order to verify the article, I investigated relevant historical records and documents and found that in the 1944 Formosa Air Battle, not only were Taiwanese child laborers involved, so were a mysterious bloodline of internationally-famous Taiwanese racing pigeons. Moreover, Feiyan Military-dependent’s village, a place struggling for existence in the face of colonial trajectory and capitalist development, also played a part. This work is an attempt to reenact the air battle scene on 12th October 1944 with my pigeons. I envisioned the sky’s chaos and calmness from the view of a pigeon—imagining how it feels to return to the heat of battle while sensing the strong pull of home, and the burden of a military pigeon that is unable to escape the manipulation of fate.



Profile

Born in 1980 in Tainan, Lee Li-Chung graduated from the Department of Information and Communication, Chinese Culture University, and worked as a magazine editor in Taipei. Lee moved back to Tainan after he quit the job in 2012. In recent years, Lee has been captivated by the homing instinct of racing pigeons, and hoped to construct a path of self-conversation through research on the culture of pigeon racing, targeting issues such as sense of belonging, destiny, and post-globalization. Lee also plans to write a history of Taiwan’s pigeon racing, which is also Taiwan’s modern history, through a number of narrative works. 2019 work, Battle of Mt. Zhugao and Red Feet Ling, was nominated for Taishin Awards and selected to Kaohsiung Awards.