The artworks are all progressing well and the artists are working very hard to complete their installations. This is a daily entry about the second week of our project in Cheng Long Wetlands.
Thursday, April 18
Each artist works with one of the classes at Cheng Long Elementary School on Thursday afternoons. This is a photo of some of the children in Michele Brody’s 3rd grade class helping her move oyster shells to make a sort of reef around her tea house in the Wetlands. The other artists also led their class of children in doing some work on their art installations on this day.
Friday, April 19
On Friday night after a hard week of working on the art installations, the artists and village people celebrated at Taiwan Night! This is the first year we have had an activity for each country represented by the artists in the project. I asked the artists to bring some food, music, games or stories from their country to share with the other artists and volunteers. Taiwan night was really special because the whole Cheng Long community came out to help celebrate with karaoke music, local food specialties and a big party in the temple courtyard. The two Taiwanese artists in the art project this year, Ya-chu Kang and Kuo-chun Chiu, brought some Taiwanese treats to share, even some betel nuts and Taiwan beer. This photos shows a group enjoying the party for Taiwan night.
Saturday, April 20
On Saturday morning we went just after breakfast to tour the organic fish farm that the Kuan Shu Foundation is starting in Cheng Long Wetlands as a model to help educate the local people in ways to do fish farming without continuing to pump out the underground water that causes the continued sinking of the land. Here is a photo showing the baby clams being added to the Cheng Long Wetlands model fish farm.
Sunday, April 21
On the weekend many local children come out to help the artists in the Wetlands as they are constructing their works. Here is a photo of some of the local kids helping Giorgio make the 2nd “element” for his artwork. This is the part of his work on land; another element is at the bird blind connected to the building, and another part is in the water and makes a bridge-like connection with the land.
Monday, April 22
After another day of work in the Wetlands, the artists and volunteers met after dinner at the “red house” for USA night. Michele made some special food (potato pancakes and apple sauce) to share with everyone, and we had American music from the Internet! Michele did a great dance routine imitating Michael Jackson to the tune of “Beat It.”
Tuesday, April 23
On Tuesday Giorgio started his “element” in the water, and lots of local people helped with the machine that makes holes in the water to put in the bamboo poles to start this part of Giorgio’s installation.
Tuesday night was Holland night, and Johan made some food from Holland with cheese and potatoes and also shared a fun game with the other artists and volunteers. This is a game where the person ties a piece of wood, or in this case it was bamboo to a string, and then attaches the string behind so that the piece of bamboo is hanging down behind like a tail. Then the person stands over a bottle and tries to make the piece of bamboo go into the bottle. It was quite funny watching everyone try to do this trick! This photo shows Johan demonstrating this game!
Wednesday, April 24
On Wednesday Taiwanese artist Ya-chu Kang decided to do the print on her tablecloth for her artwork with the 1st grade children that she is working with.
She is using the Cyanotype technique to make an image with the sun, and Wednesday’s weather was sunny! This photo shows the fabric after it is washed and ready to hang up to dry. The children had to lay on the fabric in the hot sun for about 15 minutes to get the print of their image and some kitchen tools on the fabric.
On Wednesday afternoon we had a Symposium about the environmental art project at the Yunlin County Mango Art Café. The curator and artists all made presentations about their experience in Cheng Long, and there were questions and comments from the audience. This photo shows some of the audience including the County Magistrate enjoying the tea and conversation at the event.
Thursday, April 25
On this Thursday afternoon the school children were again working with their artist in the Wetlands helping the artists with their artworks. This photo shows Gieorgio working with his group of children to make a question on one of his bamboo poles to be used in the installation. The question in English and Chinese is made on the bamboo with a stencil and non-toxic paint.
Friday, April 26
On Friday some of Taiwanese artist Kuo-chun Chiu’s former students from Tainan Technical University came to help with his artwork. This photo shows the students and Chun and some other volunteers who are visiting Cheng Long helping to make the big bamboo table that he will float in the Wetlands for his installation.
All of the artworks are starting to take shape now, and it is exciting to see the progress. The artists are beginning to feel more pressure to get everything done for the press conference and official opening ceremony next Friday, May 3!
There will be a public opening weekend on May 4 and 5 with DIY activities with the artists at their installations in the Cheng Long Wetlands.
Check the Blog again after May 5 to see all of the works completed and the opening weekend DIY activities.
The artists arrived on Thursday, April 11, and most came on the HSR train to Chiayi Station at about 4PM. Here is a photo of some of the artists arriving in Cheng Long and moving their baggage into the houses where they will stay for the 25-day residency.
The artists are also meeting their volunteers for the first time. The Taiwanese volunteers for this project come from all over Taiwan, and all can speak English and are eager for cultural exchange as well as helping the artists make the artworks.
On Friday, April 12 we had breakfast together at one of the houses where artists stay in Cheng Long. Some of the artists had never used chopsticks before, so here is a photo of a lesson in how to use the chopsticks.
After a meeting for introducing everyone, we went to the elementary school to meet the children. Each artist will work with one class of children, and the children have been learning some English to communicate with the artists. In the afternoon we visited the local recycling center so some artists could find recycled materials for their artworks.
On Saturday April 13, we had a tour of Cheng Long Wetlands, and the curator and artists agreed on the site for each of the 6 artworks. Here is a photo of the group looking at the Wetlands.
On Saturday afternoon we went to visit a bamboo master who makes chairs. He showed us how to bend bamboo by heating it with a torch and how to join it easily. Here is a photo of the bamboo master showing the artists some techniques for working with bamboo.
Most of the artists have not worked with bamboo before, but use other materials in their country. The Welcome Party was Saturday night, and all the village people and government sponsors were there to welcome this group of artists with a wonderful “pot luck” dinner of local foods. After the dinner, the artists each made a presentation about their artwork and what they are planning to make in Cheng Long Wetlands.
On Sunday, April 14, we took a trip to the mountains in eastern Yunlin County to see another bamboo master and also to see a wonderful bamboo forest. Here is a photo of the bamboo master showing us some techniques for working with green bamboo and another photo shows the bamboo forest and tall bamboo growing in this part of Taiwan.
It was raining for most of the day, but everyone watched closely and had a great time seeing the mountains and so much bamboo. It took almost 2.5 hours to drive there to see the bamboo forest and the bamboo master, but it was a great chance to see a very different part of Taiwan.
On Monday, April 15, all the artists and volunteers went to the nearby seashore to gather recycled bamboo and other discarded materials that they could use for their artworks. Here is a photo of some of the group looking at the beach area to see what might be useful.
Ya-chu and her volunteer collected some things to use for the Cyanotype images in her artwork; here you can see them carrying a large basket with many objects that were found at the seashore.
Other artists and volunteers collected lots of bamboo poles that had been used for oyster farms and are now broken and washed up to shore. Many of the artists are using some of this recycled bamboo to make their artworks.
On Tuesday, April 16, the order for new bamboo was delivered in Cheng Long. Here is the truck loaded with bamboo arriving at the “red house” which is one of the main work spaces.
Chao-mei had to check to make sure each artists got the right amount of bamboo, and then the bamboo was sorted and cut and moved to the different sites where the artists will begin making their artworks.
Some children also came by after school to help the artists measure and cut bamboo.
By Wednesday, April 17, all of the artists are hard at work at their sites or at the “red house” cutting and beginning the construction of their artworks.
You could see the artworks starting to emerge in the landscape of the wetlands. The artists are trying to make the artworks strong and secure and without any metal wire or nails or screws so there are many problems to solve. It is a challenge to make artwork that is big and strong and that is still all natural and can dissolve over time back into nature with no harm to the environment.
Check back to see all the progress and the finish of these works by May 3 for the press conference and official opening ceremony. There will also be public activities (DIY) with the artists on May 4 and 5!
Many thanks to all the artists, volunteers, staff and children for a great first week!
Jane Ingram Allen, Curator
The 6 international artists are arriving in Cheng Long village on Thursday, April 11! Some will arrive at Chiayi HSR Station about 2:30 PM and some about 4PM, and they will be picked up in cars and brought to Cheng Long. One of the artists, Michele Brody from USA, is already in Taipei, and she is enjoying having this time to see a little of Taipei before she comes to Cheng Long on April 11.
Here’s a photo of Michele having her first Taiwan tea with me, my husband Tim, and some other artists and friends in Taipei.
We expect all the artists will arrive in Cheng Long on Thursday afternoon before 6:30 to have dinner together with the volunteers from all over Taiwan!
It will be early to bed after the dinner together on Thursday night where all the artists will meet each other, meet their volunteers and also the staff and me the curator!
On Friday morning the artists will all go to the elementary school to meet the students and say hello to the class that they will be working with during the project. The children are already learning some English and will also have some program to present to welcome the artists. After lunch at school, we will all go out to look at the local recycling center to see if they have any materials the artists want to use and also take a look at the seashore for recycled bamboo and driftwood that they artists may want to use to make their artworks. Here’s a photo of the artists at the recycling center last year collecting materials!
On Saturday we will tour the wetlands and finalize the site for each artwork and also make the final order for new bamboo so that all the artists can get to work as soon as possible on their proposed artworks. Saturday night is also the Welcome Party in Cheng Long on the temple square where everyone has dinner together. Here’s a photo of Cheng Long temple, one of the most interesting sites in the village!
After the Welcome Party dinner, all the artists will make a short presentation and maybe the children will also have some welcome performance for the artists. People in the community and sponsors are making special dishes to share for this dinner, and the artists will taste some of the local food specialties for the first time!
On Sunday, the artists and volunteers will all go out to the Yunlin mountain area to visit a bamboo master to learn some different techniques. We will also see some local sites and come back to Cheng Long later that evening.
So you can see we have a full schedule for the first few days. We are very excited to welcome the artists to Cheng Long for the 2013 art project, out fourth year! We are also hoping for good weather this year and no more rain!
Hello to all the children in Cheng Long,
My name is Johan Sietzema, and I am living in Holland, in the city of Gouda (named after the Gouda cheese!). Gouda is a little old town in the middle of the Green Heart of Holland. The Peat Wetlands in Holland are about 4 to 6 meters below sea level. The only way for us to stay dry is to pump out the water into higher canals and lakes around us. The water level is sometimes reaching as high as the roof or the first floor of our houses.
我是Johan Sietzema，我住在荷蘭的豪達鎮 (這個城市的名字是以「豪達起司」來命名的，「豪達起司」是荷蘭的扁圓形黃色乳酪!) 豪達鎮是個有點古老的城鎮，位於荷蘭的綠色心臟中部 (The Green Heart of Holland 「綠色心臟」是一個被阿姆斯特丹、鹿特丹、海牙等大城市圍繞的鄉村地區)。荷蘭的泥炭濕地大約低於海平面4到6公尺，為了維持乾燥，我們所能做的就是把水抽到我們周圍更高的運河和湖泊。海平面有的時候甚至高達我們的屋頂或是房子的一樓。
I am an ecological or land artist using regional materials, working according to the history and circumstances of the location. Most of the time, my studio is outside in the landscape at the same place the installation or sculpture piece will be part of. I love to work with all kinds of natural materials such as wood, willow-shoots, clay, sand, growing and living plants, vegetable fibers, and water. I am using the techniques of basket making and earth building to make constructions with branches, weaving them together to create strong pieces. These are also the materials and techniques I want to use to work with the children and community of Cheng Long. I want to not only create a material object, but a growing, living piece that belongs to the place; it becomes part of this special area of Cheng Long Wetlands. This project will not only be the way of the artist, his mind and ideas and a presentation to visitors, but the exchange with the local inhabitants and the landscape, the roots that connect us as living creatures.
I am also a teacher of 2 and 3 Dimensional Design at the PolytechnicalCollege “Vakschool Schoonhoven” in Schoonhoven, Holland. The school trains students to be jewelers or work with stained glass and make glass objects with glass blowing. For me it will be an honor to meet the children and community of Cheng Long and to work with them to create the “Food-Prints” project in the Cheng Long Wetlands.
Thank you and see you soon,
Hello, I am Ya-chu, from Taipei. I am so excited to come to Cheng Long village and make art together using the sun print technique with all kinds of living materials to make pictures on the fabric. As well as creating artwork, I am eager to learn more about your wetland environment and the local fishery industry. I can’t wait to get there and experience everything! I believe you know more about Taiwanese food and culture than me, but I have had many travel experiences while giving exhibitions in other countries. Here I show you a photo taken in Salzburg last year while I had a show in Austria. Can you tell me if there is any difference between Taiwanese roast fish and Austria’s roast fish?
My name is Michael. I´m an artist from Germany and I´m very excited to get to know you, your country, and the life in Taiwan. In Germany I live in Constance, a small town in southern Germany beside the Lake of Constance. My wife, she is called Anna, is also an artist. She is from Ukraine and knows painting very well.
The Lake of Constance, “Bodensee” in German, is one of the three biggest lakes in Middle Europe. It connects the countries Germany, Austria and Switzerland. My home is very close to the border of Switzerland.
Now here it is snowing. In Taiwan is there also snow sometimes? Also here I often work together with schools and groups of children, and I like this work very much. I have, together with biologists, founded the “Naturschule Konstanz” (school of nature). We are engaged in studying about nature and environmental education combining science and art.
現在這裡在下雪。不知道台灣是不是也有下雪的時候呢? 我在這裡也常常跟學校或是小孩團體一起工作，而且我非常愛我的工作。我和生物學家們共同成立了” 康士坦茲自然學校” 。我們致力於結合科學和藝術的自然與環境教育。
Here there are a lot of fishermen, and the people love to eat fish. But since a couple of years there are less and less fishes in the lake. The fishermen say it´s because of a new bird that also loves to eat fish and catches a lot. Scientists say that´s not true, but they don´t know the real reason.
Already in the 1970s there were big ecological problems around the Lake of Constance. The quality of water got worse because of a lot of toxic waste. Now the water is again very good, and in the summer a lot of tourists come to enjoy water sports. But something is happening with the fishes, and nobody knows why…
Now I´m reading books about the culture, the nature and the history of Taiwan, being sure you can tell me more! I don´t know Chinese, but I am hoping I will learn a little bit with your help.
See you soon,
是的, 太陽下山了,也該要下定決心, 勇敢地公告名單了……
首先要謝謝所有來報名的朋友, 包括今天還投報名表進來的朋友, 謝謝你們好喜歡<來去鄉下住一個月>, 能因為這個活動,和素未謀面的你們聊聊成龍溼地的過去.現在.未來, 實在很有意思!不論接下來的入選名單裡,有沒有你的名字,都誠摯地邀請你一起持續關心成龍溼地,以及”餐桌上”和食物相關的環境議題.
是的, 竟然選了9個, 不是說今年要堅守人數嗎??? 怎麼又狠不下心來了呢?
大偵探們最後的對話是 : 反正選8個或9個, 也只相差一個; 選7個, 也不過是差二個……
have a good evening ~
Dear all kids:
My name is Kuo-Chun Chiu, who is one of the selected artists in2013; I’m so happy to join this project and work with you guys.
I am a teacher in the university in Tainan. However, my hometown is in Taipei. Compared with Taipei, The environment of Tainan is more natural, the food is also more delicious; especially the seafood is as fresh as YunlinCounty.
The only problem is most people in Tainan are too generous to waste the food when they feast.
Through my work,”年年有魚”, I wish remind everyone to treasure the food we have. I believe we will have very good time for this project.
Hello everybody (Ciao a tutti),
哈囉，大家好! (Ciao a tutti —->義大利文的”大家好”)
My name is Giorgio; I’m 27 years old, and I come from Italy.
Right now, I have been living in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, since 2011.
I would like to talk with you about Italy, my home country.
What do you know about Italy?? Soccer, pizza, coffee… but what else?
Did you know for example, that Italy has the shape of a boot?
It is situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, between Europe and Africa.
In Italy there are beautiful mountains in the Northern part, hills all over the country, flat lands and wonderful sea sites!!
Unfortunately, we have also environmental issues such as earthquakes, floods and fires, but we are trying to address the causes.
Italy is also very famous for food.
Nowadays, you can eat Italian food all over the world, and I’m pretty sure you could find some Italian restaurants in Taiwan!
Dishes with seafood are very common in Italy, most of all in the sea areas, but I look forward to try and taste fresh Taiwanese sea food!!
I am really eager to come to Cheng Long and meet all of you! I want to see where you live, your school, the surroundings of the village, do art activities, play games…
I’m sure we will have a good time together! I am so excited!
Take care and see you soon!