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.



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.





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.



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.



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  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




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.


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”

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.



Chao-chang Lee: “Dragon Heart”

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…



Marisa Merlin: “Earth”

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.


Roger Rigorth: “Water Core”

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.


Tsuneo Sekiguchi: “Rainbow Boat”

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.


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:


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:


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.

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