Wubuku Mountain is located within the mountain range of Jinshan Mountains. At an elevation of 187 meters, above the Eighteen Peaks Mountain, it has the highest peak in Hsinchu City.
The name of this special place originated in 1895 (Year 21 of Guangxu in Qing Dynasty). After the Sino-Japanese War, the Japanese landed and attacked Hsinchu City, and the area became the battlefield where the Hakka people fought against the Japanese. At that time, both sides fought with heavy casualties, blood and tears at each step, hence the name “Wubuku Mountain” (“Wubuku” literally translates to “A cry in every five steps”).
Looking back at the complex history of the past, the land of Taiwan has long struggled with cultural development and has witnessed the frequent change of rulers time and again. Wubuku Mountain not only represents the name of a place or a past event, but also the resilience of the ancestors and their desire to protect their homes.
Today, the mountains are still green and the area behind them have become the Hsinchu Science Park; the relationship between Taiwan and Japan is no longer between the colonizer and the colonized, but a partnership of mutual friendship, trust and cooperation, and sharing of democratic values.
As a Hakka and someone proud of the people of Hsinchu, I chose to take the historical origin of the highest peak in Hsinchu City, Wubuku Mountain, as the starting point to feel and capture through my lens the hidden smoke, blood and tears in the scenery. The work format for “Five Steps Sob Mountain Song” is a poem accompanied by photography. The poem has been translated into English, Japanese and Hakka, in addition to the traditional Chinese version.
As an artist, I would like to express through this project my respect for this land and offer my pray and blessings for those who sacrificed their lives. May the sorrows of the past become the nourishment of this life, nourishing you and me in Taiwan, just like the blue jacaranda trees blooming on the Wubuku Mountain, which are bright and strong.