Songjiang Wooden Puppet Installation in Neimen Park／內門區溝坪里吸睛的宋江木偶工藝品
Songjiang Wooden Puppet Installation in Neimen Park
◎English translation: Lin Fang ju
◎Photo by Lin Yu-hung
Neiman District is famous for its unique martial-arts troupes which are considered an important part of the region's cultural heritage. There are more than 50 Songjiang martial-arts troupes in the district. Locals enthusiastically join local troupes, contributing to an extraordinary regional culture. In order to embody this phenomena, a display of hand carved Songjiang puppets have been installed in Neimen's Smile Green Park, located in Gouping Village on the district's east side.
The display was a collaborative creation by the people of Neimen and only utilizes resources that come from the district. The puppets were hand carved by resident artisans out of regional longan wood. The entire installation including the pavilions and benches were also created by locals. Longan branches were used as the body of puppets. The puppets faces are painted with vivid and unique expressions. Household items such as rice cookers and gas barrels were also contributed by locals to add to the installation. "These animated Songjiang puppets demonstrate how important this unique cultural element is for our community", says Liu Ruei-ji, Gouping Community Development Council Chairman.
Smile Green Park was selected as the location for the installment which has become a popular attraction. Locals frequently use the park to take walks, chat with neighbours and maintain the upkeep of the park. Smile Green Park won a 2015 Yuan-Yie Award in the Community Landscaping Category. This exciting success has inspired the people of Gouping to collaboratively create a second park.
Installation Artist Lo Yi-chun on Her Work: Banana in Taiwan, Japan and Philippines
◎English translation: Peng Hsin-yi
◎Photos by Huang Ching-wen, Lin Yu-hung
The annual Kaohsiung Awards are a significant event in Taiwan's art scene, and this year's winners were displayed in Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts from March 17 to June 6.
The installation work that took First Place generated a very enthusiastic public response. "Banana in Taiwan, Japan and Philippines" by Ms. Lo Yi-Chun took the top prize among this year's 625 participants.
Ms. Lo's work was mainly made with dried banana peels. Since bananas have long been associated with Kaohsiung's Cishan District, a work of art utilizing this fruit strikes Kaohsiung people as both fun and homely.
A subtle scent of sweet bananas wafted through the exhibition room where "Banana" was displayed. The entire work was a dark brown hue, the natural color of dehydrated banana peels. The crescent peels were arranged to create a three-dimensional collage suspended in the middle of the room, with lighting to project the installation's silhouette on the four walls. Like a shadow play, these told stories held in the artist's mind. Visitors walking through the room were able to see different shapes and images from different angles.
Back in 2013, Ms. Lo was an artist-in-residence artist at the Bank ART Studio NYK in Yokohama, Japan. This program encourages artists to embrace local themes in their creations. Ms. Lo says that during this period, she felt lonely and homesick. These feelings inspired her to use a material which reminded her of her home in Taiwan. This is how the banana peel became a vessel for her creativity.
Knowing that Taiwanese bananas used to be a significant export to Japan, she conceived of a theme for her work. She visited pastry stores to collect banana peels, which she then placed on sheets of newspaper to draw out the moisture. The drying process took four to five days. She fashioned her work after a 1950s photo showing Taiwan's banana market during its golden period.
After sewing together, the dried banana peels are like pen strokes. They form images, and Ms. Lo opted to present them in a three-dimensional manner by hanging the images in a room rather than paste them on a surface. Ms. Lo says she decided to retain the stickers on the peels, because she wants audiences to grasp how this unassuming fruit has become a valuable international commodity.
Ms. Lo's dried banana peels have traveled from Japan to the United States, and now to Taiwan. Her exhibition has given audiences in all three countries a sense of pleasant surprise as they gazed upon it.
藝術家羅懿君以風乾的香蕉皮製成「芭娜娜‧バナナ‧Saging」作品，從625位參賽者中脫穎而出，榮獲「2015高雄獎」的「高雄獎」獎項。今年3月17日至6月6日於高美館展出期間 ，引起廣大迴響。高雄旗山區盛產香蕉 ，有著「香蕉王國」美名，以香蕉皮為創作媒材，讓人覺得格外親切、有趣。
2013年羅懿君參與日本橫濱市藝術駐村計劃(Bank ART Studio NYK)，以當地題材發想，發表創作作品。羅懿君說，人在異鄉的她感覺孤單、想家了，遂以台灣常見的香蕉皮為創作媒材，台灣香蕉外銷日本的故事給了她創作靈感。她在當地的甜點店收集創作所需的香蕉皮，以報紙吸收香蕉皮水份，歷經4～5 天製成香蕉皮乾，她以一張1950年代台灣香蕉市場交易盛況的老照片為藍圖，運用風乾後的香蕉皮以線狀概念連接、組成圖像，並以懸掛的裝置方式呈現，羅懿君說，她特意保留香蕉上產地標籤貼紙，讓觀眾得以從標籤貼紙一窺跨國香蕉市場風起雲湧的故事。