In 2020, Sung Chia-Yu, Chang Hsiao-Ling, and Hsu Yu-Lun（SEA plateaus）started interdisciplinary explorations with Indonesian migrants in literature, visual arts, and their creative life in the destination country. In 2021, they continued their research in romantic novels written by Indonesian nationals living and working in Taiwan but they also expanded this project to include participatory investigations, archival analysis, and deep conversations. They have examined how intimate relationships are defined and represented in mass media, with a deep analysis on the relations of authors, narrators, and readers. For them, there is a hidden resonance between fictional stories and real life and so romantic novels are not just narratives containing imaginary events and people. These writings reflect the social and political context of the moment at which they emerge.
They conducted a series of field studies by visiting an asylum center and train station in Zhongli, a fishing village in Gongliao, Islamic prayer rooms, and workers’ dormitories. These areas are inhabited or frequented by Indonesian immigrants. They even traveled down to Tainan to participate in a wedding that observed the religious rules of Indonesian tradition. The project members included visual artists and writers. Cheng Jen-Pei and Wei Ze, for example, started preliminary studies on immigration and Cheng later developed the studies into a workshop on herbs and spices and continued further research in cuisine and culture. Also, Taiwanese writers, Yang Shuang-Zi and Hsiao Chun-Yi, were invited to write collaboratively with Indonesian migrants, Evi Agustika and Tari Sasha, who continue to write and publish despite the demanding workload. After weeks of working together, four texts were written and shared with readers in a workshop.
Sung Chia-Yu (Sally Sung) is a writer specializing on migrant literature, particularly those created in Taiwan and Singapore. Her writings can be found in the Reporter, the Fountain, and the Crown.
After years of arranging art residencies and managing exchange projects, Sherry Chang Hsiao-Ling now works as an independent art manager with a particular interest in building local and native connections for overseas artists. While building these connections, Chang hopes to share social values and creative spirit. She also believes these connections can help develop new generations of art practitioners.