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Erenlai - Displaying items by tag: art installation
Friday, 22 October 2010 00:00

Injecting art into the veins of our youth

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How would you fit your family in a box?

Bicycle pedals coming out of the sides of the box? A tree of hanging photographs? A girl with her finger on the edge of a sharp broken mirror with her grandpa’s cigarette lit and smoking above her head? Or simply a box full of glass smashed to smithereens? These were just some of the family boxes provided by the young artists from the second season of the Gosh Foundation’s Fruit Camp.

While the organizers, major directors and officials opened the 2010 Taiwan International Documentary Festival on Friday 22 October 2010, the underlying missions of the festival had begun long before, as the organizers asked: How can the seeds of creativity and collective memory be passed onto the youth? How can these young talents be nurtured to produce marvelous works?

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The self-made Taiwanese star, Sylvia Chang tried to answer these questions when she founded the Gosh Foundation, which was intended to inspire young artists to transcend the traditional artistic spectrum and keep creating. When Sylvia, a self-taught actress, singer, playwright and director, arrived in Taichung, she immediately went on a tour of the festival's installations - including the works of the ‘Family Story vs. Video Art’ installation, which were the fruits of the second Gosh Foundation ‘Fruit Camp’.

The preliminary group of young artists had to install the quintessence of their family story in one box; meanwhile, advanced students who had excelled the previous season, the original Fruit Camp, invited you into their huge boxes/makeshift homes to play with their life-size toys and view their video art works about their childhood. They had initially been asked to bring their works to be selected and refined the year previous, with the most talented receiving one on one training from top artist in a suitable artistic field.

The results of this training were astounding. In Childhood vs Childhood, Liu Ming-chieh contrasted the childhood of his grandma with his own, for example cutting between footage of his younger brother innocently playing with a paper airplane, and that of fighter jets during the Japanese colonial period, which represented how airplanes were perceived in his grandmother’s memory. Li Pei-tzu created a formidable animation video which explored her winter melon producing ‘Squash Family’- ‘squashes’ in Taiwanese can refer to short, fat people. To research these ‘family stories’ the kids had to engage their elders with questions of their youth - inheriting and developing their memories. This is a lesson that could help all youths communicate better with their elders. Finally, Yang Hsin-he visually expresses her inner struggles of a life and memory fractured between her early years in Kaohsiung and more recently in Yilan. The young artists were enthralled by the opportunity at such a young age to display their works in Taiwan’s most prestigious art museum.

 

See Min-chieh’s Childhood vs Childhood, Pei-tzu’s Squash Family or Hsin-he's Homesick

Images by Liu Lu-chen


Monday, 27 October 2008 21:31

Exhibition of Art and Chinese Culture in San Jose

Last summer, Costa Rica was delighted to host a small sample of Chinese art during the first exhibition of Art and Chinese Culture organized by the Kung Tse Oriental Institute, a Chinese-Mandarin Language center in San Jose. This was the first time that such an event was organized in Costa-Rica, with various activities such as Dances of the Lion, kung-fu, Jasmine Song and Chinese tea ceremony. The purpose of this exhibition was to raise funds for an Integral Center of Health for children with cerebral paralysis, and it received a great response, especially from the curious and enthusiasts of the Chinese culture.

One of the main attractions of this event was to present collaborations between artists in various artistic fields, such as ceramics, painting, handwriting and music. As a musician, I was responsible for creating the sound environment of the exhibition. My focus was to present an authentic ancient blend of Chinese instruments and Electroacoustic music, and for that purpose I contacted several musicians. These collaborations are part of my project “Proyecto Sonorum” (http://www.proyectosonorum.org/), which is meant to break cultural barriers using technology art as the medium.

This was not the first time I worked with other musicians. While I was in Taiwan, I had already recorded music with Chinese instruments and performed in different venues. I can recall the great experience of recording in studio with the great pipa player Luo Chao-Yun (http://www.myspace.com/pipawoman) and the talented Janelle Chang (http://www.myspace.com/janelleyichen), a musician who plays a traditional Uygur instrument called the Satar. I had also performed live with Chinese instruments along with Chao-Ming Tung (http://chaomingtung.info/) and the music students from National Chiao Tung University’s Music Institute where I was studying computer music.

For this sound installation at Kung Tse Institute, I contacted other composers from Latin America. Otto Castro (http://www.ottocastro.com) from the Oscilador group (Electroacoustic Music Project of Costa Rica, http://www.oscilador.org/) contributed with his piece “Arquetipos Marinos”, a composition based on pentatonic scales that are very common in Chinese music. Two other musicians from Costa Rica were involved: Hazel Rodriguez (http://www.myspace.com/haditaprogresivamusic) and Roberto Mata, both involved in the local experimental music and progressive Rock scene. Hazel proposed a piece called “Under the rain”, in which she tried to recreate a Chinese landscape by using her synthetizer. Roberto Mata, who is a guitar player and a composer, offered a piece called “Hola”, which is a meditation of this word, the Spanish for “Hello”. Another artist involved in the installation was Fabian Torres (http://www.faoto.net/) from Colombia, a musician who tends to mix Latin-American and Asian music styles in his compositions. An example of this would be his mixture of Columbian Cumbia with Indonesian Gamelan instruments.

Aside from these Latin American musicians, two very special guests took part in the project: Chi-Hui Liang (http://www.chihuiliang.com) and pipa player Chao-Yung Luo. Liang, a film music composer, gave us a permission to play some of the tracks from her CD “Vita Eterna”, which is a very special mixture of Chinese instruments and Western rhythms.

The organizers of the Exhibition were delighted with the results of the sound installation, and visitors provided a lot of positive feedback. We achieved to create a sound environment transporting the visitors into contemporary and ancient China. As a result, we decided to work on new projects involving Proyecto Sonorum and the Kung Tse Institute, one example being a multimedia concert for June 2009. We will keep you informed about these.

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