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The Gathering of Life

Mountains, Oceans, Nature, and Humans

The original life force of nature has enabled us to weave all sorts of connections with life. Tribal craft artists, architects, and friends who like handmade crafts, gather together to collect simple materials such as bamboo, rattan, and bark cloth to create works using local material and ancient wisdom.

PateRongan: Settling Down.2018

  • Material / Bamboo, Margaret Rotang Palm

Using natural materials such as bamboo, Margaret Rotang Palm, cow dung, twitch grass, straw mixed with mud, stones used by the Kavalan tribe to build houses, PateRongan invites tribal members and those interested in building houses and crafts with natural materials to participate in this event held in the paddy fields of Xinshe, working together to weave the imagery of home. Building a landscape composed of houses of different sizes and materials, the space expresses the connection between the residents (members of the Kavalan and Amis tribe) and nature, as well as their harmonious lifestyle; this is also the scene of indigenous people living in harmony with the mountains and the seas.

A Woven Hallway that Penetrates the Forests and Time.2016

  • Material / Bamboo, Margaret Rotang Palm

As a footbridge within the park, this work is also a hallway of connection, welcoming the wind from the forests of the ancient Ai-Liao River tribes, expressing an atmospheric sense of the forests and the flowing of time.

Using bamboo rattan, a material of the Kavalan Tribe of the eastern coast, this work uses the elasticity and tenacity of bamboo pieces and the warmth of the hands to construct a sturdy structure. An experience-centered passage is created on the footbridge, gathering the efforts of groups through workshops to create a space that enables people to experience the passing of time. As visitors glance outward from the bamboo-woven round windows, the Sanku fish traps also seem to glance inward, creating a natural flow between the inner and outer landscape and the overlapping of ancient craftsmanship, memories, and the present.

Wheel-like Tung Blossoms and the House of Gentleness and Strength / Tung Blossom Art Festival.2016

Wheel-like Tung Blossoms

  • Material / Bamboo, handmade paper, tung oil

Tung blossoms exist because of Tung trees and Tung oil. As a source of financial income in the past, Tung blossoms no longer have the same economic value as before but have attracted the attention of many with their aesthetic charm, adding appeal to the mountains with their delicate white blossoms, dancing and inspiring the viewer’s appreciation of beauty.

Using wheel-like weaving techniques, this work uses semi-transparent oil-paper and bamboo pieces to create rotating windows that are placed among the trees. Resembling the Tung blossoms in full bloom, each dancing work of woven bamboo creates a separate dancing frame. As the sunlight falls between the trees, the moving light and shadows guide viewers to pay attention to the scene within and to enter the time passage of the land and nature.

House of Gentleness and Strength

  • Material / Bamboo, rattan, reinforcement

Created in collaboration with other tribal members, this work presents the image of the Mother Land, portraying the gentleness and strength of Hakka women when facing challenges in life. Using the sturdy and gentle quality of Margaret Rotang Palm and the weaving techniques used by indigenous people when creating fish traps, a sense of fluidity is created amid the shelter, allowing visitors to experience the inner power of the House of Gentleness and Strength.

The Heart of the Land: Stay and Stray.2015

  • Material / Local bamboo, Margaret Rotang Palm, driftwood, plants

Using bamboo lighting made with natural materials such as bamboo, rattan, bark cloth, and the warmth of tribal craft making, this work is a manifestation of the humbleness of the land, presenting a hallway for visitors to either stay for a brief moment, interact with one another, or pass through. Compared with the surrounding urban view, artist Shu yen hopes that Neihu Town Hall (activity center, a people’s hall during the Japanese Occupation) can become a space that represents a different mentality for the locals, a space characterized by the humbleness of coexisting with nature, mountains, forests, and the land. In addition, the artist also hopes to promote community culture and encourage interaction through weaving.

Bamboo rattan installation The Heart of the Land: Stay and Stray is made with bamboo, rattan, bark cloth, and other natural materials of the land, as well as the techniques involved in Sanku bamboo rattan lighting made by indigenous artists. After half a month of gathering people who have a common interest in natural architecture and handmade crafts, the work was installed in the square in front of the town hall, depicting a flowing passage made with woven bamboo.

Chasing the Wind and Capturing Shadows.2012

  • Material / Bark, dye, and wax from Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Hong Kong

Amid the bustling urban environment of Hong Kong lies a mountain filled with a vibrant ecosystem of various plants and animals. Inspired by the original interaction between humans and plants and using plants from the garden, I peel and weave the bark to connect the plant fibers through human labor. These materials are made into works that resemble spiderwebs and hung on old tree trunks, allowing sunlight and wind to dance playfully in between. The process of acquiring, weaving, and hooking enables a mysterious dialogue with nature that extends to the relationship between people that finally creates a bond with the environment.

Patterns of the Forest: Colorful Wings.2012

Material / Paper pulp from Puli Paper, and grass fiber, plant dye from the park

Applying the historical and unique handmade paper techniques from local Puli craft, the artists collaborated with Guangxing Paper Factory in using the paper pulp of paper mulberry as material. By collecting and using plants from the park to make fiber and dye, the members participate in creating works together.

The patterns in nature are traces of life and proof of environmental influence. The texture of tree burl were previously wounds, while cracks and peeling bark are inevitable processes of nature. Therefore, we have decided to let the elves of nature to leave their marks in this forest, leaving their footprints on the natural textures of the tree.

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