Map outrage piques artist's curiosity about Taiwan


Wed, Oct 10, 2007 - Page 4

Chinese friends' repeated claims that "Taiwan is part of China" in response to her creation of a map of China that did not include Taiwan, is what encouraged visiting artist Susan Stockwell to come and see for herself.

Stockwell, a British artist, came to Taiwan last week for a three-month stay through the Taiwan-UK International Fellowship Program, which operates an artist-in-residence program at the Taipei Artist Village.

Stockwell, who has done extensive international work, created a paper map of China during her last residency in Nanjing, China. The response from her friends was unexpected, she said, as almost all of them said that she had left out Taiwan, although none of them mentioned Macau or Hong Kong, neither of which were on the map.

Her friends told Stockwell over and over again that Taiwan was a part of China, which made her very angry, she said.

The Royal College of Art graduate said she had learned a little about China-Taiwan relations before, but the reaction to her map dramatically boosted her curiosity. She jumped at the opportunity upon learning of an opening at the artist exchange program.

Stockwell will stay in Taiwan until Dec. 22, whereupon she is to present her work in an open exhibition. She plans on visiting old buildings, Taipei's MRT system and computer factories around the country in the coming week as she seeks inspiration before coming up with artistic ideas.

The fellowship program, cosponsored by the Council for Cultural Affairs and the UK's Visiting Arts and Arts Council England, is entering its third and final year. Seven Taiwanese artists went to the UK while six British artists have spent time in Taiwan.