Artist, volunteers and the children at Cheng Long Elementary School are hard at work now creating site-specific environmental sculptures in Cheng Long Wetlands. The exhibition opens on April 23 so everything will be finished by that date!
Four of the artists have chosen their sites in the wetlands, and one artist Shilpa Joglekar from India is making her artwork “Box of Windmills – Play Gym” at the elementary school in Cheng Long. Shilpa is creating a jungle gym for children in the community. Her volunteers are two very strong young Taiwanese men, Hong and Jay. They have made many holes in the ground, cut bamboos, drilled holes and attached the parts of this structure to make it safe and secure for the Cheng Long children to climb and play on. Shilpa is working with the 1st and 2nd graders, and they will be making many windmills to attach to the sculpture. Here is a photo of Shilpa testing the structure!
Myriam du Manoir from France is creating many bird sculptures for her installation in the wetlands behind an old abandoned building that we call the “pig house” because local people said this building used to be a home for pigs! She is working with the 6th graders and they are helping gather reeds in the wetlands and braiding them into long strands for Myriam’s birds. The birds represent species that are found in Cheng Long Wetlands. Here is a photo of Myriam working on a ladder to construct one of her large bird sculptures using reeds over a bamboo framework.
Roy Staab of the USA is creating a work with many bamboo poles planted in a now dry spot near the entrance of the Cheng Long Wetlands. He is hoping that water will come into this place before the opening. Local people tell him that water always comes here in the summer. Roy’s work forms a fish shape in the wetlands and each bamboo pole will have a white oyster shell on top. The first 5 rows are in the ground now, and the work continues to grow each day. Roy is working with 3rd graders at Cheng Long Elementary School and some of the girls are shown here with Roy pushing some of the many bamboo poles into the ground at his site.
Yi-chun Lo of Taipei, Taiwan, is making 3 shell-shaped structures on some grassy areas in the wetlands. She is using bamboo for the supporting structure and then will cover the forms with many oyster shells. She is using a traditional type of mortar made from sticky rice, brown sugar and oyster shell powder mixed with water. She has a team of 2 volunteers helping her build the structures, and many local children also come to work here and help build the structures. Here is a photo of Yi-chun and her crew building the first structure.
Penghu artists Chiaping Lu and Chungho Cheng are making 2 structures that can be used as bird blinds far out in the Cheng Long Wetlands. Their structures are shaped like wings using bamboo for the support. One structure is covered with bamboo branches and one is covered with mulberry bark cloth made with the elementary school children. This photo shows Chiaping, Chungho and their volunteer starting to make the second structure and pushing the bamboo firmly into the earth.
All the artists and volunteers are enjoying life in Cheng Long Village. We are staying in 3 different local houses and eating breakfast at one house, dinner at another and lunch at the school with the children. All the food is great, and everyone is always hungry from all the physical work involved in making environmental sculpture! Thank you to all the local people who have brought us delicious food and snacks to eat. Here is a photo of some of the artists and volunteers relaxing and talking after dinner.