Experiencing the Trap: Exploring Cultural and Creative Spaces In Southern Taiwan (part ii)

14-15 December 2019

 

A Two-Day Field Trip to Kaohsiung & Pingtung (part ii)

 

Journey to Pingtung

For the night of the first day the group slept at the Evergreen Lily Elementary School just 5 minutes away from where the expected second day’s adventure was to start. That night an unintended cultural immersion and exploration occurred between students. Through music, dance, and language exchange students socialized, building upon newly developed friendships. It was for most a fun and immersive experience and an opportunity to understand each other’s cultural identities better. Perhaps one of the most unique dimensions of the programme is this sharing opportunity that was realized to an even deeper extent during the two day trip.

photos by Xiomara González Sotelo

 

Day 2 Exploring Indigenous Pingtung

On the second day of the two day southern culture exploration students had a brief opportunity to explore and experience the landscape of Pingtung. As they took the short trek from the Elementary school they slept to the site of the day’s first lesson. For this part of the trip professor Manray Hsu for the class, “Critical Thinking and Creative Communication”, who had a family emergency on the first day joined the group.

The first stop on the day’s adventure was at the Etan Pavavalong Studio (artist website). Met by a purely artsy environment with sculptures, multi-colored tiled concrete buildings and open spaces, the students set up and had breakfast.  As the group ate a brief history of the area and it’s creative industry was explained. The 10 year old development housed 3 tribes who had been displaced after the 2009 landslide. Pavavalong Studio’s art space was one for artists to exhibit their historical identities pre and post relocation.

Being exhibited was pieces developed by four artists in residency organised by Etan Studio. These artists spent a few weeks working and researching, in and with the tribes around the area. Using mixed methods of demonstration the community’s message was portrayed from community participant drawings to interviews and videos. The shift from ancestral territory to the new development was the persistent depiction. The reconstruction that took place though it sought to embody their Cultural identities, was still unable to be the lost home. In some ways it too related to the trap concept that was depicted at the festival visited the day before in Kaohsiung. The trap of change caused by nature.

For his part of the informal lecture professor Manray opened up the discussion with anecdotal stories of his life in the art world, using his experience as a measuring point from which to contrast what happened in the indigenous village. He spoke about their history and how the Taiwanese government has worked to restore the lives of the displaced tribes trying to make their new homes and villages as close to their cultural identities as possible.

Several of the students from the class expressed interest in the residency opportunity that exists at the Etan Pavavalong Studio. The curator shared that applications would be opened at the start of next year and encouraged international students to apply.

 

Taiwan Indigenous Culture Park – Adan’s Humorous Exhibition

The cultural journey continued at the Taiwan Indigenous Culture Park. There the latest exhibition “Humourous Train of Thought the Stories of Adan’s Sculpture Art” 幽默思路 – 阿旦的雕塑故事 (exhibition website) was the focus of the stop. Adan an indigenous sculptor and mastermind behind the exhibition was present to help us along the guided tour of his works. His pieces, a combination of wood and metal depicted memories from his life, childhood to present. The pieces that were exhibited each drew inspiration from humorous moments in the artist’s life or portrayed something humorous.

 

photos by Melody Wagner & Nut Thachaporn Supparatanapinyo

 

 

During the tour, led by his wife the stories that shaped each piece was shared. Adan, a man of few words was mostly in the background during the exhibition tour, at the end of which the group was given the opportunity to field questions about the work to the artist and his contingent (wife and family friend). The exhibition depicted the ideas of poverty, sexuality, technology, love, betrayal, family and nature. Presenting various aspects of the indigenous community through his life experiences. During the discussion questions about his artistic process, inspiration, technique and opinion on indigeneity were raised and answered.

Lunch was shared at the Indigenous park. A colourful and flavor filled buffet platter featuring an assortment of indigenous foods. The immersion and experience continued through food and fellowship.

 

 

Witnessing the Closing Ritual of the Paiwan Maleveq Festival

 Entirely by chance, the Professor learnt of the Maleveq festival, celebrated once every 5 years in the Paiwan indigenous group. So the next stop on the culture tour was the “七佳部落 – Qī jiā bùluò”. Meaning 7 Best Tribes village to witness the closing ritual of the Maleveq festival.  Maleveq translates to 5-year worship and has to do with their spiritual belief and worship of ancestors. It seeks to celebrate the alliance shared between God, Spirit and man. So the 5 day long festival invites, hosts, and sends off the ancestral spirits and the ritual we witnessed is referred to as the highlight of the festival.

 

photos by Xiomara González Sotelo & Emmy Warangtip Singhakarn

 

 

Upon arriving at the Qī jiā bùluò Village, the elementary school athletic field was already set up with doughnut shaped wooden scaffold about 4 feet high which had several 30 meter large bamboo poles leaning against it’s inside. On the sidelines were several villagers waiting for the main event to begin. From further inquiry into what was going to take place we learnt that that day was the last of the 5-day indigenous ritual. They were waiting for the witches to come back from the mountains with the ancestral spirits that they had gone to call upon. We watched the procession of around 20 warriors and their wives all dressed in traditional attire. Each having different patterns which represented their family’s pattern. They made their way onto the field and eventually ascended the scaffold taking their official positions for that part of the ritual to begin.  As each warrior took position they first sat, removed their head pieces, which was symbolic of their family’s role in the tribe embellished with feathers, animal fur, shells and other designs. After removing the head pieces they would tie a strip of cloth which was initially tied around their waist around their forehead. After each man had done this, the officiator began speaking to them and chanting.

The main activity entailed spearing “Bliss balls” made from rattan or tree bark that were thrown into the air, with the 30-meter long spares. A total of 12 balls had to be caught for this segment of the ritual to conclude. Thereafter the warriors had to come down from the scaffold, cut a piece of bamboo and race to the Chief’s house. The first to arrive was considered a hero. The clan’s warriors that were successful in spearing “Bliss balls” signified that they would be blessed during the next 5-year period.

Being present for the ritual was for many the highlight of the entire experience as 1st year IMCCI student Andrea Sandoval from Guatemala shared:

“I found the ritual Maleveq interesting because an activity like this would be very difficult for us to find on our own.”

It was a special form of cultural immersion that gave us first hand experience with the tribe’s tradition and culture.

 

 

Exploring Linhousilin Forest Park

The final stop on the journey was at the Linhousilin Forest Park in Chaojhou, Pingtung. The 1,005 Hectare large forest reserve park, is the site of 1 of 3 Green Forestation projects. As accompanying professor, I-Wen shared with students as we made our way through the park visiting the iconic art pieces that were displayed, the area of the country, being neighbour to industrialized Kaohsiung has been subject to air pollution and other negative effects of industry. The park constructs an ecosystem that features key aspects of environmental education. Through this the park envisions harmonious interaction between man and nature. Through its landscape which features a combination of water streams, contemporary art pieces mostly made from nature based materials and that works to embrace the natural environment that it shares, the park is able to serve as a land art festival exhibition.

Beyond the landscape the park reserve seeks to educate on the indigenous communities’ culture and history. One of the displays had images and explanations of the indigenous rituals including the one witnessed earlier in the day. Alongside the descriptions it also shares the future vision of the development. Which would include wildlife habitats, development of local culture and creative industries and creation of more carbon-storing resources and green networks. The relatively young project could serve as a source of inspiration for what can be done in actively to address issues of pollution using the creative industry.

The trip was many things to each participant, educational, inspiring, adventure filled, eye opening, immersive and overall fun. It gave students a unique experience and snapshot of the Southern Taiwan Cultural and Creative Industry from contemporary art to traditional expressions. It explored topics, concepts and stories shared throughout the semester in the “Critical Thinking and Creative Consumption course”. It also built upon foundations laid out in other courses in the program. Beyond that, it provided an opportunity for students in the program to experience and understand further the diverse cultural backgrounds that they all have while also developing their understanding of Taiwan’s diverse and unique Culture and Creative Industry. While it was a short trip most agreed that it was enjoyable. Elliot Cheung Hongkong Canadian 1st year IMCCI student shares:

“I enjoyed that the trip gave us an overview of the prominent art scene in the south of Taiwan. Some of my highlights include the performance as well as the traditional ritual. While we might have benefitted from an extra day just to have more breathing room and better organization, overall I was satisfied and happy that we could all build better camaraderie.”

Beyond the educational value of the experience, lifetime memories were made during the 2-day adventure. Many captured in photos, that have with the benefit of technology reached audiences from across the globe.

For most of the juniors in the program, it was the first time visiting this part of Taiwan, the short trip certainly sparked interest in a second visit to further explore and experience southern Taiwan. Whereas for most seniors, it was an opportunity to develop on the previous semester’s visit and explore further the south’s artistic history and character. The change in weather found in the south was perhaps the most welcomed feature of the trip for all.

– written by Melody Wagner

Experiencing the Trap: Exploring Cultural and Creative Spaces In Southern Taiwan (part i)

14-15 December 2019

 A Two-Day Field Trip to Kaohsiung & Pingtung (part i)

 

Under a really nice and warm weather, first- and second-year students from IMCCI program enjoyed their last trip of the semester during a visit to different cultural places in the south of Taiwan: Kaohsiung and Pingtung. The two-days excursion on the 14th and 15th of December was an extracurricular activity of the “Critical Thinking and Creative Communication” class taught by professor Manray-Hsu and designed to develop a more critical criterion when it comes to analyzing immersive pieces of artworks as well as contemporary issues compatible to the industrialized and modernized life we are experiencing.

Compared to other trips that have also been part of some courses among the syllabus’s program, the latter was more relaxed and enjoyable. There was a jam-packed agenda to follow, but it was not fulfilled with such rigidity, consequently the flexibility in the schedule allowed students to have their own time to appreciate the exhibitions, artworks and walks that were also part of the adventure.

For this occasion, the journey started before lunch time with a visit to the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts (www.kmfa.gov.tw/) KMFA –the third public arts museum in Taiwan, after the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum–, to originally explore an exhibition called Tattoo, worked in collaboration with The musée du quai Branly, in Paris. Through a display of photography and historical records, students could get to know about the origins of tattooing and how this practice that belongs to the common heritage of most of humanity has persisted for many centuries. For a variety of countries in Asia, Europe, America, and Oceania, this artistic practice means an indelible legacy with a rich technical and significant social history, which has been thoroughly studied and represented in different cultural dimensions. Religious, commercial, political, and even magic or eccentrical purposes have been behind its functional performance giving such vast inspiration to their practitioners.

photos by Larissa Soto

 

 

Larissa Soto, a second-year student of IMCCI who defines herself as a tattoo lover, found this exhibition very fascinating.

“As a tattoo lover and having some myself already, I got very excited about the tattoo exhibition because it gave me another perspective of this form of expression. I got the chance to know how it began in several countries around the world and how its perception has changed according to culture, religion, and other social issues. In my country tattoos are still seen as something not so good: even my parents do not like them, but I think this is a form of expression that can be performed in many ways; one of them, to tell your own personal story as indigenous tribes do. And also, it can be considered as an aesthetic method of body decoration. I can conclude that this exhibition not only reaffirmed in myself the reason why I decided to tattoo my body, but maybe will also open other people’s minds and change the wrong image they have of them.”

Thachaporn Supparatanapinyo, one of the freshman students, got impressed by the fact of knowing more about how her homeland, Thailand, is perceived from foreigners in international tattoo exhibitions.

“Everything seemed to be so informative, but so stereotypical at the same time, especially if you know the backgrounds of each country; in my case, I know about mine”,

was her feedback about the exhibition.

The students, along with Professor I-Wen Chang, managed the time to get engaged with other two immersive exhibitions such as Constructing historical pluralism from the KMFA collection South as a Place of Gathering and Yung Hsu Hsu: A World Made Light, that features the imaginative vision of this internationally recognized Taiwanese artist whose work plays with the texture of ceramic materials, using them to make large-scale sculptures that transcend the levels of thinness, clarity, and solidity. Through his artwork, the artist leads the viewer into a space where time and distance seem to be dissolved. During their exploration, some of the students took advantage of this attractive illusion to take pictures with an impressive and kind of spotless background making also of this exhibition “Instagrammable” content.

Constructing historical pluralism from the KMFA collection South as a Place of Gathering, on the other hand, provided a historic reference to understand the context in which expressionism as well as impressionism were introduced as subjective art perspectives in modern painting, drawing connections among the artists who consciously reviewed the presence of Japan’s colonial rule in 1950s. This permanent special exhibition launched on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of KMFA provides a very wide space to appreciate the paintings of artists such as Chang Chi-Hua, Liu Chi-Hsiang, Chuang Shih-Ho, and many other interested in presenting a visual memory of a territory that in the past was considered an exotic landscape, with a unique natural environment, but also a place where gatherings and multiple encounters were possible. For IMCCI students, this exhibition was a chance to revise the concept of “the South”, which is a term that not only refers to a geographical location, but examines the diverse facets of heterogeneous cultures.

 

photos by Xiomara González Sotelo

 

 

Trap – 2019 Kaohsiung International Container Arts Festival (link)

After having a picnic and resting for a while outside KMFA, students followed professor I-Wen to take a tour and see the containers installed in the vicinity of the museum. KMFA has chosen this year the hypothetical theme of “Trap” as an attempt to raise a big question about modern life and its –sometimes ignored– cultural and socio-political implications. According to the statement of the 2019 exhibition, another of the reasons to focus on the idea of “the trap” was to deepen observers’ understanding about Austronesian cultures.

The famous Taiwanese artist Sakuliu Pavavalung was invited to be part of the team that curated the art pieces. He along with other prominent artists designed a comfortable and soothing space called Place waiting for you, where visitors can access information of the performances and activities in the Festival.

Students were well-prepared to explore the variety of artworks, as the idea of “trap” had been discussed in the classroom previously. Professor Hsu, who is always plunging his students into deep reflections, suggested in advance to read a chapter of a book titled Spiderweb Anthropologies, written by Alberto Corsín Jiménez, in which we came to find out the different forms of traps (trap studied as a method of modern social theory), along with their spatial, temporal, and ontological effects. This reading helped students to have a better understating of the topics presented by the collaborators and also make thought-provoking comments on their proposals. An educational goal was achieved through this exhibition by seeing realistic several artworks that provided the viewers visual, emotional, and intellectual stimulation.

 

photos by Xiomara González Sotelo

 

 

A dozen shipping containers, a reminder of the prosperity Kaohsiung Port once had, are used by the artists as the main element in their work for this international Festival, held for the very first time in 2001. Global affairs, human rights, capitalism, mass consumption, climate change and the Anthropocene, indigeneity and tribal issues, traditional and contemporary matters, and collective memory were some of the topics that artists chose to instigate an immersive experience. In the words of Andrea Sandoval, “the exhibition was entertaining”, even though she was expecting to see more containers. “The huge objects highlight Kaohsiung’s charm as a port area”.

Rodrigo Lopez Santos, who described himself as a “notorious pervert” and who was more specific about the artworks that especially grasped his attention, defined one of them, Honey trap, by saying that “the pink container encased in a candy wrapper is a perfect analogy for a well disguised trap, which is the one reason why one should never take candy from a stranger on a van.”

Apart from his appreciation, other students also showed a great interest in the analysis of the meanings and connotations involved in the rest of the containers. Students were gripped by some of the contemporary topics addressed by the artworks. A case in point was Wave sounds and voices. It pointed out difficult realities, such as illegal immigration and government persecution. “Trap” as a never-ending topic carries a diversity of ephemeral contexts. It depends on us to make a pause and reflect deeply on these situations.

photos by Larissa Soto

 

 

Sightseeing and dance performance

As a perfect spot to witness the sunset, the port of Kaohsiung was waiting for students to enjoy their last walk of the day. They got the chance to explore by their own the stalls around the port and get some food and drinks for their dinner. Students did not hesitate to take their phones and cameras to make memories of a pleasant afternoon that also brought them to the warehouses that were abandoned in the past, but now constitute an attractive spot for tourists since the inauguration of the Pier-2 Art Center.

To finish the day, and before spending the night at the Evergreen Lily Elementary School, whose edification was a positive consequence of Typhoon Morakot in August of 2009, students attended a dance performance called “A-HU 陷阱” (link ; link), held in the same installations of KMFA. The performance, included among the cultural initiatives promoted by the Indigenous Peoples Cultural Development Center, showcased the historical background of Taiwan as a territory conquered by the Japanese and Chinese, but at the same time featured the strong presence of the aboriginal ancestral legacy in their communities. With a clear narrative, A-HU also featured the internal conflicts that left some marks in Taiwanese identity.

photos by Melody Wagner

 

– written by Xiomara González Sotelo

居住正義 – 華光 & 紹興社區

01 December 2019

 

華光及紹興社區皆為台北市區內因國家政府政策而被迫遷居的案例。由高俊宏教授邀請 Enzo 和 Amy 帶領,學生參訪了兩處各被拆除及禁止進入的社區現址,藉由碰觸居住正義的真實現況來探討藝術介入權力政治的手法。

華光社區位於大安區,依傍中正紀念堂,是台北市相當中心的核心地段,目前整個社區被拆除為平地,只留下部分遺址,腹地雜草蔓生,在寸土寸金的台北市顯得格格不入。紹興社區原址則被劃為國立臺灣大學所有,原本即將進行的都市更新動作因為各方團體以保護社區內古樹為由而獲得緩解,目前紹興社區各棟建築停滯於待拆除的階段,因為各種勢力的壓縮,時光在這個社區內似乎被靜止。

 

photos by Sean Hsu

 

 

從這兩個案例來看,原居民都在法規不完整備齊的時期在該地開始了生活,而多年的居住事實並未提供他們居住的實權。若是土地的價值凌駕人民權利,那麼正義將不得伸張,然而在資本主義的框架之下,被視為必要之惡的犧牲似乎再所難免。在參訪的過程中,學生們各自分享了在他們國家內所面臨的居住問題:昂貴無法負擔的價格讓青年們對購屋感到無法觸及,薪資與居住的正義不成正比,在許多的情況下,離鄉背井進入都市的勞動力顯然成為了資本的奴僕。

但若是這些地段不被國家所管控,是否也助長了私人地主對資金的攏絡?那是否也成了另一樣、更微觀的小型資本衝突?如同現今台北市西門地區的租金一般,據悉捷運站出口的店租已經飆漲至上百萬元一個月,若是那塊土地曾有過土地權利的爭辯,又會是什麼樣的幸運讓現下的地主掌握了如此龐大金流的動向呢?

在探討居住正義的提問時,我們很難剝除居民情感上的依附,他勢必與國家政策相對理性的角度產生撞擊。作為敏感的藝術工作者,我們將有義務去參與、了解並透析其脈絡,並試圖以中立而平衡的方法闡述,將事件的歷史銘刻,以儆效尤。

 

photos by Sean Hsu

 

THE GENIUS LOCI THEORY

22 November, 2019

International Lecture by Guest Speaker Alberto Campagnolo

 

As part of the IMCCI International Lecture Series, first and second year students attended Alberto Campagnolo’s “Genius Loci Theory” workshop.  Campagnolo is a Brand Management Consultant for Luxury, Lifestyle, Fashion and Design brands.

In the three-hour long seminar, students learned to analyze and understand high fashion advertisement, not only through their famous logo but also through these steps: storytelling, location-brand and genius loci.  Campagnolo explained that Storytelling focuses on the internal and external stories of the brand, giving as example different Italian brands such as: Fendi, Moschino, Gucci, Prada and Ferragamo.

All theses brands are Italian but showcase their own origin, essence and story in different ways.  For example Gucci, from Florence includes elements that are connected to this Italian city.  On the other hand, Prada uses more sophisticated and nationalist elements to make sure everyone knows it’s from Milan.

photos by Cecile Kao

 

 

Location-brand is about the connection between the brand and its place of origin.  Students learned to recognize the core values of a brand, these values can be found in the color, texture and patterns that the company uses to identify itself.  All of this elements must be reflected on the brand’s marketing campaign for a successful advertisement.

For this step, Campagnolo presented a short advertisement of Stefano Ricci, where towards the end of the video it clearly stated the values of the brand with three important keywords: honor, power and pride.

Another important example was “Love in New York”, a short video clip from Tiffany and Co..  This ad presented the uniqueness of the brand and its connection to the city in simple, but not stereotypical ideas.  It showed emotions like: love and romance, emotions everyone can relate to.  Campagnolo emphasized the way Tiffany and Co. presented it’s brand values of being reliable, long-lasting and meaningful.  Last, but not least is the Genius Loci theory, it is the relation between the city of origin and the values of the brand but without forgetting the importance of micro-location.

Campagnolo explained the difference between the Gucci store in Florence and the Gucci store in Tokyo.  In Florence, the store represents a pretty, chic, elegant version of the brand, whereas in Tokyo it customized its products with an exclusive anime version to make Japanese people feel the connection with the city and the brand.  This marketing strategy proves that brands are able to adjust in order to show respect and to a local culture, without losing its core values.  Genius Loci goes even further to demonstrate the importance of micro-location with the example of Prada in Saudi Arabia, where the store’s architectural design included one entrance for women and one for men, in order to respect the religious traditions.

 

photos by Cecile Kao & Claudia Bermudez

 

 

In conclusion, Alberto Campagnolo’s workshop provided IMCCI students the opportunity to learn from his expertise about high fashion brands marketing strategies, and to prove that in the fashion industry it is possible to adjust to an environment without losing the brand identity.

 

–  Written by Claudia Bermudez

Videos

 

June 2018
IMCCI x USR Exhibition

Difference & Identity: Contemporary Cross-Cultural Encounter Through Arts
01-10 06 2018 | Beitou Public Assembly Hall

video by Taipei National University of the Arts

 

 

May 2019
IMCCI x USR Activity

Annual Cross-Cultural Activity with Beitou Elementary School     北投國小跨文化交流活動
15 05 2019 | Beitou Elementary School

video by Yip Ming Hoe

 

 

June 2019
IMCCI x USR Exhibition

107-2 End of the term Exhibition     107-2 期末成果展
17-21 06 2019 | Taipei National University of the Arts

video by Yip Ming Hoe

 

 

July 2019
About IMCCI & USR

video by Clarissa Butelli

 

 


December 2018
IMCCI Activity
Music Seminar
08 12 2018 | Taitung

video by Yazmin Vasquez

 

 

 

April 2019
IMCCI Activity
Shared Campus Programme – Critical Ecologies: Body and Indigeneity
08-11 04 2019 | Taitung

Shared Campus is a cooperation platform for international education formats and research networks launched by eight arts institutions. Close cooperation is imperative to tackling issues of global significance. Especially the arts can, and indeed ought to, play an important role in this respect.
More about Shared Campus

video by Yip Ming Hoe

 

Betrust in the Mountains – Llyung Topa Visit

9-10 November 2019

關乎信任的文化政治 – 大豹社志繼部落

 

志繼部落地處桃園復興鄉深山處,隸屬於大豹社群,依傍著大豹溪是泰雅族人過往狩獵、戰鬥、遷移的志繼山。志繼部落的人口不多,深山也非容易造訪的場所,在這次前往的路上不時看見行駛重型機車的騎士們在車流不高的山路上過彎奔馳。沿路不時看見政府所規劃,顯然格格不入的桂竹文化裝置品,據說原意是讓部落的族人可以在路邊進行農作、商品的販售,但奇特的造型及位置似乎不曾受到族人們的青睞。

劉黃秀珠(以下稱秀珠老師),原名雅幼依馬幸,是志繼部落現在的長輩。他曾是唱片歌手,現在則投入復甦泰雅文化的領域,在樹林及中和等地進行泰雅編織、泰雅族語及歌唱的教學,對於文化復興令他感到驕傲。在這個部落裡的大家彼此比鄰而居,相互的關係緊密,分享獵物、食物都是不需要經過計算的。在我們抵達的時候,秀珠老師以招集了部落的兩位廚娘準備了豐盛菜餚迎接。

 

午餐後,我們走上連接另一個村莊山道,途中先是造訪了「自力更生碑」,那是過往泰雅族人們被迫開鑿水道、荒地開墾的歷史,石碑上刻著是時日本執行者的名字,當時的日本政府指導泰雅族人們開鑿水田,引志繼溪的流水以事耕作,泰雅族人也就至今保留了水田的耕作。直到如今這塊石碑仍象徵著族人們對生活自給自足的精神。

接著往另一個村落走去,在兩村的中間地帶是剛剛翻新的墳地,面臨著空曠的山谷,遠眺就能看見拉拉山。另一邊的牆上畫著泰雅族人神話裡對生命的過程,當生命終止時,祖先將在通往遠方、山間的彩虹彼端等待,只有手上有彩虹的人才能踏上彩虹,往祖先走去。

到達鄰村後發現人們正在享用著烤肉及卡拉OK,卻找不著原本打算造訪的老人。於是,短暫停留後我們便前往另一處部落的集散地尋找知曉歷史的老人。所到之處離兩個村落都不遠,有著里長的辦公室、小學、商店及提供族人們集會的社區中心。這裡提供深山的居民集散、分享、教學等社交功能,也籌辦不同的活動讓部落間的交流可以在這裡發生。拜訪的老人已經九十幾歲,受過日本教育的他操著口音的腔調並不是太容易解讀。高俊宏教授細心地溝通,希望能為造訪的外國學生們提供在地的歷史及軼事,也因為村中其他居民的幫助,老人逐漸安了心並分享他的故事。

 

photos by Yesenia Aquino

 

我們在附近的小學熱情地受到當地學生們的歡迎,孩子們合唱泰雅族歌謠的表演,也熱絡地與參訪學生們交談、聊天。合唱團的訓練對保存母語及旋律是相當重要的,具雲霞小學的老師說,教導合唱的老師以從事數十年的音樂指導,即便退休了仍持續著傳承。學校的人數不多,村落裡的學生們彼此不分年級的互相熟悉,相對於城市的孩子,他們對新知識的渴望更是真切而直接,在交談、分享的過程中,我發現到有些才華洋溢的孩子希望能藉由才藝往外地發展,進入城市以尋求更多的機會,這凸顯了高度都市化的社會結構將年輕族群不斷往都會區域牽引的現象,在文化傳承的困頓之中,青年的外移與鄉間人口老化的拉扯將留下難以縫合的創傷。

傍晚,族人們將我們領往霞雲瀑布,恍如仙境一般的山間一隅巧奪天工的存在著,泉水在十一月的當下顯然太過冰冷,學生們相約著在夏天要再次前來,部落的人們期待著諾言,要學生們可不能忘記實現。

 

photos by Sean Hsu

 

天色漸晚,山上的氣溫驟降,沒有光害的天空掛上皎潔的月亮及星點。在晚餐過後,天色更暗的時刻,由村落裡的獵人黃興國帶領學生們進行狩獵的體驗。當晚,我們驅車前往了四個地點,沿路上獵人以探照燈搜尋著樹林間的動態,並在部落習慣的狩獵點停下、進入林間。或許如同秀珠老師所說的「女人們不應該前往狩獵」,又或許是人數太多而造成了太大的驚擾,我們的狩獵體驗空手而歸。然而,短短兩個小時的體驗絕非真正獵人工作的時長,族人們說,許多時候獵人是天亮了才會帶著獵物回家。我們今夜的淺嚐即止雖然沒有受到幸運之神的眷顧,但卻也體會了獵人的辛苦。

photos by Yesenia Aquino & Sean Hsu

 

隔日,由秀珠老師進行紡織工作坊的教學,他準備好了花樣的設計,讓學生們可以單純地著手編織的技法部分。由於語言的隔閡及技術的不熟悉,學生們在一開始顯然感到困惑,但在熟悉了編織的邏輯及秀珠老師及美惠一位一位的進行講解之後大家也就漸漸地進入軌道,織布是一項需要專心致志的工作,秀珠老師說,如同傳統中男人們狩獵的耐心等待,織布是女性表現自己能夠成為女人的技巧,也代表著被認可為一位獨立、能做家事的女人。

在織布的課程結束後,秀珠老師將學生們合力織成的布段裁下,分送給每一位學生。秀珠老師問著大家,是否會願意再次來訪志繼部落?是否願意帶著織布的記憶?對泰雅族人們來說,朋友是信任的結晶,透過秀珠老師殷切的詢問,我們領受到了他的真誠,也希望在未來能有機會再訪這個可愛的村落。

在離開深山之前,高俊宏教授帶領學生們前往角板山公園參訪蔣介石行館、樟腦收納所及戰備隧道。這是白色恐怖時期的被槍決的樂信瓦旦喪生之地,與今角板山行館內仍歌頌著蔣中正的文物對比起來顯得極度諷刺,學生們抱著對歷史的疑惑開始討論其各自國家政治問題,在角板山巍峨的山巒之間,人類社會建構出來的荒謬也平靜不下來。

駛回城市的路段上塞車了,學生們也就在車上入眠。從壯麗的青山回到人稠物穰之處,難免心情也如同路況一般,需要在停頓間習慣、前進。

 

– written by Sean Hsu

Cultural Indigenous Experience with the Atayal Tribe

9-10 November, 2019

Visit to Lyung Topa, Fuxing District, Taoyuan

Taoyuan is a special municipality located in the northwestern side of Taiwan. In ancient times, the Taoyuan plateau was home of the Taiwanese plains aborigines. Most Taiwanese aborigines in the city live in Fuxing District, with most of them belonging to the Atayal people.

Llyung Topa is a small village located in the beautiful mountains of Taoyuan, it is home to different indigenous groups of Taiwan, among them we find the Atayal tribe.

The Atayal, (泰雅) also known as Tayal and Tayan, are a Taiwanese indigenous group that has a population of approximately 85,888 according to the Council of Indigenous People , and they make up to 15.9% of Taiwan’s total indigenous population, making them the third-largest indigenous group on the island.

The purpose of the trip was to immerse students in the Taiwanese indigenous culture and to experience first-hand the lifestyle of the Atayal tribe, through their daily life activities. For this semester, one of the main focus of the “Art, Society and Cultural Consumption” course, taught by Professor Gao, was to learn about the different indigenous communities living in Taiwan, especially the Atayal tribe.

On Saturday, November 9th a group of first and second year IMCCI students, along with Professor I-Wen and Professor Yatin, parted to Taoyuan. After a fun ride of approximately one hour and a half, the group finally arrived to the village, where they were received by locals who were happily waiting for their arrival. Locals kindly opened their house for the group to spend the night with them and prepared a delicious meal for the group, which was made from their own farm, where they locally grow all the vegetables they consume and eat the animals they hunt. Although hunting is considered illegal, it is still an important activity in the indigenous culture.

As part of the first activity on the itinerary, the team visited the ruins of an important water cannon that irrigated the fields of the whole community. In the same area, you can find a stone monument that has five Chinese characters carved on it, which can be translated as “self-reliant”.

photos by Yesenia Aquino

This stone is preserved to commemorate the life of their ancestors and to always remember the hardships they went through during the Japanese colonization era. This monument is considered a vital piece for the preservation of the Atayal culture.

Although the period of the Japanese rule still brings sad memories to the Atayal tribe, it continues to have an impact on their lives. Some people of different ethnic groups, including the Atayal, forgot their own native language and can only communicate in Japanese, as a result of the cruelty of the japanese colonial era.

The team had the opportunity to visit Xiayun Elementary School to gain knowledge about the indigenous school system and to spend quality time with the kids. The group had the opportunity to participate in one of the singing lessons they were having. This event helped promote cultural exchange between the indigenous children and the IMCCI students, creating an important connection through art.

The Atayal people are famous for their ancient textile weaving traditions, as kids they learn from the elders of the family to keep this beautiful tradition alive. In the past, women were taught to weave and men were taught to hunt. Nowadays everyone in the family can learn the weaving techniques.

On the last day of the trip, students had the privilege to participate in a weaving workshop, where they learned from the locals the different weaving techniques and its importance within the indigenous culture.

photos by Yesenia Aquino

The last stop before returning to Taipei was Jiaoban Mountain Park, where Professor Gao prepared a tour for the students to have a better understanding of Taiwan’s indigenous history. Students had the opportunity to visit the museum inside of Jiaoban Park, which used to be the house of the leader Chiang Kai-Shek and Madame Chiang. It is known that this was where the leader spent the last days of his life.

photos by Yesenia Aquino

The visit to Llyung Topa village was very interesting and enriching. It immersed international students into the Taiwanese indigenous culture, and helped them have a better understanding of Taiwan and its identity.

– written by Claudia Bermudez

An Kang Prison, Where Justice Decayed

24 October 2019

痛苦暫居的蒼白之地 – 安坑招待所

 

此次安坑招待所之行是高俊宏教授以藝術家姚瑞中「海市蜃樓」的藝術計畫為鍥子,給予課程學生關於荒棄建築與政策、歷史、文化消費等不同面向的議題進行探討,從而檢討身為藝術工作者在面臨廢墟更生或阻擋錯誤政策所應背負的責任及方法,回應藝術、社會與文化消費的議題。

安坑招待所地處新北市新店區安坑偏郊,於西元約1974年開始使用。白色恐怖時期,安坑招待所暫時關押政治犯並對其予以刑求、拷問,當時的國民政府會在此地進行定罪後將囚犯送往其他監獄服刑,之後在這裡將犯人的資料進行建檔,甚至將死亡的受刑者或死刑犯之臟器存放於此,讓這個招待所成為一個不只殘留了痛苦的記憶,更是扭曲的正義未及聲張之處。

由於這塊園區尚未整理且並未對外開放,進入內部還需旁敲側擊。從建築外圍各處人為的切口及進入區域後能找到的現代遺留看來,這些年已有為數不少的參訪者造訪此地。隨著高俊宏教授的引領,我們攀爬上一個支撐在圍牆上的鐵花窗,並在牆的另一端攀爬準備好的梯子而下,正式進入招待所的內部。在進入建築體之前,我們對這裡的亡魂及無法抹去的歷史進行祭拜,朗誦心經,獻上敬禮。

 

 

photos by Yesenia Aquino

 

我們從原是後門的方向進入建築內部,看見的是存放犯人檔案的區域,但如今只剩下生鏽的鐵架被擱置著。再往內部走便是當時關押犯人的牢房,整個區域陰暗潮濕,陽光幾乎透不進來,每間牢房都只有頂部在厚重的牆壁上所挖開的一扇小窗,空氣窒息而令人煩悶。這裡的牢房大小不一,曾關押著每間十到二十人不等的囚犯,在過度擁擠、悶熱的狀況之下,受刑人不但無法同時坐下或躺著休息,也必須忍受著肉體上的創傷在惡劣的環境中腐敗。所有的牢房都被監聽以及錄影,房門內凹的透明檔板讓受刑人看不清楚外部,但從外卻能看到觀察到內部的各個角落,不只方便了控管,也成就了一個高度緊張、放大壓力的空間,讓受刑人在精神崩潰的狀態之中被獵取資訊。

 

 

photos by Yesenia Aquino

 

從牢房區通往拷問的建築之間是一條狹長陰暗的通道,這趟路徑的目的是為了讓受刑人誤以為自己被關押在地底,用來增加他們的壓力及苦楚。走上樓梯離開通道之後看見的是一個透天的四方庭院,似乎在暗示著受刑人難以企及的自由,周圍則布置著不同格局的審訊室。建築內部許多的結構都在某段時間被移除了,露出殘破的磚瓦結構及隔音材,而包含在此所留存的檔案及存放的器官都被移除了,高俊宏教授猜想是某些單位可能對此處的秘密若是曝光將會造成的效應感到害怕而採取了行動。

 

 

photos by Sean Hsu

 

在離開之前,學生問起此園區未來可能怎麼被轉型利用,高俊宏教授表示,附近的居民希望能活絡這塊地方,以兒童公園的方式改造;而部分文化人士則認為可以以景美人權園區作為範本,以實踐轉型正義。而高俊宏教授則認為,在修復歷史空間的過程應更謹慎思量,他更希望這塊園區能保留其殘破的現況,以更真實的面貌呈現歷史的遺留。一個廢棄空間的復甦不僅僅是一廂情願的理想,更需考量到不同文化、背景、階層、地方及政治的考量,在面臨各種複雜問題的交織之下,藝術家應該如何介入且達到平衡,將是需要被謹慎思考後才執行的。

在離開園區的一段路上是一個上坡地,往上走便能看見下午和緩的陽光。在離至今不到半個世紀的當時,這或許是難以計數的冤魂所從來不敢奢望的一段通往自由的路程。

 

– written by Sean Hsu

Immersive Cultural Experience At Fun Kuandu Festival

26 October 2019

An educational morning of cultural exchange in the Guandu area was the activity for this semesters first USR project. The 2019 Fun Kuandu festival was the platform for an invaluable experiential learning experience for the group of diverse students. On Saturday October 26th, 22 Fifth Grade Students from the Beitou Primary School along with their parents and a few teachers were invited to watch the 5th annual Fun Kuandu Festival Parade along with junior and senior students of the IMCCI Program. The parade, one of the activities in the Fun Kuandu Festival, is an initiative coming out of a collaboration between Taipei National University of the Arts and the City Council. With an overarching purpose of unity and inclusion, the annual event is a way for the University to engage with its community through art.

Participating in the day’s activity served several purposes for both IMCCI Students and the Primary School students from Beitou alike. Not only was it an opportunity for the predominantly international university students to engage with the Guandu community and their culture but it also provided an opportunity for the students to engage with each other by sharing their cultural identities with the students from the elementary school as well as their parents. It was an informal forum for cultural exchange and exposure to difference.

This year’s Fun Kuandu Community Art Festival or Hot Festival featured over 40 local groups including schools, businesses and representatives of other community groupings. The one day festival is a part of the larger Guandu festival activity which includes over two months of artistic displays, performances and workshops held different departments in the school showcasing both students and international invited guests. The shared community identity could be demonstrated through the 3 main activities that make up the festival: a farmers market, the parade and the stage presentations. Large numbers of community members were present to participate in the sharing, utilizing artistic elements of music, dance and costumes to present their messages to their audience.

Saturday morning at 10 o’clock IMCCI students met the Beitou Primary School students in the Zhixing Park. After completing initial introductions, the group separated into two and went closer to the street that the parade would pass.

The day was an occasion for the newest cohort of IMCCI students to get a better understanding of the diverse culture, history and ideas that exists within their new community. It was a unique opportunity to engage with its history through dance, music, costumes and performance among other innovative activities. The vibrant colors and dynamic characters in the parade unique messages about traditional and contemporary culture and values.

For the cohort of mostly International students, the snapshot of local culture inspires new questions about the diversity at play in Taiwan and specifically the community that they now live.

As the history of the festival explains, Fun Kuandu Festival celebrates the diversity in the terrain of the Guandu area. Which is known for its rich ecological diversity comprising of natural wetlands, migratory birds, fishing ports and docks due to its location, which is the merging point of the Xindian, Keelung and Dahan rivers. Themes presented in the participant’s displays were characterizations of the divergent environmental ecosystems that make up the community. Costumes worn by some of the participating schools and other community groups represented these diversities and so did their body movement in performances. While other presentations focused on ethnic cultural identities, spiritual beliefs and pop culture.

This immersive experience allowed for a greater understanding of concepts being theoretically visited in the classroom relating to Taiwanese identity, history, and belief systems. Group presentation and representations included traditional symbols of health, prosperity and honor among other beliefs interwoven with the identities of other Asian ethnicities Cultures, Latin American Music and even international organizations such as the Rotary Club.

As it relates to the exchange shared between the primary school students and the IMCCI cohort, their presence during this immersive experience allowed for a level of comparison and alternative interpretation to be done. The Primary School students had the chance to practice speaking English and learn about the geographical locations of the countries which student’s in the IMCCI come from. They also had the additional benefit of a platform to share their understanding, and ideas of what the parade demonstrated, which provided the IMCCI students with a local and alternative perspective of what they witnessed.

After spending some time engaging with the presentations, the groups moved from spectators to participants and joined in the parade as new members of the Guandu Community. The short walk/ march to the culminating point of the parade was a moment to reflect on what had been witnessed in the community.

At the Shui’an Park Plaza the parade ends in a shared open space that is transformed for the dual purposes of a market space and a stage area. The market had display booths set up by community organizations and representatives from the school. Displays included promotional material and engaging activities, musical performances and the opportunity to try out different instruments. In the stage live performances were done for the remainder of the afternoon by some of the groups that were in the parade, presentations ranged from dramatizations to dance and musical pieces.

– written by Melody Wagner

 

 

photos by Xiomara

 

photos by Cecile

 

photos by Cecile