The 5 international artists for the 2011 Cheng Long International Art Project arrived in Cheng Long Village, Yunlin County, Taiwan on April 8. Everyone was tired from all the traveling. Karen from Peru traveled for three days to get from her home in Lima, Peru, and went to Los Angeles, USA, as well as Seoul, Korea, on the way to Taiwan. Rumen from Bulgaria came to Taiwan through Moscow, Russia, and Shanghai, China. Firman from Indonesia traveled from Jakarta, Indonesia to Hong Kong and then to Taiwan. Julie from Taipei came on the HSR train to Chiayi Station and Hsin-yu from Hsinchu came by car to Cheng Long. Everyone is settled in now and enjoying the good food and making new friends in Cheng Long.
On Saturday, April 9, the artists and volunteers all toured the Cheng Long Wetlands to look at the sites for their artworks and to see the materials that are available to use to make the artworks. A village elder shared some of his knowledge about working with bamboo and oyster farming. The village of Cheng Long had a Welcome Party for the artists on Saturday evening. It was a great event with lots of good food prepared by local families and the local government, and we had a program for the artists to introduce themselves to the community. Each artist showed some photos of their country and their previous artworks and told about the artwork they will make in Cheng Long.
On Sunday, April 10 all the five artists and volunteers went to the coast to look at some recycled bamboo that may be possible to use for making some of the artworks. We also visited a local artists gallery and workshop and then in the afternoon we all visited a bamboo master to learn about working with bamboo in the traditional way. It was amazing to see the beautiful detailed work the master can do with bamboo and how you can bend the bamboo with fire and use no metal to join bamboo. In the evening all the artists and volunteers went to HsiLo to experience the Mazu Festival. They were amazed at the huge celebration and music, costumes, parade, fireworks, a huge night market and many, many people! It was quite an introduction to Taiwanese culture to see such a festival!
On Monday, April 11, the artists came to Cheng Long Elementary School to meet the children, teachers and the principal. We had a program in the school library where all the artists introduced themselves to the children, and each artist received a creative welcome from the class of children that they will work with to make their artwork. Each class of children also performed a song on the recorder for the artists to welcome them to Cheng Long. It was an exciting time, and this year the children are not so shy and really happy to see the artists again in their village. Everyone is looking forward to working together in Cheng Long to create the artworks. Be sure to check back often at this Blog to see photos and read about the progress on making the artworks in the Cheng Long Wetlands.