The Exploration of Immigrants: 

Homeland Déjà Vu    (2019 - ongoing)



Homeland Déjà Vu is one of the rubbing projects of the Exploration of Immigrants through collecting related place-name of ancestral residence form tombstones in Bukit China Malacca, Malaysia. Bukit China is one of the older cemeteries of Chinese immigrants which can trace back to the late Ming dynasty, Qing dynasty and the period of Republic of China. Kian utilises the characteristic features of the tombstone to convey a scene of an imaginary homeland, which he examines a reconstructed mapping in aluminium rubbings to response to the relation of Chinese diasporic context and site-specific monumental archives. A tombstone is not only a commemorative item in the cemetery but also a medium that recording or bearing historical thread of early Chinese immigrants who might have wanted to go back to the homeland but unavoidably settled down abroad during a mass migration.

此拓印計畫(家園Homeland Déjà Vu)以⾺來西亞⾺六甲三寶⼭華⼈墓園為主要地區,進 ⾏相關祖籍地名的資料收集。三寶⼭是當地最早的華⼈墓園之⼀,保留了從明清⾄民 國時期華僑移居海外的墓地。透過拓印不同時期的墓碑籍貫/地名/堂號,重構華僑移 民原⽣地的地理分佈,探討華⼈南遷移民史與本⼟離散的脈絡,如「僑」轉變成「裔」的狀態。 華僑墓碑作為載體紀錄著早期華僑以僑居⾝份暫居海外的⾃我認同, 勾勒出對家國的想像。然⽽,以籍貫/地名/堂號作為可辨識的地區符號顯⽰亡者⾝份 仍盛⾏於當地華裔喪禮⽂化,即便是從未到過此地。無論是無法回去的祖國,或是從未到過的祖籍,作為國家獨⽴後的華裔群體,是否處在⼤中華主義的迷思,或是祖國 定義的不合時宜?