重寫歷史: 記者和觀眾的問題及文晶瑩的答案
Rewriting History: Reporters and Audience's questions and My Answers

1. In what ways does your gender inform your work?
I take the position as a human being rather than a feminist when I work. Gender issue is included but not limited in my works. You can see my other art works in my homepage: http://www.cyman.net/
A lot of my works are about self exploration and my daily life. Therefore inevitably they included some woman experience like having period, being sexually harrassed and how others treated me as a woman. These are the sources of my art.
2. You mention that paper cuts were traditionally made by women. Is that what drew you to the form for this theme? What other media have you been working with lately?
Yes, it is one of the sources. Another source is that I did some writing. I tried to rewrite my own stories about sexual assault.
Later on, I thought of how to deal with the writing. I would like to transform the paper to express my ideas, release emotion and imagination. I also transformed the paper cutting to an animation.
Another series of work I am working on is about Psychogeography and public art. http://www.cyman.net/psychogeography.htm
3. Your work deals with issues surrounding sexual assault. In what ways is fine art a good means for engaging with such serious, sensitive issues, compared with other types of media?
To some extent, sex is still a taboo in many societies. Sexual assault is a criminal act and survivals have to go through a long way to recovery. It is a social problem and a cultural issue. As you say it is a serious and sensitive issue.
"Personal is political." During the process of making art, I can know myself and the topic better. I can see the flow of one's inner feelings and emotion; a revisit of one bad memories; the expression of one's point of view; confront the misconceptions and the regain the power of one's own. I think fine arts is a good way for self exploration. It seems that the works express personal stories and my own personal point of view. I think I can share it with others because others might have the same experience. The art works also offer additional information and challenge to question some value system and belief of some people. Discussion are invited.
4. Another issue your work brings up is the ongoing fear and suspicion of men that victims of sexual assault experience. Are you concerned that the portrayals of men as potential aggressors - as wolf heads, or hand snakes - perpetuate unfounded fears at the same time as they draw attention to genuine ones?
When facing stressful event, it is a very human way to develop some kind of coping strategies in order to maintain a balance and health set of mind and self. From one extreme of reaction is the extensive reliance on avoidance strategies, pretending that nothing harmful had been happened in the survivor's living world. But the suppression of one's own thought has no place in the process of recovery. In contrast, when the survivor feels confidence that resources and supports are available in her community, she has greater chance to recover from the posttraumatic stress and endless nightmares.
We should never deny that rapists do exist. However, wolf heads and hand snakes appeared only in some part of my work. In "RH: Foot", men can be victims also. In "RH: Shout", men can be helpers. On the whole, at the bottom of the heart, it is the message of building a harmonious relationship between different sexes and a desire of mutual respect that the artist wants to include.
4. 你的作品描述受害者的恐懼,常懷疑男性是色狼、蛇手。這類毫無根據的描寫會否令她們忽略真正的侵犯者?
當有過不愉快的經歷,人很自然會有戒心,不再容易相信人,知道世界上可能會有壞人。(一朝被蛇咬,十年怕草動。) 其實,我對於這樣的想法感到很悲哀。壓抑這些想法對復元並無幫助,反之,若受害人感到四周圍有很多資源和支持,她有更大機會從創傷和惡夢中恢復過來。
5. 藝術家的生活/生命是否與藝術思想息息相關?
5. Is Artist's life related to her/his art?
For me, the material of art comes from my life. Art is also one of the means of my self expression. Art history, art and cultural theories are also my source of inspiration.

6. 紙作為創作素材,對於文晶瑩有甚麼意義?

我用的紙是再生紙(Recycled Paper) ,配合我的作品「重寫歷史」。作品最初是文字創作http://www.cyman.net/RW/stories.pdf ,我以正面方法重寫自己與及一些受害者的故事,目的在組織思想、反映現實,並希望做到一些思考模式的轉變。這部分完成後,我看著這些紙(文稿),想到用剪紙方法去釋放感覺、負面情緒和想像力,剪紙是眼到手到的直接表現形式,很適合做這件事。發掘紙的可能性和表現力是我感興趣的事情,如何將2D的東西變3D, 如何改變紙的質感,正負空間的運用,紙和框的關係等。
6. What is the meaning of paper for your art?
I used recycled paper to make my work "Rewriting History". Recycled and rewriting, the meaning is obvious. Originally, I used paper to rewrite my stories and I looked at the paper and thought of how to deal with it. I thought I could transform it and used it to release my emotion. Therefore I developed the paper cutting series. Besides, I am also interested to explore the possibilities of paper, e.g. how to make the 2D paper to 3D, the relationship of the frame and the paper, positive space and negative space and also different form and texture of the paper.
7. 如何從早期的裝置,走入近期的思想體系?
7. How to develop your early installation work to the recent work?

I think I do not have much change. It is all starting from myself and use theories and exploring art form to develop the works.

8. 利用裝置藝術引發公眾對這個議題的關注,比較起新聞報道或其他反映方式,有甚麼不同的效果嗎?

8. To attract people's awareness of the social issue, what is the difference of using installation art and news reporting?

I think news reporting is more rational and objective. Art can release one's own feeling and provide an imaginative space. Interactive installation can provide some special experience for the audience through their involvement in the art work. News reporting uses reasoning method to convince others. Arts use experiencing method to make audience feel something. The methods are different and can also create impact.
9. 文字創作部分介紹中述說了受害人的故事,請問這是你親身接觸個案,還是有其他參考來源?能否多談你關於這方面的所見所聞及感受?
1) <「B布B布」>講述一名男子侵犯一名有皮外傷,正在去醫院的小女孩。這類罪犯許多時都選擇弱小落手,但香港在這方面的教育落後,小孩一般不懂應對,更常被教導不准嘈吵,不要作聲。重寫部分強調親人和旁人的態度,身邊的人的支持態度,對受害者的幫助很大。
2) <拿兒童身份證被兇>講述一名小女孩在入境處拿兒童身份證時被侵犯,這類罪犯許多時都選擇在小朋友多的地方落手,另一些熱點包括公園、室內機動遊樂場。
3) <避不過>談到屋村的舊設計,迫人走暗角位,令犯人有機可乘。城市建築設計師應設計安全的環境。重寫部分強調受害人遇事時的處理方法,包括正視對方,記下容貌。
4) <小朋友很可愛>談到一個相當有正義感的台灣阿姨,如何對付犯人。重寫部分則是本地化的故事,講述在公共交通工具若目睹這類事情發生,可以怎樣做。故事發生地點在擠迫的交通工具上,這亦是這類罪案的黑點,據警方數字顯示,絕大部分的非禮案發生於公共交通工具,例如地鐵和侯車處。(星島日報2010年7月9日)
5) <專摸大腳>談到男性被非禮的故事。一般人有一種誤解,認為只有女性才會被性侵犯,其實男性也有可能被性侵犯。他們亦有可能是慾望對象,兼且許多時性侵犯的行為不只是因為要滿足性需要,而是基於控制欲,以及想羞辱他人,所以不論甚麼性別和年齡都有可能成為受害者。由於一些人不了解這方面的資訊,致使男性受害者很難相信所發生的一切,不敢報警和找人傾訴他們的遭遇。聆聽和關懷對於受害者來說是相當重要的。
9. The writing version mentioned the victims' stories. Could you please talk more about it?
I choose to talk about these five stories is because each of them have something to say.
"Bee bu bee bu" is about a child story. Children are usually target of sexual assault.
"Apply for children identity card" explained perpetrator usually went to children gathering place to find their target.
" Can't avoid …" talks about the space of the architecture.
"What a lovely boy!" emphasized the role of the witness.
" Fetish of big foot" mentioned a male victim's story and the society always think men can't be victims.
10. 有關性侵犯議題,文教授能否補充一點她對這個社會問題的見解?
性侵犯案件發生,許多時會歸咎受害者,說她們不小心,不檢點等,例如地鐵的宣傳海報的對像都是受害者,叫她們不要啞忍,很少叫犯人自我約束,犯風化罪可被判囚之類。罪犯通常很少被指責,更以男性天生較易性衝動之類的借口來開脫,這類對受害者嚴苛,對罪犯寬容的情況必須正視。罪犯應負最大的責任,亦有其他因素需要注意。*Finkelhor (1984) 提出性罪案的發生要符合四個前設:
1. 內在衝動: 犯罪者想性接觸受害者。
2. 克服道德感: 犯罪者能克服自己的良心責備、克服受法律制裁的恐懼,找到各樣借口為自己開脫。例如有露體狂說讓女人看自己的陽具,是明益她們。
3. 外在條件許可:有安全的環境容許犯罪者與受害人進行性活動,例如四周沒有人,得受害人一個,又或是受害人喝醉了,不省人事。又例如在擠迫的公共交通上,人和人很易有身體接觸,又例如在私人空間,犯罪者進行侵犯行為不會被干擾。
4. 受害者的脆弱度:犯罪者估計能制服受害人。犯罪者通常會尋找害羞的女孩或兒童或相熟的人,通過威脅,哀求或製造疑惑,去令受害人不報警。
Finkelhol, D. (1984) Child Sexual Abuse: New theory and research. NY: The Free Press.
10. Could you please talk about your view of sexual assault?
I think the propaganda for the prevention of sexual crime is always targeting on women. Focus should also be put on the offenders. There are other causes of sexual assault. According to Finkelhor (1984), there are 4 pre-conditions for the perpetrators to commit crime.
Pre-Condition 1. The potential sexual abuser must have some motivation to have sexual contacts with the victim.
Pre-Condition 2. The potential abuser must overcome his or her own inhibitions against illegal sexual activity, e.g. find excuses not to trouble the conscience or not fear of punishment.
E.g. Benefit women by making them see his penis.
Pre-Condition 3. The opportunity to engage in sexual activity with the victim arise, e.g. the victim is alone, drunk, unconscious or the abuser is able to exercise some kind of control on the victim or it is the packed public transport and people's body contact is unavoidable, offenders has secure settings like private space in which they could conduct the assault uninterrupted.
Pre-Condition 4. The resistance of the victim to the sexual activity must be overcome. The potential abuser usually looks for shy girls or innocent children or he is able to persuade the victim (through threatening, begging or make confusion) not to report the offense.
I think it is normal for people to have sex desire (pre-condition 1). However, some people commit crime but some do not is based on the pre-condition 2. For this area, I think it is the responsibility of the family and the society to promote a mutual respect culture. For pre-condition 3, it is related to space, the designer of city and architectural space should have awareness to build a safer space. For pre-condition 4, I think we should have better education and make the society well informed of this kind of crime and prevent it happened.
11. 作品<重寫歷史:鏡>看來像一個子宮,兩個女性生一個女人出來,好像這個世界不用有男人了。
11. "Rewriting History: Mirror" is like a womb, 2 women give birth to a woman. It seems that the world does not need man anymore.
The idea of "Rewriting History: Mirror" comes from my reflection. You can read the details here. http://www.cyman.net/RW/paper/mirror.html The mirror image symbols reflection. It is not about womb and I never think of making men not exist anymore. I hope the perpetrator can stop commit crime themselves and I hope male and female can come together to fight against the crime. I wish there is more mutual respect between the both sexes. It is no use to erase men.