Mon, Oct 31, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Children’s interaction with artwork, parents’ inattention draws criticism

By Shen Pei-yao and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A video posted on Saturday on Facebook has drawn attention to the issue of parents standing by while their children misbehave.

The video shows children tearing off pieces of an art installation by a French artist near the Zhongshan MRT station in Taipei. Titled Daydreams, the installation features clouds of cotton hanging from a fixture.

A netizen surnamed Kao (高) uploaded a video that shows several children laughing and playing among the installation as they tear pieces from the clouds, sometimes throwing bits around.

One woman, a mother of one of the children, is seen kneeling to one side photographing the youngsters, but not stopping her child from attacking the clouds.

“Is this something that can be torn apart and played with? What kind of upbringing is this,” Kao wrote in her post.

One netizen, surnamed Hsia (夏), said they had spoken with the mother seen in the video who allegedly replied that her son had “only torn off a small piece.”

The mother then allegedly tried to deflect criticism of her son.

“How can you people talk this way in front of a child? He’s feeling very frustrated now. How do you know the artist did not want people to interact with the installation in this way? Otherwise, why did they not install barriers?” Hsia quoted the woman as saying.

The Taipei Cultural Affairs Department said it is not is not seeking compensation from the boy’s family.

“We are still in the process of setting up the installation. Because there is no danger to the public we have not fenced it off,” department official Chiu Chih-ken (邱稚?) said.

Saying the artist intended for people to get close to the work, Chiu said that in other countries where the installation has been displayed, people would have their picture taken while walking among the clouds, hoping to give the impression of being in another world.

However, it is rare for an artwork to attract such “great interactivity,” he said, referring to the incident caught in Kao’s video.

Organizers said they plan to formally open the work today and a small sign would ask the public not to damage the installation.

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