Think of locations to hold a meetup for international hi-tech apparel experts and the Aboriginal community of Siangbi (象鼻部落) in Miaoli County may not be the first that springs to mind, but this village has something the professionals are after: tradition.
Mika Satomi, a Japanese textile artist based in Germany, has come to learn fabric making traditions and engage with Aboriginal culture.
“The traditional artisans are so highly skilled and willing to share everything with you, it’s so humbling,” says Satomi, who is in Taiwan for the first time.
Photo courtesy of red room
Satomi is participating in Tribe Against the Machine, an e-textile summer camp that brings together artists from around the world to this Atayal community to engage in a workshop that fuses technology with culture, creating new artistic networks for Aboriginal artisans to collaborate with. Pieces from the workshop will be showcased until Sept. 15 at Taipei’s Red Room (紅坊國際村).
Project founder Shih Wei-Chieh (施惟捷) says it’s about expanding contexts and expanding communities.
Atayal artists have a deep understanding of textiles, while the visiting artists are more familiar with new technological forms, Shih says. The Aboriginal artisans are seeking these new methods and the Atayal provide the visitors with a strong cultural matrix on which to base their work.
Photo courtesy of red room
Shih, who gained experience working in the cultural and creative industries in Mexico by making action figurines inspired by Aztec folklore, has a clear vision for the project.
“We’re reversing the thinking that views tradition and technology as opposing forces,” he says. “We’ve found a cultural role for technology, one that is more than just a profit-generating tool.”
The participants lived together in the remote Atayal village for 10 days. They are diverse in their artistic and cultural backgrounds and have come from all over the world. The artists were paired into four groups based on their expertise and given a framework for the collaborative workshop.
For most of the visiting artists, this was their first time to Taiwan.
“The warm hospitality from the villagers made us feel at home. I extended my stay for two more days. I didn’t want to leave,” says Satomi. “It feels so strange coming back to Taipei, I wanna go back to the village already. I experienced such a calm, peaceful way of life there. I feel I’m going to miss it very deeply.”
Yuma Taru of the Lihang Workshop (野桐工坊) is the lead Atayal collaborator. She says that having these international artists is really valuable for the village, as each artist brings a different method of interpretation to the project.
“It’s about opening new windows, and letting the light shine in from new angles, allowing us to delve deeper into our art.” Yuma says.
Yuma says that interacting with artists of such a caliber is incredibly stimulating.
“These artists are artworks in themselves,” she says. “Their way of viewing, way of being, is imbibed with an intangible quality, they embody of their own artistic qualities.”
Yuma likens bringing the artists to her village to inviting someone into your home.
Some people fear bringing strangers into their homes, but she only feels pride and joy.
Yuma has a different take on how to view tradition and technology today. She says tradition is no longer part of our daily routine, and can only be learned outside of it, through workshops or classes, she tells the Taipei Times.
“So tradition is also something that is new for us now,” she says, adding that tradition and technology are both things that are learned.
It is from this artistic framework that Tribe Against the Machine has renegotiated the relationship between technology and tradition and opened up space for new possibilities.
“We hope to deepen the dialogue next year,” Yuma says.
The exhibition runs until Sept. 15.
What: Tribe Against Machine e-textiles Exhibit
When: Until Sept. 15
Where: Red Room, Taiwan Air Force Innovation Base (TAF 空總創新基地), 177, Sec 1, Jianguo S Rd, Taipei City (台北市建國南路一段177號); tel: 0910-947-307
On the Net: www.redroomtaipei.com
Until this summer, when the idea of hiking the length of the island first occurred to me, I didn’t even know that Cijin (旗津) had been a peninsula until 1967. That’s when diggers and dredgers severed Cijin from Taiwan’s “mainland,” because the authorities wished to create a southern entrance to Kaohsiung’s fast expanding port. The island is just under 9km long, but a bit of research quickly convinced me that a south-to-north trek wasn’t a good idea. The southern third of Cijin is dominated by container-lifting cranes, warehouses and other facilities off-limits to the public. Dunhe Street (敦和街) forms the boundary between
Sept. 28 to Oct . 4 A large number of 3000-year-old slate coffins were unearthed on a hill near Nanhe Village (南和村) in Pingtung County on Sept. 30, 1985. Unfortunately, the United Daily News (聯合報) noted that they had been seriously damaged by construction, and no artifacts or human remains were found. Although the newspaper called the find a “significant discovery,” little information can be gleaned about this specific site because it’s just one of countless locations where stone sarcophagi have been unearthed across southern and eastern Taiwan, and as north as Yilan County. These stone receptacles for the dead were
As if the climbs and views and snacks and companions of cycling in Taiwan aren’t sufficient, the GPS-generation of route-planners are now using apps such as Strava and Endomondo to create works of art as they ride. One such is nicknamed the Dove Road of Sijhih (汐鴿路), a 25km ride that follows the riverside bike path from the Nangang-Neihu Bridge (南湖橋) to New Taipei City’s Sijhih District (汐止), climbs around 400m up the Sijhih-Shiding Road (汐碇路), before dropping back down past Academia Sinica to generate a very dove-like pattern. Originally called Kippanas by indigenous Ketagalan people and transliterated into Hoklo (more commonly
Sitting at the bar, martini in hand, Kristin Scott Thomas rolls her eyes briefly heavenwards. And then she declares, in one of the most memorable monologues of the cult BBC drama Fleabag, that menopause is the “most wonderful fucking thing in the world. And yes, your entire pelvic floor crumbles and you get fucking hot and no one cares. But then — you’re free! No longer a slave, no longer a machine with parts. You’re just a person, in business.” When an entranced Fleabag says she has been told the whole thing is horrendous, Scott Thomas’s character responds: “It is horrendous,