Sheltered Sky, 2023

During World War II, the US conducted air raids on Taiwan, which was under Japanese rule at the time. Many air raid shelters that look like this bunker were built during that time period by the Japanese government.

In the shelter, you hear the drone of the Taiwanese air raid siren coming from outside the walls of the shelter. A window directs your view upwards and you see an artificial clear sky with a sun. A light on a motorized track outside the bunker creates the illusion that the sun is endlessly rising and setting. The sun moves slowly with a machine-like creak and the window illuminates you with a shifting patch of artificial sunlight, that moves across your face, body, and the floor. The siren waxes and wanes but does not come to an end.

Since 1978, Taiwan has performed a nationwide air raid drill every year. These air raid shelters from the previous war have mostly sat empty since the 1940s but may be reused against potential missiles from China. The addition of a clear blue sky to a bomb shelter suggests serenity in the face of peril, but it is also self-defeating, thereby making the bunker lose its efficacy.  

Sheltered Sky
12’D x 9’W x10’H
Resin, plexiglas, LED light, curved track, motor, lumber, cement

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