Posted by: igarbani | April 24, 2015

It’s getting better all the time!

The artists have been working hard through the cold, then the hot sun, some thunderstorms, and back to the hot sun. The proposals are coming to life which is an exciting process to see. This year, we also see a lot of people coming out to help during the day, both young and old. Here’s a photo diary of what the progress has been in Cheng Long the past two weeks:

Tsuneo and his volunteer Da-pu spent a few days making bamboo nails in front of the temple:


They are working in the temple courtyard, which gets a lot of sun, so they made a temporary shelter to take breaks from the sun:


The children come out to help:


Christopher started making trusses out of bamboo:


After a few days, Christopher and his volunteer Pei-chen also moved to the temple, and started working on putting the cart together:


I think it’s ready for a test drive!


Marisa works in the wetlands, so it’s important to have some area of shade to take breaks throughout the day:


Marisa’s volunteer, Da-mao and a lot of villagers work very hard to fill bags with oyster shells that get delivered daily!


A local grandmother was kind enough to let Marisa use her sewing machine so she could sew bags made from recycled clothes:


Roger worked in the courtyard of our dinner house for a few days while the final placement of the artwork was decided, but eventually, he and his volunteer A-mei moved the work in progress to the bird blind, where they can enjoy the most spectacular sunsets and a constant refreshing breeze:



Some of the children come out to help after school… along with their bird (flying tiger!):


Oysters also get delivered to Chao-chang’s site. His volunteer Yu-wen is quickly becoming an expert:


Young and old come out to help, and have made so many oyster “strings” that Chao-chang’s work site has become a large wind chime… very pleasant…


The dragon is taking shape:


We are a week away from the press conference! The work is looking very good!

If you are in or around Cheng Long, come out and help the artists finish their beautiful installations!

Posted by: igarbani | April 20, 2015

Where are the past works now?

The artists making work for the Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project very often use natural and biodegradable materials so the art is ephemeral and eventually disappears. This philosophy about art and ecology highlights the fragility of our environment, and addresses issues of sustainability. The 2014 theme for the residency was “Fishing for a Better Environment”, and artists made their work on or near the villagers’ fishing huts. The selected artists for 2014 were: Joaquin Fargas, Kathy Bruce, Katie Surridge, Maurice Meewisse, Thierry Godet, and Yen-chen Wang (LaLa).

A year later, the artwork is doing very well, and here are some photos taken just a few days ago.

Joaquin Fargas, “Space for Purification”  The windmill is still working, but the water purification system is no longer working because of a problem with the pump bringing water up from the canal.  


Kathy Bruce, “Big Fish Through Wall”  The tail of the fish is still looking good, and the head of the fish was blown off in a bad typhoon.  


Katie Surridge, “Changes”:  The recycled bottles mural is still looking good, and also the fish murals made by children working with Katie.  The garden bench and sculpture installation are still there, although a little worse for wear.  The garden looks great, and the owners are taking good care of it now.



Maurice Meewisse, “Hut”:  Maurice’s “folly” hut still looks good, and also his bridge of recycled materials is still being used.  Most of the other repairs he made to fishing huts are also still looking good.


Thierry Godet, “Entre Deux”:  The oven of local clay and bricks is still there and still looks useable, but I am not sure if people still cook in it.  This artwork has been covered a few times with plastic during heavy rains and typhoons.


Yen-chen Wang (LaLa), “Hopes Hide Inside”:  This artwork still looks good and the plastic is holding well.


 Keep watching this Blog for updates about the 2015 Cheng Long artworks now in progress.  The 5 artists for 2015 are busy creating sculpture installations of natural and recycled materials in the Wetlands and in the village.  The opening will be May 1 and public activities with the artists will be May 2 & 3!  

Posted by: igarbani | April 17, 2015

First Class

The Cheng Long Wetands International Environmental Art Project is very unique because a large component of the project is tied to environmental education. Each year the artists work with the local elementary school children and incorporate ideas and activities related to their artwork into a weekly 2-hour lesson.

We have 5 artists this year: Christopher Varody-Szabo from Quebec, Canada, is making a portable landscape; Chao-chang Lee from Taiwan is making a dragon out of oyster shells; Marisa Merlin from Italy is spelling out “Earth” in Chinese characters made from sandbags; Roger Rigorth is making huge bottle forms of bamboo; and Tsuneo Sekiguchi from Japan is making a “rainbow boat” that will be installed at the temple courtyard.  Thursday afternoon was the first class with the children, and the artists had wonderful activities planned for them.

Roger introduced Germany with a children’s song, then taught the students how to work with bamboo, which will be his main material.

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Chris introduced Canada and his portable landscape project. The children then planted seeds in bamboo “pots”… and took a little break with a game of “duck, duck, goose”!

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Tsuneo meditates every day, and taught his students the art of meditation. He then showed them how to make a rainbow, so they will know how to take care of the “rainbow boat” when he returns to Japan.

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Marisa’s project has an additional component: the sandbags will have soil, and local plants growing on top. The artwork is a living installation and will change over time. The children learned about Marisa’s hometown of Padua, then learned about the local flora through a painting project.

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After playing a friendly game of soccer with the children, Chao-chang introduces his project to the children, and asked them to draw a dragon… and make a wish which will be put inside the artwork..

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Posted by: QQmei | April 15, 2015

Good-Bye, Roy and Giorgio’s artworks!

We took down Roy and Giorgio’s artwork, because they are not as nice as before. All materials will be reused by artists for the 2015 art project. Also, at Roy’s site will a new artwork grow up ….please keep your eyes on our blog. ;-)

Posted by: igarbani | April 14, 2015

The Artists have arrived!

The artists have arrived and were greeted on Friday morning by the school children with wonderful songs and ukulele!



welcome party group with officialsWe had a great welcome party on Saturday night, and the head magistrate of Yunlin County and several officials from the county and local government were there as well as many people from Cheng Long village. The artists enjoyed all the food that was brought to share and then made presentations to introduce themselves and what they will make in Cheng Long.
Welcome crowd

On Sunday we took some time to learn about bamboo. The artists and volunteers got a demonstration on how to make a stool by a bamboo master. He uses his toes to hold the bamboo, and can make a stool in less than an hour with very little measuring.



Chao-Chung then invited us to his art camp, which is an old Taiwanese army camp that he cleaned up 10 years ago, and now uses as his studio and as an art community.


The artists then tried to make the same bamboo stool as the bamboo master.


The volunteers also worked with bamboo to get familiar with the material.


I think Yu-Chan is a little worried here…


The artists ordered new bamboo for their projects on Saturday, but we are close to the shore so we can also get a lot of drift wood which can be used for the art installations.



The driftwood and old bamboo poles collected is then rolled down the seawall, and the local sanitation workers help us bring it back to Cheng Long.




Tsuneo finds one more piece of drift wood…


The drift wood is in our courtyard, and the artists are now ready to work!  Keep checking this Blog for photos of the works in progress by the 2015 Cheng Long artists:  Christopher Varody-Szabo, Roger Rigorth, Marisa Merlin, Tsuneo Sekiguchi, and Chao-chang Lee.

Curator Jane Ingram Allen will create an artwork in Cheng Long this year!

As all of you know, Jane has been the Curator for the Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project since it began in 2010, and she comes to the village each year during the 25 days of the art project to supervise the selected international artists.  Usually Jane has no chance to make her own artwork during the art project.   Most of you know that Jane is also an artist as well as a curator, and that she first came to Taiwan in 2004 as a Fulbright Scholar artist in residence to do her artwork with handmade paper from plants of Taiwan.    This photo shows Jane in 2004 with one of her “Taiwan Site Maps” that focused on the many flowers of Taiwan.

jane with Floral abundance site map copy

This year, Jane will have some time to work as an artist as well as working as the curator.  During the 2015 art project Jane plans to create a “Cheng Long Site Map”, and she will make handmade paper from local plant waste materials and use other materials collected in Cheng Long to create a large-scale suspended two-sided artwork that can be moved around to different sites in the village.  Jane will involve the local community in the papermaking process and have an open studio so that people of all ages can join in the papermaking.  Jane’s Cheng Long Site Map as well as the community handmade paper artworks will be displayed in Cheng Long Village at a selected site and remain on view in Cheng Long.
今年,Jane在策展之餘,將會有比較多的時間來從事藝術創作。Jane打算在2015藝術計畫的同時,為成龍村創作一幅「成龍區域地圖」,她將利用成龍在地的植物和附近可以尋得的回收材料來製作一幅大尺寸且可雙面觀賞的地圖作品,未來也可以移動到村子的各處展出。Jane將會需要在地的大人小孩一起來幫忙造紙的過程,也會有個開放的工作室空間,歡迎各位一起加入造紙的行列。Jane 和大家一起創作出來的地圖和手工紙作品,將會在村內一處廢棄的老房子裡展出,以後大家到成龍來,都可以看到這件作品。

Here are some photos of Jane’s previous “site maps” artworks created in different residencies around the world using handmade paper she created from the local plants.

This photo shows Jane’s “Bali Site Map” created during a 2008 residency at Bali Purnati Center for the Arts, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Bali site map front 1

This artwork is Jane’s “Tanzania Site Map” created as an artist in residence in 2009 at Warm Heart Art Tanzania, Arusha, Tanzania in Africa.
接下來這張照片是2009年Jane在非洲坦尚尼亞,一個位在阿魯沙市的藝術中心”Warm Heart Art Tanzania”所創作的「坦尚尼亞區域地圖」。

Tanzania site map back

This artwork is Jane’s “Chiayi Site Map” created as an artist in residence in Chiayi, Taiwan, during her Fulbright grant project in 2005.

Everyone is invited to come out to visit with Jane and join in the papermaking process for the Cheng Long Site Map. We will post soon where Jane’s studio will be in Cheng Long and what times Jane will be there for the Open Studio public participation.

Message to children from Roger Rigorth
Roger Rigorth給小朋友的信

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHello children of the Cheng Long Elementary School. My name is Roger Rigorth from Germany, but born in Switzerland with French roots. That’s why I have a French Name. I am 50 years old and for the last 25 years I am traveling and working all over the world. I love to work with wood because I love the trees and the forest. In your country i will work with Bamboo. I also work very often with rope and love to weave with it. I live in an old traditional timber frame house in Germany.
成龍國小的小朋友們,大家好!我的名字是Roger Rigorth,來自德國,但其實我出生於瑞士,並帶有法國的血緣,這也是為什麼我有個法國名字的原因。我現在50歲,在過去的25年裡,我都在全世界各地旅行及創作。我喜歡用木頭創作,因為我喜歡樹和森林。在你們的國家,我將要用竹子創作。我也經常使用繩索為材料,很喜愛繩索編織。我住在德國傳統木框架的房子裡。
Erik auf dem Dach


Message to Children from Tsuneo Sekiguchi
Tsuneo Sekihuchi ( 関口恒男) 給小朋友的信

tsuneo portraitHello.
I am Japanese artist Tsuneo Sekiguchi.
My work is to make rainbows.
The statue sitting next to me is Rainbow-head.
He is a baby and meditating and he reflects a rainbow from his head.
I am looking forward to making rainbows with you soon.

I am attaching a photo with this email.
Best wishes,
Tsuneo Sekiguchi





我是日本藝術家Tsuneo Sekiguchi


祝 好


 “Hello” message from Chao-chang Lee to the children

朝倉 獨照大家好,我是李朝倉。也是雲林縣出生長大的,現在也住在這裡,我家鄉就是西螺。




Hello everyone, I was born in Yunlin County. My name is Lee ,chao-chang. I was grew up here and now live here, in Siluo town.

I have traveled the world looking for a beautiful place; a decade ago I returned to my  home town and discovered that here is the most beautiful. Yes, So I found an abandoned army camp(where the soldiers were protecting the Xiluo Bridge before), After cleaning a lot of garbage, my friends can play a variety of games here; I teach you or you teach me and so on….. Here is like an interesting school.

Want to know what we are playing in this game?

Please remember to ask me secretly that question when we meet. Oh, because I usually do not tell anyone the secret.

The 2015 Cheng Long artists are preparing to come to Cheng Long and will arrive in Cheng Long village on April 9!  Now they want to say hello to all the children and tell a little about what they will make for the art project this year.  The artists also send us their portrait photos and some more interesting photos for the children to see on the Blog.
2015成龍溼地國際環境藝術計畫獲選的藝術家們都在準備著4/9要來成龍村的事囉 !現在他們要先藉此部落格和所有的小朋友說”哈囉”,並且告訴大家一些他們即將在成龍村創作的事。同時,他們也準備了個人照,和一些有趣的照片要和小朋友們分享。

This Blog entry will have the Hello message and photos from two of the 2015 Artists, and the next Blog entry will have the Hello from the other 3 artists.

We are all excited to welcome these international artists to Cheng Long Village for the 2015 international environmental art project.

Here is the message from Christopher Varady-Szabo from Australia, now living in Canada:
以下是出生於澳洲,現居加拿大的Christopher Varady-Szabo的問候信:

ChristopherHi, my name is Christopher and I am an artist from Quebec, which is the French speaking part of Canada. I actually grew up in Australia so I speak English too. I’m really looking forward to coming to Cheng Long and meeting you all. I’m planning to make a “portable landscape” and I’m sure that you’ll be able to help me make It, especially when it comes to putting some mud on it and planting some plants. See you soon in Cheng Long,

嗨!我的名字是Christoper,我是來自加拿大魁北克省的藝術家;魁北克是加拿大說法語的區域。但我實際上出生於澳洲,所以我也會說英語。我真的很期待能到成龍村和大家見面,我打算創作一個「可以移動的地景」,我相信你們都可以幫我的忙,特別是要鋪泥土及種植的時候。希望早日和大家在成龍相見 ~



Here is the message from Marisa Merlin from Italy:
以下是來自義大利Marisa Merlin的訊息:

1-me in my studioHello  children, girls and boys, teachers, everybody!
Ciao bambini, ragazze e ragazzi, insegnanti, tutti! (<–這是義大利文,意思同上一句英文)

My name is Marisa and I live in Padova or Padua in Italy.

Padova is an ancient city with many important historical monuments, artworks and buildings: we have one of the oldest and most important universities in the world; a very ancient botanical garden, beautiful frescos by Giotto of 1300,…and more others things.  There is a lot I would like to describe to you, but it’s easier if you come to visit me: I’ll be happy to show you everything!  I love to ride the bicycle to get around the city, but we must be very careful because car drivers are not very polite! My favorite food is pizza of course, and I love seafood.  If you look at the map, you can see that Padova is very close to Venezia or Venice, a fantastic city where all has been built on poles planted in the water. I really love Venezia, and I never get tired of going there even just for a walk.

postcard from Padova

postcard from Padova 帕多瓦的明信片

A little about my family:

My daughter Piera is an architect and she lives and works in Brussels in Belgium. She is also a very good photographer and sometimes composes electronic music: not too easy to listen for me !!!  My sister Lorenza is an artist too, she has traveled a lot across many countries, and she speaks 5 languages. Not like me!  My mom is 95 years old, but still goes every day to walk for a while! She is curious and asked me a lot about my coming to Taiwan.

Me_my daughter Piera_my sister Lorenza

Me_my daughter Piera_my sister Lorenza / Marisa(右)和女兒Piera(中),及姐妹Lorenza(左)

Piera and mom

Piera and mom / Marisa的母親(左)及女兒Piera

My artwork has always been focused on environmental issues, and I’ve done many outdoor art installations often by using waste materials such as plastic, aluminum cans, bottles etc.  For Cheng Long I proposed to write the word EARTH ( TERRA in italian)  in large huge letters, in the largest size possible, so that we always remember how important  it is.  I’ve already realized this project elsewhere, using different materials: for example, stones, wood cuttings, organic and inorganic urban waste, old carpets etc.  The idea is to do it everywhere, but the installation in your village will be special because everyone will be able to participate to make it better! The word EARTH will be composed of layers of sandbags filled with sand, earth or shells. In the sacks even some seeds and salt-resistant small plants that grow wild around your village will be planted. The sun and the rain will make them sprout.  But to do it well I’ll need your help to look for the small plants, to know their names and their characteristics, and to show me what is better to collect. Do you want to help me?

I enjoy working with children doing workshops at the schools in my city (and with adults too), and It will be great to meet you all and work together: I think it will be a great and nice experience and I will learn a lot from you, it  will be a lovely gift to carry home for me.
我很喜歡和帕多瓦市的學校小朋友們一起工作 (也喜歡和大人一起工作),能夠見到你們大家並一起工作,一定很棒:我相信這會是個很棒及美好的經驗,我將會從你們身上學習到很多,這將是我帶回家鄉最寶貴的禮物。

I look forward to meet you all and work with you!

Ciao ciao a tutti dall’Italia
Bye Bye to all from Italy,


圖 / 林品嘉

圖/ 林品嘉 (Chenglong Elementary School, Grade 5)


最近大偵探們有點蠟燭多頭燒,恨不得自己能有個”九頭十八手”(疑?是可以這樣用嗎?), 以今天為例,一下子要處理藝術家的材料(舊竹子/新竹子/麻繩/麻袋/回收鍋具/布料/機票/住宿……);一下子要打電話給報名的志工(喂~ 你確定要報名嗎?真的很辛苦喔!);一下子要和成龍國小確認課程和午餐 (各班接待的藝術家/用餐量及時間);同時間還要準備今年度的文宣摺頁海報,甚至還要宣傳一下周末的小偵探活動(門牌製作的第二階段),因天候不佳就先整理借來的房子內部,還有例行生態調查也在進行,當然魚塭晒池整地養藻一刻也不能鬆懈!!

於是乎,現在才輪到公告獲選志工名單 (鏘~鏘~鏘~),入選的有:

因本年度受限於經費及場地等因素,故無法增額錄取,在此對熱血參與徵選的朋友們致上十二萬分謝意 (甚至還有位遠在美國的Peter 不僅想特地回台,還以他的專業,提供大偵探許多環境監測相關的資訊呢!Thanks sooooo much!)有空歡迎各位抽空來給我們探班!!或是透過此部落格及 Facebook一起關心藝術計畫的進展 :)

而也因為本次志工的人數實在不多,到時候真的要有勞獲選的六位新朋友囉! 恭喜你們,咱們成龍溼地見囉!(相關生活需知,會再用email和各位連絡。)

Have a good night !

Hello Everyone,
I am happy to announce that artist and curator Isabelle Garbani, originally from France and now living in New York City, will be the new Assistant Curator for the Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project.  As all of you know I started this environmental art project in the village of Cheng Long, Yunlin County, in 2010, and have worked with the Kuan Shu Educational Foundation and the people of Cheng Long area for 6 years organizing and curating this project.  Now, I am thinking that the art project in Cheng Long needs some fresh curatorial ideas and energy, and I believe that Isabelle will bring her own unique curatorial vision and ideas to this continuing art project.
各位,我很高興要在此宣佈,出生於法國、現在住在美國紐約的藝術家及策展人Isabelle Garbani將成為我們成龍溼地國際環境藝術計畫的新助理策展人。如各位所知,我從2010年開始協助雲林縣成龍村的這個環境藝術計畫,和觀樹教育基金會及成龍此地的人們一起合作籌備及策劃這個藝術計畫已經第六年了,現在,我認為應該要讓這個藝術計畫有新的想法與能量,我相信Iesabelle將會帶來她獨特的策展觀點及想法給這個持續進行中的藝術計畫。


I selected Isabelle as one of the Cheng Long artists in 2012, and many will remember her installation of hundreds of colorful leaves crocheted from recycled plastic bags that seemed to be engulfing an old house in Cheng Long village.  Since then Isabelle has continued to do other residency projects and curate art projects in the New York area.  She has even begun taking classes in Mandarin Chinese language so that she can communicate better with people in Taiwan.  Isabelle has been working with me behind the scenes for the past few months to learn more about the curating process and providing input about the proposals and helping to research about the artists who have applied for the 2015 art project.
Picture 214

During the residency time in Taiwan this year from April 9 to May 4, Isabelle will join us in Cheng Long and continue to help with the curating and management of this art project.  I am sure she will be a big help and a joy to work with, and so please join me in welcoming Isabelle back to Cheng Long.


Isabelle was teaching children reading the message on the plastic bag.

Thank you so much, and see you soon in Cheng Long,

Jane Ingram Allen, Curator

BIO of Isabelle Garbani:
After working for 7 years as a commercial digital artist, Isabelle returned to graduate school where she received an MFA in sculpture from the New York Academy of Art in 2004. She now works in mixed media, using feminine crafts such as knitting, crochet and lace with recycled plastic shopping bags used as thread.

She has worked on many public art projects which engage the community directly. Among her installations are Knit for Tree in Governors Island in New York City in 2011, Knit for Trees in Heckscher Park in Huntington, Long Island in 2012, Forces of Nature at the Carving and Sculpture Center in Vermont in 2011, and Invasive Species for the Cheng-Long International Environmental Art Project in Taiwan in 2012, and for the 2014 Farm/Art Dtour in Reedsburg, WI. She is currently working on Post War Blues, which will be installed at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Brooklyn, NY in the fall of 2015.
她曾經參與過許多社區型的公共藝術計畫,包括2011年及2012在紐約及長島的「為樹編織」、2011在Vermont雕刻及雕塑中心的「自然的力量」、2012在台灣成龍溼地國際環境藝術計畫的「入侵種生物」,以及2014年在威斯康辛洲的農場與藝術D tour計畫。她最近正忙於新作「戰後憂鬱」,這件作品將於2015年秋天在布魯克林軍事航空站展出。

In the past 5 years, she has started curating gallery shows in the New York City area, and is becoming more involved with this aspect of her career. The Cheng Long residency is a perfect mix of her current interests: environmental concerns, community engagement in public art, and international cultural exchange. Her work can be seen on her website You can also email her about her past experiences in Cheng-Long at

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