移居者 The Immigrant

地點: 新竹市美術館 時間: 2018.2.09(五)-4.29(日) 09:00-17:00(週一休館)

凱特雷Daniel Rea Ketter

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來自美國,現生活、定居台灣已14年,一開始於桃園教授英語,也至國立政治大學攻讀碩士學位。2011年與台灣籍女友、現為妻子回到美國,發現家人的復古物品收藏,爾後決定在台北經營美國古董傢俱及復古裝飾品進口生意,同時因對手工技藝的熱情與熟捻,也開始為復古物件改造設計創作,將燈具、機器等店中古董物品轉化、製作成為有趣且獨特的作品。 Daniel Rea Ketter is an American immigrant who has been living in Taiwan for 14 years. Originally came as an English teacher, he went to National Cheng Chi University for his master’s degree afterwards. When he went back to the USA with his girlfriend (now wife) in 2011, he found vintage collections of his family, deciding to run an import business on American vintage decorations in Taipei. Being a passionate and skillful craftsman, Ketter also began custom designs, transforming antiques, such as lights and machines, into unique artworks. 創作自述 我在2004年第一次來到台灣,當時我25歲。我在桃園市簽了一年的英語教學合同。我選擇來亞洲教英文,是因為朋友推薦,她剛剛從韓國回來,並認為我會希望有這樣的經歷。我真的以為我只待一年,然後回到美國找一份新工作。然而,在我第一年完成之後,我決定再待一年,我開始對學習中文感興趣,所以我認為應該停留更長時間並給我自已一個機會,兩年變成了三年,變成了四年,在我意會過來之前,我已經在台灣住了五年了。我發現我真的不想繼續全職教英語,但是確實喜歡住在台灣;於是決定回到學校取得碩士學位。2009年,我在台北的NCCU(政治大學)就讀,在接下來的兩年裡,我開始了碩士課程,並且仍然兼職教英語。在NCCU的時候,我一直在探索將來到底想做什麼、能做什麼。那時不確定我是要留在台灣還是搬到中國或者回到美國。
2011年時,我的兩位台灣朋友和我的台灣女朋友(現在的妻子)Lucia他們來美國拜訪我和我的家人。他們看到了我家人喜歡收集復古和古董物品,很是驚艷!他們認為把美國古董家具和裝飾品進口到台灣是個好主意。我與我的朋友同年開始合作進口古董物品到台灣,我們一開始在自己的住家開工作室,上網拍賣古董物件,但很快和其他朋友在東區合租店面。次年,Lucia和我結婚了,她也開始幫忙復古古董店的生意,幾年後,她辭掉了工作,全心且專職的進入這個行業。在我們的復古業務開始時,我們大部分的客戶都是想要用獨特物品裝飾自己的店家,然而隨著歲月流逝,越來越多人也在為自己的家尋找有趣且獨一無二的傢俱及家飾。顧客看到了我為我們店鋪手作的東西,並且想要為他們自己的空間尋找到類似的東西,所以我開始接受越來越多的手工訂制及設計工作,我一直很享受於重新利用舊事物並賦與它們新的生活。我們的大部分的作品都使用復古或古董物品融和現代科技,讓大家能重新使用這些有個性的復古物件,我不喜歡破壞原有的功能或外觀, 例如我喜歡將藍牙/或音源線置入古董真空管收音機中,他們是美麗的機器,真空管擁有充滿溫度的音色。在二十世紀1940~1950年代的收音機擁有出色的設計元素和工藝,但是他們大部份只能播放AM的頻道,我喜歡將音源線或藍牙接收器添加到擴大機中(而不會損壞原始系統),顧客可以依照自己的需求來訂製,使用手機或平板電腦連接到1950 年代的真空管收音機來播放自己喜愛的歌曲。燈具是我喜歡手作的另一個領域,許多古老的古董物品可以很容易地轉化為燈具,不論它是一個超過百年的穀倉滑輪或一個100歲的玻璃瓶,都能為您訂作成一個獨特的手工燈具!
因此,我們每隔幾個月就需要返回美國尋找更多物件(復古和古董裝飾),所以我們常常飛來飛去的往返台灣和美國之間;我的一半時間是用於為顧客創造特色產品,還有一半是銷售美國的復古古董。我還是偶爾會教英語,但通常是代課。我和妻子很享受在台灣的生活,然後回到美國尋找更多的古董,覺得這樣是個很特別的生活方式。 我們常被問到有沒有搬回美國的計劃,事實上Lucia從沒申請過綠卡,也沒有計劃這麼做,我已經在台灣居住了14年,我真的很喜歡這裡,我們希望盡可能延續目前的生活方式。 I first came to Taiwan in 2004. I was 25 years old. I signed a year’s contract to teach English in Taoyuan City. I chose to come to Asia to teach English because a friend recommended it to me. She had just returned from Korea, and thought I would like the experience. I honestly thought I would stay only one year, then return to the USA and find a new job. However, after my first year was completed, I decided to stay for another year. I was starting to find interest in learning Chinese, so I thought I should stay longer and give it a shot. Two years turned into three, which turned into four, and before I knew it, I had been living in Taiwan for five years already. I didn’t really want to continue teaching English full time; however, I did enjoy living in Taiwan. I decided to go back to school and get a Master’s degree. In 2009, I enrolled in NCCU in Taipei and for the next two years I took classes and still taught English part-time. During my time at NCCU I kept exploring different things I could do in the future. At that time, I was unsure if I was going to stay in Taiwan or maybe move to China or back the USA.

In 2011, two of my Taiwanese friends and my Taiwanese girlfriend (now wife), Lucia went back to my home in the USA with me to visit. They saw the vintage and antique items my family likes to collect and were amazed. They thought it would be a good idea for us to import American vintage furniture and decoration items to Taiwan and sell them. I partnered with my friends and we began importing vintage items that same year. We started out selling online out of our own apartment in Taipei, but soon joined with a friend at a shop in downtown Taipei. The following year, Lucia and I got married. She also enjoyed the vintage Americana business and after a couple years, she quit her job to join me fulltime with importing. In the beginning of our vintage business, most of our customers were shop owners, wanting to decorate their place with unique items. However, as the years went by, more and more individuals were also looking for interesting decorations for their homes. Customers saw the DIY stuff I made for our shop, and wanted similar things for their own place. So, I started accepting more and more custom design jobs. I always have enjoyed reusing / repurposing old things to give them a new life. Most of our creations involve using vintage or antique items and adding a modern touch. I don’t like to destroy the original function or appearance of pieces, just make it useful for today’s life. For an example, I like to add Bluetooth and/or line-in to antique radios. They are beautiful machines. The 1940s and 50s radios have great design elements and craftsmanship. However, most of them can only broadcast AM radio. I like to add a line-input or Bluetooth receiver to amplifier (without damaging the original system), so it can continue to be used today. Lighting is another area I like to work with. Many old, antique items can easily be transformed to a light. Whether it’s an old barn pulley or a 100 year old mason jar, with a little know how you can have an unique light!

At this point, every few months we need to return to the USA to find more products (vintage and antique decorations), so we fly back and forth a lot. Probably half my time is used creating special items for customers and half selling in Vintage Americana. I still occasionally teach English. I usually just substitute teach for other English teacher friends who go on vacations. My wife and I enjoy our life in Taiwan and time we go back to the USA to find more vintage items. The contrast in lifestyles is refreshing. We get asked a lot if we ever plan to move to the USA in the future. We have never applied for a green card for Lucia and really have no plans to do so. I have already lived in Taiwan for 14 years and I really like it here. We hope to continue our current lifestyle as long as we can.

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