The Shepherd Dogs Part III.
No Country for Canine
Starting in the 19th century, due to the liberation of animal power after the Industrial Revolution, dogs were raised for play and company rather than for labor as the primary function, making the demand for appearance gradually parallel to and even surpass that for performance in breed standardization. Meanwhile, the pursuit of singularity in terms of breed led to an attentiveness toward blood and symbolism of names and eventually came to partly conform with scientific and political thought at that time.
Similarly, the pottery and ceramic industry was deeply affected by the Industrial Revolution. The demand for ceramic for ordinary use was met thanks to the matured molding technique enabling mass pottery and ceramic production in the mid-18th century. Meanwhile, decorative ceramics began to penetrate the life of general populace, being no longer luxury craft objects dedicated to the upper class. In my view, these ceramic decorations mass produced through molding and
considered rather kitsch today possess a logic echoing that of pedigree dogs being propagated and certified according to the standard criteria.
Whether in propagation or reproduction, artificial shaping is involved. It can be assumed that our attitude toward dogs, the kind of animal that is closest to man, is extended from our will to civilization. Dog breeds, human races: there have been several historical moments when dog and national identity came to intersect intentionally or unintentionally. Empathy toward dog breeding seemed to alleviate the impertinence of conditioning nations with human races. No Country for Canine (the Chinese title “馴國” literally means “Domestication of nations”) is like a session of ring toss: putting aside the animal that cannot make a voice (dog), artificial object (ceramic) shaped after them and the history of producer (man) in an attempt to land the ring around the tiny peg situated at the intersection of the three.
自19世紀起，得益於工業革命後獸力解放，養狗的目的從工作為主開始轉向賞玩陪伴，促使品種標準化時對 於外觀的要求逐漸並駕甚至壓過性能，追求品種的獨特性也導致了對血統和名稱代表性的講究，最終與當時 的科學和政治思維產生部分謀和。
同樣受到工業革命深刻影響的陶瓷業，自18世紀中期後以模具規模化生產陶瓷的技術成熟，在滿足日常實 用陶瓷的需求後，裝飾陶瓷也開始深入民間，不再是專屬於上層社會的高級藝品。在今日我們會覺得頗為媚俗 的這些陶瓷擺飾，透過模具量產，在我眼中，與純種狗於標準範本下繁殖跟認證，有著呼應的邏輯。
不論是繁殖或是翻製，都涉及人為形塑。狗作為最貼近人類的動物，假設對狗的態度是文明意志的延伸，狗之 品種，人之民族，我們在歷史上屢屢見到一些狗和國族認同有意無意交會的歷史時刻。對狗育種的移情似乎緩 解了以人的種族去條件化國族的不合時宜。「馴國」像是一局套圈圈遊戲—— 擺開這些無法自造聲量的動物（狗）、以牠們為型的人造物件（陶），和製造者的歷史（人）—— 企圖套中三者交集的微小標竿。
Those Officially Called As, Commonly Known As (Or Not Being Called As), Used For (Or Not Used For) Guarding, Herding Or Driving Livestock—Sheep, Goat, Cattle, Reindeer, Alpaca; Registered (Or Not Registered) With The FCI, Only Recognized (Or Not Recognized) By Local Kennel Clubs; Ever-Exist, Rare, Extinct Or Modern-Mixed Pasture Dog Breeds, Their Nationality And Appellation Written In The Language Of The Country, And Their Geographic Origin, Possible Consanguinity And Naming History
Print｜29.7×42cm 27 pieces｜2019
Formation Deformation Dogformation
Pencil on paper｜84×59.4cm 8 pieces；126×59.4cm 4pieces｜2018-2019
A Craftwork Canine
Single channel HD｜9 mins｜2019
(Please view Episode I. "Grafrath: A Schäferhund Story" from here.)