Posted by: QQmei | November 24, 2011

Possible Materials for Artists

About Materials:  For the 2012 art project artists can use any natural or recycled materials that would not be harmful to the wildlife (if they are used in the nature preserve area) and that would be safe for children and the community.  We want artists as much as possible to use old or recycled materials and natural materials that can be collected without harming the environment to promote environmental awareness and good sustainable practices. If artists want to buy new materials or need them for structure or some other reason, they should consult with the curator to get the approval if their proposal is selected.

Commonly Available Materials include the following:

1. Reeds and green vegetation materials – (Phragmites communis) can be gathered in the wetlands and nearby.  See materials used by Myriam in 2010 and Hsinyu in 2011 photos.  There are also limited amounts of other vegetation that could be used.
1. 蘆葦和植物 – 蘆葦(Phragmites communis)可於溼地及村莊附近採集。蘆葦的使用可參考2010年Myriam和2011年黃馨鈺的作品照片。其他還有一些數量較有限的植物可利用。

reeds(left) & dragon fruit plant (right)

2. Bamboo – Bamboo is one of the most common and fastest growing building materials inTaiwan.  New bamboo can be purchased and delivered to Cheng Long, but there is little bamboo growing in this coastal region ofTaiwan.  There is recycled bamboo washed up on the nearby seashore from old oyster farming platforms. This recycled bamboo is useable, but not as strong as new bamboo. Some types of bamboo can be bent easily, and some is more rigid for construction purposes.
2. 竹子 – 竹子是臺灣最普遍,生長速度快的建築材料之一,但在成龍村這一帶的台灣沿海地區少有種植竹子,因此新的竹子必須透過訂購,運送至成龍村。老舊蚵棚的回收竹材會被海浪沖至岸上,可於鄰近海邊取得。這些回收竹材都可再利用,但強度不如新竹子來的堅固。不同種的竹子有不同用途,有些易彎曲可用於塑形,有些堅硬適合運用在結構上。

different kinds of bamboo for different oyster farms (above); recycle bamboos (below left); purchasing new bamboos (below right)

3. Oyster shells – There are many oyster shells available and some (big and beautiful ones) must be purchased (very cheaply) from the village people who work with oyster farming for a living.  Some piles of (smaller) oyster shells are considered waste , and anyone can take them to use.  See the photos of Yichun’s work in 2010.
3. 牡蠣殼 – 這裡有許多可再利用的牡蠣殼,但有些(大又漂亮的)必需向以養蚵為生的村民購買(價格不貴);丟棄在路邊的牡蠣殼(通常較小),大家都可以拿來使用。可參考2010年羅懿君的作品照片。

smaller oyster shells (left); oyster shells big pile (right)

4. Other types of shells such as clams or other seafood production waste (maybe fish bones, crab shells, etc.)   These materials may not be so plentiful as oyster shells, but they could be collected for an artist to use.
4. 其他貝殼或海鮮廚餘(例如文蛤殼、魚骨頭、螃蟹殼…等) – 這些材料數量雖不比牡蠣殼來的豐富,但可為藝術家特別收集。

Other types of shells

5. Driftwood  – There is some driftwood washed up on the seashore and in the nearby waterways after a big typhoon.  This can be collected with permission.  See the use of driftwood in Rumen’s work for the 2011 art project.
5. 漂流木 – 颱風過後有一些漂流木會被沖到附近海域的岸邊,經過允許後即可收集。可參考2011年Rumen使用漂流木做的作品。

Driftwood can be collected with permission

6. Branches from Trees – There are actually not many trees in Cheng Long area, but there is a forest planted nearby by the Forestry Department, and some trimming of that forest would be allowed to get useable branches.
6. 樹枝 – 成龍村其實沒有太多樹木,但鄰近的椬梧農場有一片人工林,可收集枯枝或修剪下來的枝條。

a forest planted nearby

7.  Old recycled wood – There would be old fences, parts of old buildings or rafts, wooden pallets for shipping, old window framing, old wooden school chairs and other wood that could be found and used.
7. 老舊的回收木材 – 舊籬笆、老建築或船板中的木料、運貨的木箱、舊窗戶的框架、舊課桌椅和其他可以找到或回收的木料,都是可使用的材料。

old window covers (left) & old wooden school chairs (right)

8.  Recycled wooden chopsticks – Every restaurant or take-out food place provides wooden/bamboo chopsticks to customers, and these could be saved and used for artworks.
8. 回收的免洗竹筷 – 當地的餐廳或是外帶餐點時,店家會提供免洗竹筷給顧客,這些都可以收集起來,作為創作的材料。

9. Broken dishes – This is a possibility for materials, but most dishes are not porcelain or ceramic now, but plastic! We could collect old dishes for artists to use.
9. 損毀的餐盤 – 現在多數廢棄的餐盤不是陶瓷製的,而是塑膠製品。我們或許可以收集舊的、不要的餐盤提供藝術家作為創作的材料。

wooden chopsticks & plastic dishes

10. Old pots and pans and other things used in the kitchen – This waste is also usually recycled, but could be collected.
10. 廚房裡的舊鍋碗瓢盆 – 壞掉的鍋碗瓢盆通常會送去資源回收場回收,但我們可以盡可能地收集。

11. Fishing Nets – Most village people patch and re-use fishing nets, but some old ones that are waste can be found.  Many nets now are plastic material and not natural fiber.
11. 漁網 – 大部分的村民會補破網,重複使用漁網,但仍可找到一些廢棄的漁網。現今大部分的漁網為塑膠材質,而非自然的纖維。

fishing nets

12. Old baskets – Most of the baskets now used in the village are also black plastic material, but some of these could be found and used.
12. 舊籃子 – 現在村子裡使用的籃子多半是黑色塑膠材質的籃子,有些廢棄的籃子應該可回收再利用。

plastic baskets

13. Plastic bottles, glass containers, metal cans – There are many plastic water bottles, milk containers, and other plastic bottles that are collected and recycled inTaiwan.  There are also used glass containers and metal cans.  Usually people get money by doing this collecting of recyclables, so it may be necessary to buy the collected bottles, containers, cans, etc. from people or collect our own before the artists come if some selected artists want to use this material.
13. 塑膠瓶、玻璃容器、金屬罐 – 在臺灣,寶特瓶、牛奶罐和其他塑膠瓶、玻璃容器以及金屬罐會被送到資源回收場變賣。有些人靠著資源回收討生活,獲選的藝術家如果需要使用這些材料,可能需要向回收者購買這些回收的瓶罐,或者在藝術家進駐前,我們先幫忙進行收集。

14. Used papers, cardboard and newspaper – We can collect used paper (like school papers), cardboard and newspapers.  It is usually recycled too and people gain money selling this to recycling plants, so we would have to start in advance to collect this material if a selected artist wants to use it.
14. 回收紙、厚紙板、報紙 – 我們可以回收紙類,例如學校的廢紙、厚紙板和舊報紙。通常紙類都會收集至回收場變賣,所以如果獲選的藝術家需要用到回收紙,我們必須事先進行回收。

recycled bottles and used papers

15. Old clothing or other fabric – This can also be collected before the artists arrive if someone wants to use this material.  Old clothing would be pretty easy to collect, and some used household fabrics such as old rugs, blankets, etc. may also be available.  Plastic and metal screening might also be available.
15. 舊衣物或其他織品 – 舊衣物很容易取得,一般家庭會用到的織物,例如舊地毯、棉被等,也許可以收集到。塑膠、金屬製的紗窗也可以使用。藝術家如有需要這些材料,可事先收集。

cloth gloves hanging and old burlap bag

16. Old banners and signs – Many of these in Taiwan are a plastic material, and they could be saved before the artist arrives.
16. 舊旗幟和招牌 – 臺灣有許多廣告旗幟是塑膠製的,若藝術家有需要,可事先收集。

old banner
17. Old bricks, concrete rubble and stones – This material found around abandoned buildings could be used with the permission of the owners of the property.  There is little natural stone in this area, but many small stones are washed down to the shore in the nearby rivers.  A few larger stones are brought to the area for decoration or used as seating, etc.
17. 廢棄磚頭、水泥塊和石頭 – 這些材料可在廢棄的建築物周圍找到,經過所有權人同意即可再利用。這個村莊少有天然的石頭,一些小石頭可在鄰近的河流、海岸取得。少數大石頭是為了裝飾或當成椅子從外地運過來的。

old bathtub (above left); rubble possible material (above right); stones at the seashore (below right)

18. Old metal – This village uses everything and there is not so much metal material lying around to use for artworks; however we could go to a recycling collection center and find used metal pieces and maybe have to pay a small amount for them since people sell this collected material to the recycling centers.
18. 廢棄金屬 – 這個村子沒有太多金屬廢棄物可運用在藝術作品上,不過我們可以到資源回收場去尋找適合的金屬材料,這或許需要花一點經費將人們賣到回收場的金屬買回來。

Others : old plastic tubes, old chairs, styrofoam and bamboo for floating platform, and sugar bag......

Notes:  We expect that artists may have to buy some new materials such as paint, rope, hardware, and other things to complete the artworks.  So each case will be different and the selected artists will discuss all of this with the curator, and we will start to find materials before the artists arrive.  Of course, things may change when the artists arrive and see for themselves.

This list is not meant to be a complete list of materials artists can use, but just to get the thinking started.  Please write comments here on the Blog, or ask Jane directly by email ( to discuss your particular ideas about materials.



  1. Thanks for compiling what looks like a comprehensive list of materials. Looking at the list there seems to be a lot from which to choose. If however, I wanted to use something like rice straw bales would they be readily available and affordable?
    In Australia the rice straw is often burnt adding considerably to polluting the environment. Now straw bales can be used to create walls and sculptural forms. Also the waste oyster shells can be crushed to make lime and when mixed with water and clay can be used as a surface treatment to protect the straw bales.

  2. Hi Jeffrey,
    Yes, rice straw is quite common in Taiwan where rice grows well, but in Cheng Long there is not so much rice growing because the water is usually salty. Fish farming and other agriculture related to seafood is the most common type of farming. You could however get rice straw and in Taiwan many times it is not in bales, but in a sort of haystack looking shape….I will try to find a photo and put it on the Blog. You could get rice straw though and it would not be too expensive I think. Many farmers do burn off the fields after the rice is harvested in Taiwan too and think that improves the soil although it does pollute the air!
    It is a good idea to use crushed oyster shells and water and clay….many cultures use this with rice straw or some other straw to make adobe like materials too. These are all good idea for sculptural constructions!

  3. […] for 2012, please see the previous Posts. Please also check the information about possible sites and possible materials the artists can use in 2012 on the Blog at or contact […]

  4. […] for 2012, please see the previous Posts. Please also check the information about possible sites and possible materials the artists can use in 2012 on the Blog at or contact […]

  5. […] for 2012, please see the previous Posts. Please also check the information about possible sites and possible materials the artists can use in 2012 on the Blog at or contact […]

  6. Good day I am so glad I found your website,
    I really found you by accident, while I was looking on Google for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a tremendous post and
    a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the superb work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: