The question of permanency and environmental art is one that we face each year as we plan for the Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project.  Our concept is to invite artists to Cheng Long Wetlands to make artworks that can last for one year and then biodegrade naturally back into the earth; however it is a big dilemma how to make the artworks last for one year and still be environmental.   We do want the artworks to be good for the environment and not harm the air, soil, water or wildlife in the Cheng Long area.  We also want artworks that can help to raise awareness about environmental issues.  We think that at least the artworks should do no harm to the environment, and hopefully they can improve it.
「要耐久的或環境的藝術?」這一直是每年我們策劃成龍溼地國際環境藝術計畫時都會面對的問題之一。我們的概念是邀請藝術家到成龍村創作一個可維持一年的作品,這件作品之後可以隨著自然生物分解回歸到土地。但這真的是一個兩難的課題;該如可讓一件作品可以維持一年?同時還可以是環保的?我們確實希望藝術作品是對環境好的,不會對成龍溼地的空氣、土壤、水及生物造成傷害。我們也希望藝術作品能提升大家對環境議題的覺知。我們認為藝術作品至少要做到不對環境造成傷害,甚至是能讓環境變得更好!

“Migratory Birds” made by Myriam du Manoir (France), 2010
法國藝術家Myriam在2010成龍溼地的創作 <候鳥>

It is always difficult for artists to use natural biodegradable materials and environmentally friendly techniques and still make a big impressive outdoor art installation in 25 days that can last for one year.  This year we had great artists who really worked hard to make huge installations that were very labor intensive.  This year we had the tallest structures ever and also we feel that we had the most local participation. However, Roger Rigorth’s tall water bottle installation “Water Core”, made of bamboo tied with natural sisal rope, started to collapse after one month.  We decided that was too short!
對藝術家來說,要使用可被自然分解的素材、採用對環境友善的技術,並且要在25天的時間裡創作出令人印象深刻、可維持一年的大型戶外藝術裝置是很困難的。今年我們有許多很棒的藝術家非常努力地創作出很費工的大型藝術裝置。今年我們也有歷年來最高的裝置作品,及最多的在地參與。然而,藝術家Roger用竹子及麻繩所創作的高大水瓶在一個月後就出現了結構崩塌的情況。我們認為這件作品維持的時間是有點太短了!

Roger's bottles collapsing

This artwork needed extensive repairs and many volunteers returned to Cheng Long to help as well as one of the artists from 2011, Firman Djamil of Indonesia.  Firman is an excellent bamboo artist, and he was able to help with the repair of two of the 3 bottles since he was already in Taiwan at the time for another art project.  We left up one of the bottles so people could continue to enjoy the installation during the repair time.  However, the repair of the 3rd bottle was also necessary, and later some villagers and Foundation staff worked several more days to make it strong and sturdy.   The repair on “Water Core” took about 5 days of hard work, and it was also a big expense to buy new bamboo and much more sisal rope.   Now the 3 water bottles are back up and seem very strong, but maybe the typhoons will still cause them to collapse eventually.
這件作品需要大規模的修理,許多的志工回到成龍村來幫忙,就連2011年的印尼藝術家Firman Djamil也來協助。Firman是非常擅長竹子的藝術家,而且因為他當時正好在台灣進行另一項藝術計畫,所以可以來協助修復與補強三個瓶子中的二個。我們保留了一個瓶子在溼地裡,讓來參觀的訪客在修復期間,仍可欣賞到局部的作品。然而,第三個瓶子的修補仍是必要的,後來就由在地的村民和基金會的工作人員抽空再花數日完成補強的工作。整件「水核心」的補強修復加起來總共花了整整五天的時間,還花費了許多竹子及麻繩。現在「水核心」又回來了,而且看起來似乎很牢固,但或許最後還是會因為颱風而倒塌。

Firman is thinking how to repair Roger's artwork.

Firman is thinking how to repair Roger’s artwork.

villagers and volunteers came to help.

villagers and volunteers came to help.

With this environmental art project, it is intended that the artworks if they are all natural materials and biodegradable will dissolve back into the earth over time.  If the artworks are made from recycled materials, then the artwork can be taken down and the materials recycled again at the recycle center.   New artworks are created every year during the 25 days of the art project in April-May.
在成龍溼地環境藝術計畫裡有個想法是,如果作品全都是使用自然素材並且是可分解的,那它之後就會隨著時間逐漸回歸到土地裡;如果作品是使用回收材料,那作品日後被拆除時,可以回收的材料,將再回到資源回收場去。每年新的作品會在四、五月時透過為期約25天的藝術計畫被創作出來。

The artworks are like the flowers that bloom for a short time and then disappear and come back again the next Spring. Should we repair the artworks when they start to collapse or dissolve in a short time, or should we enjoy them while they are there and then wait for the new ones to come the next year?
藝術作品就如同花朵般,綻放一段時間後就會消逝,再來年的春天又會再回來。我們應該修復在短時間內就開始崩壞或解體的作品嗎?或是我們應該享受他們在那兒當下的時光,同時期待來年的新作?

“Let’s Nest” by Hsin-yu Huang of Taiwan, 2011 (almost the same place of Roger’s water core) 大約在現在Roger作品的位置,2011年時曾為台灣藝術家黃馨鈺<let’s “巢”夢想前進>作品的裝置地點

Now, another artwork created in 2015 is collapsing.  Chao-chang Lee’s dragon of oyster shells supported on a bamboo structure is falling down after only 3 months.  Should we ask the artist to come back and get volunteers to help him repair it?  Chao-chang does live nearby in Yunlin County so it would not be too far for him to come back to re-construct his 2015 artwork. He will maybe need lots of volunteers and local helpers to get this dragon put back together and made strong enough to last until next April.
如今,有另一件2015年的作品也開始塌陷。台灣藝術家李朝倉以竹子為結構上覆蚵殼的作品「遊龍」,在僅僅三個月的時間裡已開始傾倒。我們應該請藝術家回來並邀請志工們來協助修復嗎?朝倉的確住在不遠處的雲林西螺,對他來說要回來重建作品並不難……。他或許需要許多的志工及在地的幫手來幫忙,把龍的結構調整回來並作加強,使作品能延續到明年四月。

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Or, should we let the artworks go with nature and not worry about their lasting properties so much?   Sometimes we can also appreciate the beauty in the natural changes that occur over time. The artworks can be enjoyed when they are fresh, and we can keep looking at the photos and remembering the process of creating the artworks.   Sometimes the process is so valuable as an educational tool and community experience that it does not matter so much how long the artwork lasts.  Again, the artworks are like flowers that are beautiful when they are in full bloom but may fade quickly.   Should we expect artwork that is environmental to last and stay the same for one year in the outdoor conditions of southwest Taiwan…very hot sunshine, strong winds, heavy rains and even typhoons?
抑或是,我們應該讓藝術作品順其自然,不要去擔心他能夠維持多久呢?有時候,隨著時間順其自然的變化也會令人驚嘆。在作品剛完成時可以被盡情欣賞,我們可以持續透過照片,回憶創作的過程。有時候這些過程就如同給予一場教學和社區體驗般,非常值得,甚至可讓人忽略藝術品該存在多久這件事。再次重申,藝術作品就如同花朵,在盛開時會非常美麗,但可能會很快淍謝。我們應該期待一件環境藝術作品在南台灣的戶外—熾熱、強風、暴雨、颱風的條件下能長久並且維持一年的完好嗎?

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Of course, artworks could be made with concrete, metal, plastics and other more lasting but not good for the environment materials, and they could be constructed with permanent foundations such as concrete and joined with metal screws and heavy wire, but then the art project would not be environmental.   The art project would lose its purpose of promoting environmental education as well as providing good contemporary outdoor sculpture and visual art for the enjoyment of local people and visitors.  It s a big dilemma, and we would like to hear your opinions about this issue.
當然,藝術創作也可以使用水泥、鐵、塑膠和其他可以讓作品更持久,但可能對環境不好的材料,這些作品可能會有建構得很穩固的基礎,像是用水泥結合鐵件與鋼筋,但是這樣就不是一項環境藝術計畫了。這樣的藝術計畫會失去他推動環境教育的目的,也會失去他提供當地遊客和居民參與好的當代戶外藝術裝置及視覺藝術的樂趣。這真的是一個兩難課題,歡迎大家對此議題發表您的看法。

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Posted by: QQmei | July 16, 2015

單純的初衷帶領我走向另一個世界

By A-Mei  (“來去海口住一個月” Volunteer)

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A-Mei and Roger (Volunteers and artists protected themselves very well while working outside due to the burning sun.)     阿美和Roger (啊~真抱歉,藝術季期間大家戶外工作都矇著臉防晒, 實在很難找到一張露臉照)

曾經我跟農田很靠近,而這次是我第一次接觸漁村,一待就是二十多天。我的母親來自雲林農村,雖然她感嘆兒時生活辛苦,但純真年代的時光記憶是無可替代的,縱使不是回到她的故鄉,但這次我感受到了,彷彿在她的年輕歲月走了一趟。

在成龍溼地的日子的種種體驗是我原先沒有預料到的,如此愉悅、滿足的心情到現在都還餘韻猶存,這次超值的經驗與無法被取代的回憶是最大的收穫。跟不同背景、不同國籍、不同領域的人共同生活僅近一個月的時間,卻像是長達一年之久,似乎已經認識很久很久,那種熟悉感是某種革命情感培養出來的。沒有現代科技通訊設備的介入,也沒有語言與國界的隔閡,彼此心靈很靠近,無形中自然地跨越種種的界線,很像它不曾存在過。此外,體會到音樂沒有國界,藝術是很好的共通語言,發現人與人之間本來就是有很多共通點可以產生連結,只是暫時被遺忘了或不曾發掘。

在環境藝術計畫產生之前的因緣牽線必須要歸功於大自然的變遷,一個無法掌控的力量,造就大家聚在一起,共同為了一個目標努力著。假如沒有颱風帶來的海水倒灌、超抽地下水形成的地層下陷,海平面升高,就沒有現在的溼地。溼地帶來的生態環境,首要面對的事實是大自然會變化,同時,我們的居住環境會有所改變,生活型態也隨之轉變,懷念從前的景色也要接受與面對現在的環境。透過六年下來藝術家的巧思,加入社區居民的手作溫度,呈現的藝術品是獨一無二的,放在獨有的成龍溼地上更是無法被複製的。即使已經經歷了五屆的環境藝術計畫,第六屆的作品呈現之前的過程也是年年不同的,其不僅僅開啟人關懷土地的意識,更凝聚村民愛護生活環境的心,這片美好的溼地也會因為我們的關愛有所改變而給予友善的回應,這就是該計畫的意義與價值。

《獲得了什麼?》

我單純的為了這次的計畫而來,帶回的收穫比預期中的多更多,獲得是無法用言語形容的,印證了心靈上的豐足更勝於以往認為的物質享受來的重要,而且這種滿足延續到現在,可能是來自於以下5個面向。

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  • 從成龍溼地國際環境藝術計畫:

此計畫起源於很單純的想法,實際匯集了無數名賢達的智慧與經驗,也肩負了重大的使命感,期望透過年年的努力、耕耘能看到有所成果。幸而歷年累積下來的汗水帶來背後略有顯著的效益,經過不同領域的人層層協助,不管是多還是少,最終都會形成一股無法忽視的力量,呈現在你我面前,甚至延續到以後,保留在彼此的心中。

  • 從藝術家:

這次合作的藝術家是來自瑞士/德國的Roger Rigorth,他教會我很重要的東西就是用心傾聽與感受大自然,大致分為7方面。

  • 用「眼睛」看眼前的景色:工作時累了就暫時放下手邊工作,運用寶貴的眼睛360度環視周邊美景,我問你在看什麼?(What are you looking at?)他答我在享受這片景色(I am dreaming.)。充電後繼續工作,原來大自然是他工作最佳的地點,也是他累的時候動力的來源,我們都很慶幸有這次的賞鳥牆所附帶的無價美景作為工作站。
  • 用「耳朵」傾聽:溼地蘊含豐富的生態,時常會造訪我們的工作區域。早起工作時,最先在賞鳥牆享受寧靜的早晨,沒有人聲、車聲只有大自然的聲音,加上徐徐微風,這樣愜意的早晨使我們更投入工作,即使沒有太多語言交流,認真工作之餘,彼此都很享受其中的寧靜。
  • 用「鼻子」體驗大自然的香氣:由於Roger在歐美國家大多以木頭為主要創作材料,不僅是學木雕出身,包括自身也是住在已有400年歷史的木造房屋,因此對於木頭有種特殊情感。當他收到來自田日蒸大哥的檜木製餐具時,非常喜愛,檜木有種特殊香氣,每次拿起餐具就很享受的聞一次,促使以往甚少會注意木頭味道的我,對檜木更進一步認識也加深了印象,也發現台灣嘉義原來有大量檜木存在了千年以上,很多大自然的物品都有獨特的氣味,似乎在告訴我們他們是會呼吸的生命體,只要用心感受就能體會。
  • 用「舌尖」體驗各種食物:Roger對於在成龍村村中接觸到的食物很勇於嘗試,印象最深的是「鳥來(梨)仔」,雖然嚐的是醃漬過並非原味,但他喜愛的程度和表情令人難以忘懷。還有,每次遇到巧克力、蛋糕和冰淇淋等甜品,都令愛好甜食的他變身為一個單純、可愛的小男孩很專注享用他眼前的美食。

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  • 用「腳」接觸大地:Roger時常赤腳工作,喜歡接觸大地的踏實感,踩踏土地感受彼此的溫度和零距離的體驗大自然,而且他也喜歡在工作累時,直接躺在木板地小憩一下,像是躺在大自然的懷抱中,讓我想起他曾說每次當他來到森林就像是回到家一樣(When I am in the forest, I feel I am home.)。記得有一次我在賞鳥牆二樓午休起來,很驚訝有一種真實的感覺油然而生,是從前所沒有過的,就是感到自己真的存在於此刻、當下,溼地和生態就在眼前,人與大自然可以如此靠近而不相排斥,第一次有這麼濃厚的踏實感,也許這是因為長期生活在都市中很少有這麼棒的閒暇時間與空間真切體會。於是,之後我也愛上這樣的感覺,時常也加入在木板地小憩一會兒,累的時候讓自己充充電,恢復活力繼續工作。
  • 用「手」感覺:Roger的雙手因為刀子和電鑽等工具時常不小心割傷,剛開始幾次受傷,我都會很擔心和關心傷口,但是對他而言,因為雙手在創作時受傷是家常便飯,在此之前已有許多傷疤,因此我在旁邊看到都會時時注意為他準備OK蹦或透氣交代保護。不習慣帶手套的他,喜歡雙手觸摸實體的感覺,運用手部感受萬物的溫度和質感的習慣間接影響到我,因而自己受傷或是手部因為做事變得粗厚、不舒服都坦然接受,因為透過與他合作的過程中,讓我對運用雙手真誠、認真做事的觀感大轉變,往往僅運用雙手來電腦打字,甚少有機會自己完成一個實質的物品。此次深刻體會到雙手另一層面的價值,其實是可以創作出很棒的作品,心中感到莫名的滿足與成就感。此外,有一次因遇雨天移至安龍宮中工作,轉移地點之時很多物件和工具皆自行搬運,騎車來回多次,接近晚餐時間準備要收工了,提醒他時間差不多了剩下的明天再繼續,不要讓自己太累(Do not be too tired.),但是他說覺得自己很有活力(I am full of energy.),也許這就是藝術家對創作的能量總是源源不絕。
  • 用「心」工作:手即使很痠、身體疲累,但心不累。因為Roger要把近百根的竹片削薄,運用自己在中國跟一位竹子師傅買的削刀,連續工作兩週,我問他在削竹片時右手都不累不痠嗎?(因為有一陣子幾乎每天都是重複一樣的動作,然而他從來不曾喊累)他答我的手很累很痠,但是我的心不累。或許這就是他的作品中看似結構簡單但帶有濃濃的溫度和情感的原因吧。此外,他對作品的細節要求嚴謹,以及在創作時的認真態度與融入自然環境的狀態,很自然的帶領我進入他的世界,其實他的世界很容易懂,就是只要用心體會人與自然的連結就可以感受到那份純粹。

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  • 從村民:

從前甚少與自家鄰居有深刻互動,來到成龍村真實感受到人與人之間的溫暖,似乎有種早已存在的連結只是被我們忙碌生活給淡忘了。部分村民經歷了六年的藝術計畫,他們的熱情與適時的協助使我們更融入,也真切的感受到此計畫存在的意義持續小心地被守護著,雖然說應該是我們要進入村子幫忙他們,然而自己卻很像被帶領進入一個很不可思議的村子,運用他們的純真與無私融化了彼此原有的距離感。一直到現在,很多村民的臉龐和陪伴在我們身邊的日子的畫面不斷出現在腦海中。很難相信,當初一個很純粹的想法來到成龍村,會帶來彼此心中無限的感動與美好的回憶,謝謝你們讓我有回到家的感覺。

難忘的回憶太多了,首先,這次和Roger一起陪伴成龍國小的小朋友一起上課、畫畫、踢足球與藝術品創作等,小朋友的天真、活潑與善良融化彼此間的距離,無私的接納我們來到他們成長的家園,和他們在一起時心靈感到莫名富足,很開心能夠在他們童年時期有短暫的相處時間,彼此間互相學習,留下美好回憶。同時,透過這次的有別於以往的志工經驗,開啟自身關懷鄉土與各地民情的興趣,思考土地與人之間密不可分的關聯性。此外,從前緊緊自課本學習環境生態理論相關知識,此次毫無準備的機會下,走入實際生態環境,深切感受到它的力量與美麗。最後,透過陪伴藝術家體驗媽祖繞境、夜市以及生態學校參訪等,學會欣賞各地風土民情,尊重當地特色文化,接納來自世界各地的風俗習慣,包容彼此的文化差異進而開拓視野與胸襟,也增進國際間音樂與藝術間的交流,實屬此活動之餘的一大樂趣與難得成長的機會。

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  • 從觀樹教育基金會

觀樹教育基金會在成龍村六年下來的深耕,其角色就像是從旁協助卻是很關鍵動力來源。他們努力扎根、不求快速、用心經營並期待有一天開花結果,很幸運的是,長期良好互動和耕耘,發生了微妙的化學變化,這個果實慢慢的被欣賞到了,雖然還需繼續努力,但是這份甜美的果實真真實實的存在著。

小學階段是人格教育養成關鍵的時期,而且隔代教養家庭頗多,因此陪伴對這樣成長環境的小孩子也很重要,對於基金會成員密切與成龍國小交流,運用環境教育與藝術介入的方式,給予孩子們沒有壓力的學習方式相當贊同,其具備與大自然接觸的生活環境,是都市小孩缺乏的寶貴記憶。對小孩來說,沒有老一輩村民舊有的農田印象,完全是靠父母傳授、講述,即使這樣,很開心他們有豐富的海洋資源教育課程,加上具備環境藝術難得的學習經驗,對很多地方的小孩來說是不易有機會接觸的,相信他們將來都是台灣環境教育很好的幫手。因此,縱使需要面對生活環境變遷的事實,其可視為危機也是轉機,只要能轉念思考,一切都很能豁然開朗,珍惜與把握所擁有的當下。

無論是成龍溼地的陪伴或是環境藝術的導入過程,無形中對小孩產生珍貴的記憶,而且是無法被取代的,相信小學畢業後外出繼續求學、工作甚至到成家立業,對這片從小生長環境的情感依然深植在彼此心中,因此不要懷疑基金會存在的價值與意義,因為永遠不知道它發酵的時間有多久,對這片土地的影響有多深遠。

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  • 從人文與大自然

台灣有無數個獨特的小村莊,蘊含著許多值得人細細品味的故事,以前沒有發現的、沒聽說過的,或是知道但不清楚的,觸發想進一步探尋深層的意涵。因此,在這裡我學到的一件事就是學習與傳統對話:老舊並不代表必須淘汰,新潮也不代表最好,應重新檢視其具備的價值與背後蘊含的歷史、人文意義,顛覆自身對傳統的想像,開啟對傳統探索的渴望。

大自然從古至今陪伴在人類身邊,人類往往因為自己的欲望入侵了原有的自然環境,如何與自然和平共處是我們一直在學習的課題。其實,大自然是最棒的藝術家,我們能做的是即是運用已有的素材加上巧思與巧手變得更為美麗動人,使得人類正視對自然的關注與小心守護。然而,大自然千變萬化,隨時會變得如何不知道,呈現的作品,即使歷經風災、雨災或人為因素而變得殘破、受到毀壞都無所謂,因為回歸大自然後,也許還有機會再生,只要我們用心對待這片脆弱的土地,就有可能重啟新生命,生生不息延續下去。這也和Roger的作品概念呼應,「水核心」的核來自果核,果核中有種子,即使身體腐敗了或是消失了,只要有種子就能將生命延續,希望不滅。

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最後,我想說的是如果沒有大自然無情的變遷和人為的因素,就不會有觀樹教育基金會的進駐,也不會有村民的參與以及改善村子的想法誕生,更不會有藝術家的到來,最後也不會有此計畫產生,這一切環環相扣、緊緊地把彼此凝聚起來,就是這次的活動主軸,希望這塊土地的人與環境不要互相排斥而是產生感情連結的,讓這裡美好的故事持續下去並散播到全世界。

謝謝成龍村在短短的26天帶給我生命的美好,無法忘懷的小漁村生活,簡單的人事物串起無限的回憶,今後會在人生的道路上繼續努力、奮力向前,期望未來越來越順利,彼此保持聯繫。

阿美(廖富美)

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關於Roger作品還有一些想補充:

記得和Roger工作時,有許多訪客會問他一些作品問題,但幾乎每次都不太一樣的答案,但都不離以下兩點,這是我個人總結,通常他是以英文簡答、比較開放的回應,因為他希望給大家思考,任何答案和看到作品的感覺都是每人不同的觀感,而後面的解釋部分有些是我個人見地,可以參考看看,但如要放在導覽,主要還是可以藝術家的概念為主。

第一、一般訪客看到作品時,直覺看到會說三個瓶子,就表象來說,美麗又巨大的瓶子,放在水上更顯得這片溼地美麗,加上瓶口很像在風中自由擺動,瓶身有些不對稱,極富生命力。(這是我的看法)。第二、就藝術家的設計概念,它不僅是瓶子的表象,是一個可以容納水靈魂的容器,注入精神層面的意象(平時工作聊到),感受溼地是真實存在的,陪伴大家成長,即使它是吃剩的果核,但有了種子就能生生不息,開啟新的生命循環(記者會有提到類似的概念,因為作品主題是水核心),即使以前的農田早已不在了,但海水上的生物形成的生態系統賦予了這塊濕地新的生命,告訴我們環境會變動,但在村民們記憶是永恆的,同時警示我們用心守護脆弱的土地(這段是我總結的)。希望對大家理解Roger的作品時會更有幫助。

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This week in the online journal Art Radar Asia that covers contemporary art in Asia, Taiwan and the Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project got some world recognition as a leader in eco-art. Check out the article by Michele Chan titled “Lemon Trees and Sustainable Oceans – Taiwan’s Ecological Art Revolution” at this link:
http://artradarjournal.com/2015/06/26/taiwans-ecological-art-revolution/
The previous article “Sustaining a fragile environment: Art in Taiwan’s Cheng Long Wetlands”, Posted on 29/05/2015, about the 2015 Cheng Long Wetlands International Art Project can also be seen on Art Radar Asia at this link:
http://artradarjournal.com/2015/05/29/taiwans-cheng-long-wetlands/
Thank you to this online journal for their support and continued coverage of environmental art projects in Taiwan!

2015 Cheng Long Wetlands art project sculpture installation by Taiwanese artist Chao-chang Lee

2015 Cheng Long Wetlands art project sculpture installation by Taiwanese artist Chao-chang Lee

"Portable Landscapes" created for the 2015 Cheng Long art project by Canadian artist Christopher Varady-Szabo

“Portable Landscapes” created for the 2015 Cheng Long art project by Canadian artist Christopher Varady-Szabo

2015 Cheng Long artwork  by Italian artist Marisa Merlin

2015 Cheng Long artwork “EARTH” by Italian artist Marisa Merlin

Roger Rigorth of Switzerland's artwork "Water Core" created for the 2015 Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project

Roger Rigorth of Switzerland’s artwork “Water Core” created for the 2015 Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project

"Rainbow Boat by Japanese artist Tsuneo Sekiguchi in 2015 Cheng Long art project

“Rainbow Boat” by Japanese artist Tsuneo Sekiguchi in 2015 Cheng Long art project

These photos show artist Tsuneo Sekiguchi’s “Rainbow Boat” in the center of the village at the temple courtyard.  On a sunny day you can see many rainbows on the underside of the white sail.  The rainbows are made with sunlight, recycled mirrors and clear water in recycled pans placed in the bottom of the boat.  Tsuneo trained his class of Cheng Long Elementary School children how to adjust the mirrors and fill the pans with clean water to keep the rainbows happening during the year.  Villagers and visitors can enjoy the rainbows and take an imaginary sail into a future with a better environment.

TsuneoRainbow Boat by Tsuneo Sekiguchi

Here is a photo of the “Portable Landscape” sculpture installation created by artist Christopher Varady-Szabo, originally from Australia but now living in Canada.  His living artwork has soil and many local plants that will continue growing and providing a portable eco-system in Cheng Long village.  Now his art installation is located at a vacant lot in the village, recently cleaned up by children and volunteers that has vegetables and plants starting to grow there.  We hope that this artwork that can move around to different locations in Cheng Long will encourage villagers to grow things and clean up the vacant lots for a better environment.  The carts in Chris’s installation are made from recycled materials and bamboo, and the smaller cart has wheels recycled from two old wheelchairs found at the local recycling center.  The other bigger cart has wheels made from old wooden wire cable spools.  The cart makes a wonderful creaking noise when it is moved and has recycled bamboo axles.

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These photos show Marisa Merlin’s installation “Earth”.  Marisa is from Italy and decided when she got to Cheng Long to write “earth” in Chinese characters.  The giant characters stretch across the sand at the wetlands and are made from recycled burlap bags and smaller bags sewn from recycled clothes donated by villagers and filled with oyster shells and soil.  Children and visitors  helped Marisa to plant many local plants on her installation that will continue to grow there.  The sandbags remind us of the rising water levels in the Cheng Long area as well as around the world due to global warming and climate changes.  While we were in Cheng Long for the 25 days of this art project, the water level rose around this installation, and will continue to rise and fall with rain and other conditions in the Wetlands.

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This photo shows “Dragon Heart” the installation created by Taiwanese artist Chao-chang Lee.  Visitors can walk inside the dragon on land made with a recycled bamboo framework and covered with oyster shells.  The dragon’s body seems to continue under the road and into the wetlands outlined by recycled bamboo poles and oyster shells, and the water becomes the dragon’s body.  With his installation Chao wanted to show the history of oyster farming in this part of Taiwan; on land he used the nylon rope for stringing the oyster shells, and this is the way oyster farming is done today.  In the wetlands nature preserve area he used the old way with natural rope….stringing the oyster shells on natural biodegradable sisal rope. Further out in the wetlands nature preserve he used the ancient way of oyster farming by wedging an oyster shell into a slit at the top of a recycled bamboo pole.

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This photo shows the sculpture installation “Water Core” by artist Roger Rigorth, originally from Switzerland but now living in Germany.  Roger created these 3 giant bottle shapes of woven split bamboo in three sections.  The bamboo is joined with bamboo pegs and natural sisal rope.   The installation of these tall structures in the wetlands was an engineering challenge!   These sculptures can be seen from a great distance towering over the Cheng Long Wetlands and remind us of the importance of water as the source of all life.

Roger

 

The 2015 Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project curated by Jane Ingram Allen will remain on view in Cheng Long village and wetlands throughout the year to  be enjoyed by the villagers and local children as well as visitors.  This year we were fortunate to have the volunteer help of 2012 Cheng Long artist Isabelle Garbani as assistant curator.   Thanks also to the staff of Kuan Shu Environmental Education Foundation, the 5 volunteers from all over Taiwan, and the many villagers and Cheng Long Elementary School children for their help to make this year’s art project so successful.   The photos in this Blog post are by Timothy S. Allen, a volunteer photographer for the art project.  Check his Blog at allentimphotos2.wordpress.com  to see more of his photos.  Keep checking this Blog for more posts and to see how the artworks survive the typhoons and various weather conditions in Cheng Long, Yunlin County, Taiwan.

2015 記者會新聞稿

成品藝家秀溼地
龍庄有客賞漁村
巧斧神工皆協力

(謝謝成龍村田桑卿老師的對聯)

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Posted by: igarbani | April 30, 2015

We are ready!

The artwork is ready!

The press conference is tomorrow morning May 1, 2015 at 10 am in front of the temple in Cheng Long.

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This year’s theme is “Fragile – Handle with Care”, a warning usually stamped on packages that contain fragile goods. We wanted to focus on the fragility of the environment, and have the artists make installations interpreting the theme. All the artists worked very hard for the past 21 days, and we are grateful and thankful for their talent and efforts. The children and villagers of Cheng Long came out daily to help the artists, for which we are also grateful and thankful. The entire community is involved in the process in small and large ways which is wonderful to see and experience.

If you cannot come to Cheng Long to see the art in person, here are the latest photos of the finished installations. We hope you enjoy the art as much as we enjoyed making it for you!

Christopher Varody-Szabo: “Living Landscape”
Australia/Canada

Christopher made a miniature Eco-system on a rolling cart. He will have a parade tomorrow with the first and second graders. Here they are rehearsing diligently the parade route.

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Chao-chang Lee: “Dragon Heart”
Taiwan

Chao-chang created a dragon from oyster shells that stretches from the solid ground to the wetlands… and becomes the water of the wetlands. You can enter the body of the dragon and feels its powerful energy…

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Marisa Merlin: “Earth”
Italy

Marisa is from Padua which has been experiencing terrible floods lately. Her artwork spells “Earth” in Chinese characters made from sand bags which are typically used to contain flood waters.

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Roger Rigorth: “Water Core”
Switzerland/Germany

Roger has created tall bottle forms made from bamboo. They are close to 8 meters high! He wants to focus on the importance of protecting water sources.

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Tsuneo Sekiguchi: “Rainbow Boat”
Japan

Tsuneo is interested in qualities of light. He has made a bamboo boat where metal pans containing water and mirrors continually make rainbows on its sail.

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The exhibit opens tomorrow with our press conference in front of the temple. We will have DIY activities with the artists this weekend, and we hope you can join us in celebrating Cheng Long and the artists who have made the village a very special place to be. QQ-mei sums it up:

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Posted by: igarbani | April 28, 2015

The children’s exhibit

The artists and the children of the Cheng Long Elementary school work closely together during the residency to realize the artists’ visions, and make sure the installations are successful. This year’s theme for the residency is “Fragile – Handle with Care” and the children did a series of drawings about the theme before the artists’  arrival in Taiwan. The drawings are quite beautiful, so of course we decided to have an exhibit ! When you come this weekend to see the artists’ work, make sure you also visit the children’s drawing exhibit held throughout the village.

Here’s a sneak preview of their worK;

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We are very close to the end of the residency… the artists are getting ready and putting the final touches on the installations… please check back before the weekend for the big reveal!

We hope to see you this weekend to meet the artists, see all the artwork and enjoy Cheng Long!

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:

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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:

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The children come out to help:

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Christopher started making trusses out of bamboo:

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

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I think it’s ready for a test drive!

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

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

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

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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:

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

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

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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…

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The dragon is taking shape:

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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.  

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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 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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