Cerise Phiv (張俐紫)

Cerise Phiv (張俐紫)

Former Managing Editor of eRenlai.com

前e人籟執行主編

Tweets @cerisefive

Tuesday, 27 September 2011 11:37

Sleeping people in Shanghai

Adrien Roger is a young French photographer living in Shanghai. He is featured this month on the virtual art gallery: Ipagine.com. He comments and explains his series entitled "sleeping people in Shanghai"  (Watch it here.)

"I was born in the suburb of Paris, and I live now in Shanghai. I always liked cameras but I realized rather late that it could not be a job. I started working in a studio specialized in fashion, and, at the same time, I did some traveling, mainly in Africa.

Thursday, 18 August 2011 00:00

Coffee and Photographs

Black Man Ray is an independent photography gallery, community and online publishing house based in Bandung, Indonesia. The gallery is run by Budi Sukmana, Dicky Jiang and Eric Setiawan who introduces below the concept and the genesis of this original project.

 

The idea for this gallery was conceived in January 2011 in Bandung, Indonesia. At that time Budi Sukmana and his family were about to open a small coffee shop and he offered some of the walls as a photography gallery. I immediately said yes and the idea started to grow from there.

Our initial aim was simply to enjoy photographs in print (because we all have spent too much time looking into monitors) in a more casual, relaxed, and friendly atmosphere with friends. But then, we also wanted to become a melting pot for photographers, where they could meet, talk, and share ideas and inspiration, a hub for young, emerging and underexposed artists who wanted to showcase their work and grow together with us.

At first, our biggest influence was Dr.Karanka's Prints Stravaganza. We thought that his concept suited our vision well. I started to contact many of my friends all over the world asking them to send some of their prints. The response was surprisingly positive and many started shipping their prints.

The concept of the gallery changed shortly before our first exhibition into a monthly photography exhibition by a single photographer who showcased their latest series/photo essay or their best personal work.

Small but sure steps

We are still small and young but I have to admit that our first exhibition caught many people's attention in Indonesia and abroad. Our first exhibition was dedicated to the people of Japan after the tsunami (March 2011). Also, the photographer Yamasaki Ko-ji is quite famous and respected in the photoblogging world. And he sold his prints for the first time ever for charity. The combination of all that gave us the boost we needed for our next journey.

After several months, I got the feeling that many people and artists had started to see our gallery as an alternative way to showcase their work. Therefore many send us now their less-famous, but more personal, work --- it is totally unexpected but we totally love the idea.

We are looking for photographers whose works we love and admire. It's that simple. If we love what we see (usually through the internet), we will try to contact him/her. Some of the early photographers exposed by us were actually our virtual friends we have met years ago.

Our main challenge now is to manage well our time in order to be able to run and to expand the activities of this gallery while we still have to work during the day and take care of our families, we are all fathers of young children. So far we are an independent gallery and we are self-funded. Our next challenge is to find more funding without changing our spirit.


From August 10th to September 11th, 2011, Black Man Ray presents a solo exhibition by Hubert Kilian.

Visit the gallery's website and tumblr.

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Photo courtesy of Eric Setiawan

 

Tuesday, 16 August 2011 16:11

Our youngest volunteer

On July 12th, 2011, Joshua Carroll, 12 years old, spent one day at the Taipei Ricci Institute to fulfill part of his community service for his boarding school in Australia. He shares with us his impressions of Taipei and his experience as a young volunteer:

Friday, 08 July 2011 17:07

Ka Dao Yin: The Flowing Improvisation

Pronounced "Ka-Dao-Yin"(卡到音), the group's Chinese name represents the sound characters of "to be caught up in", which indicates that the co-existed danger and unexpected threat-turned-excitement is lurking throughout the whole music making process when it's exclusively improvised. With Shih-Yang Lee on piano, Chih-Po Yang on Sheng, Jun-De Liu on Guzheng, and Klaus Bru on Saxophones, the avant-garde sound experiment is tinged by the delicate charm of oriental ethnic, formulated with the western classical music's deliberation, and geared towards radical jazz-rock like motion, and intentionally, together all these elements are manipulated by these four Cats to urge a fused new style of music derive that is challenging to define.

Lee Shih-Yang - Piano
Klaus Bru - C Melody Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Liu Chun-De - Guzheng
Yang Chih-Po - Sheng

Ka Dao Yin's website


Ka Dao Yin participates in the in the 2011 Renlai World Music Compilation, they'll perform in Taipei on July 9th, more info here.

Watch the band perform at the Zhongshan Hall in Taipei (2009)

Thursday, 30 June 2011 16:37

A Flâneur's peek at Shanghai

The term flâneur comes from the french verb flâner, which ever since Baudelaire appropriated the word and gave it the extended meaning as a way of truly experiencing, appreciating the city as one walks. Indeed when we have a bit of time to explore the world we are all flâneurs, and not least of all the eRenlai team are certainly flâneurs without frontiers. But rather than Baudelairean strolls through Paris, the old eRenlai team and their sister organization AZ Cultural Enterprise spent much time over the last two years going back and forth to Shanghai. Their adventures, however, were more than just aimless strolls latching on to pretty thoughts; the team came back to Taipei having completed not one but three outstanding documentaries on Shanghai which are excusively offered to you in this Focus - A Flâneur's peek at Shanghai.

Liang Zhun first takes us on a stroll down Lane 1025, Nicolas Priniotakis looks for the rarest pearls of Chinese ethnic music and instruments in Seaside Seranade and Benoit manages to get a way from the hustle and bustle of central Shanghai and finds the ultimate spot for peaceful contemplation in Suzhou’s gardens.

Ida also feels the nostalgia of a 21st Century flâneuse, in a state of liminality between her years of studying and appreciating the language, arts and glory of France and the French, and a return to the lost Mainlander heritage in Shanghai, where paradoxically, the glory of the France is reduced to magnificent leftover architecture in the French concession. She was moved, but confused in the melting pot of people and architectures that is contemporary Shanghai. Similarly, Mei Fang-tsai had many identity questions to face during her time living in Shanghai as a so called "Tai-ba-zi".  Even Paul was left with identity questions during the 2010 World Expo-lent Australian adventure as he observed his country's pavillion as a semi outsider, looking at people, looking at Australia, the way Australia wanted them to look...

Photo by Ida Yang

Wednesday, 29 June 2011 17:04

因為殘酷,所以真實 --- 法國戲劇理論家亞陶

法國戲劇理論家亞陶,被譽為二十世紀劇場史的分水嶺,他所提出的殘酷劇反叛傳統理性、摧毀日常語言,並訴諸感官與直覺,以揭露生命的本質。而他自己的人生也正像一幕幕殘酷劇,上演著無止盡的詛咒與糾纏。

Friday, 24 June 2011 11:04

Sombreros, Sandals and Smiles

A Summer of music with Renlai

Accompanying the release of Renlai's World Music CD compilation, we bring you a summer of live music in Taipei, holding three concerts on July 9th, August 19th and September 16th. Each concert brings you authentic flavours and fusions from around the World, and all completely FREE GRATIS!! So bring your sombreros, sandals and a smile as you dance with us to the rhythm of Renlai.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011 16:45

Artaud in acts

This article is part of the special issue of Renlai#84 dedicated to theatre in Taiwan. Also watch an interview of director Zheng Zhizong.

Act I: The challenge Artaud

On the 6th of April 1933, Antonin Artaud (1896 -1948) gave a lecture at the University of La Sorbonne. This lecture, entitled “Le Theatre et la Peste”, would become an important chapter of his main essay on theater theory (Le Theatre et son Double) and was a total experience for the audience, the majority of whom left before the end, laughing and booing Artaud. He had started his speech in an academic way, explaining first to his audience that many masterpieces of art and marvelous plays emerged during the Great Plague in Europe; men whipped by the fear of death would search for immortality and surpass themselves with desperate creativity and quest for the sublime. The writer Anaïs Nin who attended the lecture described it in her diary:

“But then, imperceptibly almost, he let go of the thread we were following and began to act out dying by plague. No one quite knew when it began. To illustrate his conference, he was acting out an agony. "La Peste" in French is so much more terrible than "The Plague" in English. But no word could describe what Artaud acted on the platform of the Sorbonne... His face was contorted with anguish; one could see the perspiration dampening his hair. His eyes dilated, his muscles became cramped, his fingers struggled to retain their flexibility. He made one feel the parched and burning throat, the pains, the fever, the fire in the guts. He was in agony. He was screaming. He was delirious. He was enacting his own death, his own crucifiction.” (Anaïs Nin, The Diary, 1931-1934, New York, 1966)

Later on, Artaud explained to Nin that he wanted to awaken his audience, he wanted to make them understand that they were already dead, that the agony he was acting was not only his but that of every living person. In 1933, in front of an audience of scholars, students, curious intellectuals, Artaud came up against their misunderstanding of his meaning, his art and his very own self. In fact, although he was not ignored and unknown at this time, his fame and influence seem to have really developed after his death and he became unavoidable in the theatrical experiences of the sixties in France and in Europe in general. When the English theater director Peter Brook created his experimental theater company in 1964 outside the Royal Shakespeare Company, he devoted it to the Theater of Cruelty, insisting himself on recalling that “they were all the children of Artaud”.

So, where are the children of Artaud now? And what are they up to? To introduce Artaud, to read his work, to listen to his voice seem more relevant than ever in the context of the time being when art is fully marketed and omnipresent on TV, on the Internet and in the streets. Something similar is also at stake in the importance of theater per se. Some think that cinema can replace theater or that theater is too elitist and too intellectual. But real theater, “pure theater” as Artaud would say, is nothing but life; on stage, a gesture can never be repeated the same because it is live and because of that special link with the spectator who experiences the action simultaneously. Theater, like dance is part of the most primitive and intuitive living arts and this is precisely what Artaud advocated in the radicalism and extremism that characterized his life and his work.

Antonin Artaud bequeathed a prolific written work composed of poems, essays, letters and a play but also drawings, paintings and recordings.  Artaud might not seem easy to read or to approach and he can even be strongly disturbing. But this is also precisely why we should want to know about him, why we should reach towards his work, because he challenges our certainties and our subjective markers, he puts us in contact with the “danger zone”.

Act II: Life and death, beauty and pain

02-Antonin-Artaud-1926-First of all, the story of his life was at the same time tragic and dazzling with pain. Born in 1896 in Marseille, he died from cancer in 1948 in Paris at the age of 51 years old. He spent almost 9 years of his life in several asylums from which he was released in 1946. In the last asylum, he received 58 sessions of electroshock treatment which made him lose all his teeth; at his exit from the hospital, he looked like an old man. If one compares two photos of him from his prime youth and from his last years, the contrast is even more striking between the beauty of the young actor who could embody the lover in romantic movies and the wizened man with the wrinkled forehead, the twisted hands and the toothless mouth… It is notorious that Artaud had several mental problems even since his childhood; he also abused drugs either in order to “cure” himself (ease his pain) or to experiment with shamanic journeys. Artaud always had an ambiguous relation to his own “state” as he would both claim to be conscious of the potential given to him by his “mental illness” while he was also always protesting against the treatments he received at the asylums.

So, the young Artaud who came to Paris in 1920 wanted to be a poet at first. He also knew how to draw and about critiquing art. He was outstandingly handsome and also wished to become an actor. He published his first collection of poems in 1923. At the same time, he joined different theater companies and acted in several movies, one of which was Carl Theodor Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc. He also wrote the scenario for the first Surrealist film, The Seashell and the Clergyman, directed by Germaine Dulac.

Meanwhile, Artaud was excluded from the Surrealist group in 1926 after publishing his first manifesto on theater which gave the premises of his theater theories.  He affirmed then that theater must be a dangerous act from which neither actors nor spectators should come back intact. Together with two other French writers, he created the Theatre Alfred-Jarry which marked the first important step in Artaud’s career and development on stage.  He continued writing several essays on theater and in 1932, he published his first manifesto on Theater of Cruelty which targeted “the magic sources of a sacred theater, the theater of a poetic, musical and plastic use of space…”

In 1938, his collection of texts on theater was published: The Theatre and Its Double (Le Théâtre et son Double).

Artaud travelled, he discovered Mexico in 1936 where he spent one month in the Sierra with the Tarahamura Indians and was initiated to their shamanic rites.  In 1937, as he returned from a stormy trip to Ireland where he got jailed for vagrancy, he was committed without consultation in a psychiatric institution near Rouen. He then spent 9 years in 4 different asylums.  He was finally released in 1946 and warmly welcomed by his friends in Paris who organized sales by auction for his profit. Artaud wrote and published numerous texts, he participated in projects such as radio shows and gave his last lectures in the theater of le Vieux Colombier in Paris where, once again, he puzzled his audience by telling in his unique style the story of his life in the asylums and his struggle with evil forces…  A writer present that day would later comment that “when he appeared on the stage […], when he started to declaim with his hoarse voice, interrupted by tragic sobs and stutters, his poems barely audible – we felt dragged in the danger zone…” (Justin Saget (aka Maurice Saillet), Combat, 24 January 1947).

Act III: Cruelty

artaud_vieuxThus, Artaud’s name is often associated to violence, scandal and all sorts of clashes with his peers, as for example his violent polemics with the surrealists, or his provocative statements such as “All writing is pigshit” and “I write for the illiterate”. Artaud seems to question the completeness and the finishing of artwork, he explores all forms of writings and prefers the ones similar to the burst of the speech, a speech then similar to a cry, which converges to create the dissonance necessary to the act of cruelty. In 1947, he recorded for the French radio a show entitled “To Have Done with the Judgement of God” (Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu) which was censored before its first broadcast: even without understanding French, one can already feel the organic explosion of Artaud’s voice. This is more than a scansion, this is also an eruption of cries, screams and all sort of noises that the body can produce, one is not even sure anymore if it is Artaud uttering this voice or this voice filling up Artaud.

So the theater of cruelty could be first of all about surpassing the anatomic limits of the body, create on stage a “hiatus”, a new human body which would not be anymore only the vessel of language but a language itself. Indeed, Artaud reproaches to the traditional theater of his time its imprisonment in a fossilized language which becomes then only an empty form of a meaningless representation. When Artaud sees some Balinese theater in 1931, he receives a real aesthetic shock, for him, the Balinese theater represents the purest expression of a physical language: “In this theater all creation comes from the stage, finds its expression and its origins alike in a secret psychic impulse which is Speech before words” (The Theatre and Its Double). Then, Artaud formulates his project of an art, a poetry and a theory of theater that would shatter the false reality by expressing on stage the mystery and the sacredness of existence. “The theater of cruelty is not a representation. It is life itself, in the extent to which life is unrepresentable. Life is the nonrepresentable origin of representation. ‘I have therefore said “cruelty” as I might have said “life”’ (The Theater and Its Double).

Artaud finds the essence of life and the expression of the living in the transgression, the experimentation and somehow also the destruction of life itself. Artaud conjugates at the same time beauty and ugliness, madness and genius. In fact, he is dually a disturbed and a disturbing writer; in the first place because of his own madness which was never clearly diagnosed by his psychiatrists, in the second place because despite the destabilizing form of his thinking, we can still relate to his work and his views; would it be possible that no artist, poet, performer or director could find a resonance or a call in his provocative ideas? Without exaggeration, one could say that Artaud has set a milestone in the theories of theater and its performance; whether we like it or not, whether we know it or not, we are all Artaud’s children.

Article also available in Chinese


“To Have Done with the Judgement of God” (Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu) is available at the Pacifica Radio Archives

 

 

 

Wednesday, 22 June 2011 13:38

A Journey in Music: Contemporary World Music in Taiwan

Dear friends,

We are very proud to finally present you with a CD that can be seen as a milestone in the production of world music in Taiwan. This collection of 12 songs is a wonderful, euphonic sample of the creativity and hard work of the bands and musicians who stepped forward to be a part of the project. We congratulate and give great thanks to all the gifted participating musicians.

Tuesday, 03 May 2011 19:19

An Architectural Dream

Recently I have had many architectural dreams, I remember two of them in particular: one was taking place in a European city, probably Paris or London, I could easily recognize the white stone buildings 6 or 7 stories tall, representative of the Haussmann style. But only because I was dreaming, they were also displaying new decorative items: attached to their sides were the flying saucers that you can ride in amusement parks. I could hear the passengers’ shouts fade in and out as they were whirling fast in the air.

My second dream featured a village in the south of Taiwan. I remember having wondered why I hadn’t known that place before. Actually I was amazed by the architectural style of the village houses: they were combining the white “pierre de taille”, proper to the buildings developed in France in the 17th century, and the grey slate used in traditional Bunun villages in Southern Taiwan. This unexpected mixture created a pleasant impression of a quirky elegance.

In fact, I have noticed that the houses, apartments or buildings that appear in my dreams are mostly of European style, sometimes of colonial style too. Although I have been living in Taipei for more than five years now, I rarely dream of its architectural landmarks; even if the action takes place in some place on the island, its frame is more likely to be a Parisian flat or a western interior.

In 6 years in Taipei, I have lived in three flats and one house. It is frequent indeed to move in and out here because it is not easy to find a place where to feel “at home”. New buildings are not necessarily pleasant to the eye and, most of the time they are massive and aggressive. Old apartments have the charm of being queerly-shaped but they can feel unsteady and, on top of not being environmental friendly, they rarely conform to the basic rules of safety.

Maybe the place where we live, where we sleep, eat, work and play, does not only define the frame and the boundaries of our living space, but concurs to shape our being and our mental structure. And vice versa. So let’s just imagine that the chassis of my brain is built on the model of the flats in which I have spent most of my childhood life, my brain would be a Parisian bourgeois apartment with a creaking wooden floor and a moquette ocre. The stairwell, too tight to install an elevator, would smell like wax wood. In fact, the whole building just reminds me of an old lady, a little bit patched up, but dignified and full of memories. Then what kind of place would my brain imagine for me to live in Taipei? I dream of a place that would shelter me from the tropical weather without losing my intimacy with nature, an affordable place with a history that goes beyond the shady speculations in the housing development.

Photo: C.P.

Thursday, 28 April 2011 11:58

留法專訪:以人類學經驗法國

文化人吳坤墉先生以自身社會系背景觀察自己留學法國的經驗。除了對有志留學法國的朋友提出實際建議外,吳坤傭先生對兩方教育觀念及做法上的不同,也提出相當深刻的見解,值得深入思考。
 
Friday, 25 February 2011 11:58

變奏之春

如同著名法國詩人馬拉美在《回春》一詩裡強調的,春天象徵矛盾與錯亂;更重要的是,這是個充滿變動的季節。的確,春天跟秋天一樣意味著轉換,宣告平穩寧靜的寒冬就此暫別。此外,春天還標示了大自然的甦醒:隨著別在鈕扣眼裡的花朵紛紛綻放,我們目睹樹葉重新回到樹上,動物從冬眠中悠悠醒轉——不論是處於生物性休眠的熊或土撥鼠,抑或是在冬夜暖爐邊感到昏昏欲睡的人類。冬天是反省和自我評估的時分,春天則代表創造和更新,而我們也在此時播下即將結果的種子。

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