Ingram Allen, Curator
Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival
Nature Park, Taipei, Taiwan
Exhibition: April 21 - September 15
Exhibition: May 6 - October 31
is the curator of an International Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition at Guandu
Nature Park, an urban nature in Taipei City. For more photos of
Guandu Nature Park, click here.
Guandu Nature Park:
Nature Park is a nature preserve and constructed wetlands in the Taipei
urban area near the junction of the Keelong and Danshui Rivers. Guandu
Nature Park is a fairly new nature park with smaller trees and tall marsh
grasses…in fact most of the park is wetlands and the area of wetlands
conservation is a major focus for the Park. Environmental art is also
a new idea to most people in Taiwan, and as Taiwan continues to develop,
nature is more and more threatened.
main attraction for visitors at Guandu Nature Park is bird watching as
this Park is right on the flyway for many birds that migrate from Japan,
northern China and other lands to the southern parts of Asia and Australia/New
Zealand. Also, many birds make Guandu their home all year. The Park is
managed by the Wild Bird Society of Taipei, and it is designated as one
of the 10 top bird watching areas in Asia. Many birdwatchers from all
over the world come here to see such birds as the Black-faced spoonbill.
You can take a look at the Guandu Nature Park website at http://www.wbst.org.tw/bill/birdfair/
for more information about the Bird Watching Festival in 2004…sorry
most of the Web information is in Chinese!
the first week of November Guandu Nature Park holds an annual International
Bird Watching Festival that has seminars with international guest speakers
and many thousands of visitors each day. The Bird Watching activities
are the main activities at Guandu Nature Park during the winter months.
During the spring and summer the Park features bird watching activities
about the native birds and other wildlife found in the park. Many
children and families come to visit the park at this time of the year.
of the Sculpture Festival::
2006 The Park, working with American artist in Taiwan, Jane Ingram Allen,
began an International Outdoor Sculpture Festival to open in the Spring
and continue till October. Jane thought that this nature park was an ideal
place to create outdoor sculpture that was focused on environmental issues,
and she wanted to introduce this type of art in Taiwan. Foreign and Taiwanese
artists were invited to create site-specific artworks in nature and generating
artistic and cultural exchange. All works would be coordinated with and
have ideas and materials approved by the Park’s naturalists so that
they will not disturb the wildlife or interfere with activities at the
Park. The sculptures/installations have an environmental theme and use
natural materials that are not harmful to the environment and that can
be removed without a trace at the end of the 6-month exhibition period.
Some pieces may be left on display longer depending on arrangements with
the Park’s staff. Some of the works created will have a community
focus and involve visitors and volunteers as participants. Artists will
participate in opening weekend festivities and help to train the staff
and volunteers to conduct ongoing tours and educational programs about
the artworks at the Park.
Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival began in 2006 with Jane
and 5 invited artists creating sculpture installations during a 7 day
period before the opening on May 6, 2006. The artists selected for the
Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival came to Taipei, Taiwan,
and stayed one to two weeks to create their works. All of the artists
were at Guandu Nature Park working on their installations from about April
30 - May 7, 2006. The artists stayed at a local hotel and had local volunteers
to help with creating their works. The artists invited to participate
in the Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival received an artist's
stipend and round-trip airfare plus accommodations and volunteer help
to create their works. The first Festival was very successful and greatly
increased attendance at the park over the summer months, best slots to play. The Sculpture
Festival works also generated new ideas and new appreciation for nature
and environmental conservation. In 2007 the Festival was expanded and
12 international artists were selected to make site-specific installations
in Guandu Nature Park. The Festival continues to expand and is expected
to be an annual event at Guandu Nature Park.
the 2007 Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival
Weekend: April 21 (Earth Day) and April 22, 2007
Continues through September 15, 2007
Public Participation Activities with the artists: Saturday: 11AM - 2PM,
Sunday: 2 - 5 PM
the 2007 Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival Artists and the
2007 Festival includes works by 10 foreign artists and 2 Taiwanese artists.
To select the artists for the 2007 Festival Jane reviewed over 270- proposals
from artists in 57 different countries. The final selection of artists
was made with the help of Guandu naturalists and staff of the nature park
to assure that all works would contribute to the mission of the nature
park and not be harmful to the environment of the park. The 12 selected
artists came to Guandu Nature Park on April 11 to begin work on their
site specific installations according to the proposals that they had submitted.
Artists used natural materials from the park and some that were purchased
in Taiwan and made their works with the help of volunteers and the staff.
The artists worked very hard and completed the works for the opening press
conference on Friday April 20, and all artists conducted public activities
during the opening weekend and interacted with visitors to explain their
works. The installations will remain on display until September 15, and
the staff will provide guided tours of the artworks at the nature park.
Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival Artists and their Installations:
Ben Taffinder - England - "Water Maze"
Cornelia Konrads - Germany - "Herbal Pillars"
Milan and Ary Perez - Brazil -"Amazon and Danshui Rivers - Water
that Feeds Life"
Huang Kuang-hua - Taiwan - "Construct Dwell"
Daniela Villiger, Janice Handleman, Judit Villiger (collaborating team)
- Switzerland and USA - "Jump in the Bog"
Karin van der Molen - Netherlands - "In My Dreams I Can Fly"
Karl Ciesluk - Canada - "Only One Fish Left
Leung Mee-ping - Hong Kong, China - "On-Sites"
Marek Ranis - Poland/USA - "The Floating Land"
Fuentes - Chile - "The City for the Birds"
Ping-yu - Taiwan - "An Unapproachable Shore"
Susanne Ruoff - Germany - "PeopleWatching Cabins"
the 2006 Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival
Opening Ceremony: 2 PM, Saturday, May 6, 2006
Public Participation Activities and Workshops on opening weekend:
Papermaking and "Make your own Nest" Workshop with Jane Ingram
Allen - Participants made handmade paper sheets from plants growing in
the Park and placed the sheets to dry on the "Nests for Humans"
as linings for the nests. The paper pulp had bird seeds in it to
provide nourishment for the birds as the paper dissolved into the earth.
Balls" Workshop with Pamela G. Ayres - The artist taught children
how to make their own "grass balls" based on the large scale
sculpture Pamela created for the Festival. Children used nylon mesh
bags, soil and grass seeds to create their own growing artworks to take
a Reed Bracelet" Workshop with Josho of the USA. Josho led participants
in creating their own wearable jewelry with reeds from Guandu Nature Park.
Making" Workshop with Wen-fu Yu of Taiwan. The artist led participants
in creating small kites with bamboo sticks and recycled paper.
Project" with Yumiko Yamazaki of Japan. The artist led participants
to make their own small planter box filled with soil, and they took it
home to see what plants appear there and then sent the photos later by
e mail to the artist in Japan.
Drawing" Workshop with Rikuo Ueda of Japan. Rikuo led participants
in creating drawings with his wind machine creation. Participants also
had tea with the artist in the tea house he created with recycled materials
and to house his wind drawing machine.
the 2006 Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival Artists and the
2006 Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival included site specific
sculpture installations by Jane Ingram Allen and 5 other invited international
artists. All works had an environmental focus and made use of natural
materials to reflect the mission of the Nature Park. Jane reviewed
artist's proposals and made the selections for the artists to invite.
The artists who made site specific works for the Festival included:
Ingram Allen - USA/Taiwan - Jane will be creating a sculpture installation
titled “Nests for Humans” The giant nest forms will be large
enough for people to go inside and based on real bird nests collected
at Guandu Nature Park. Allen will use fallen branches and dried grasses
to construct the nests and cover the forms with handmade paper made from
local plants. The public will be invited to join in making handmade paper
feathers to line the nests. Visitors to the Park can go inside the nests
and write some of their own words on the handmade paper feathers. People
will be encouraged to express their thoughts about man’s relationship
to nature and the birds that use Guandu Nature Park as a home or place
to rest during their annual migrations.
G. Ayres - USA - American artist Pamela G. Ayres is coming to Taiwan to
create a sculpture installation of many “Grass Balls” using
nylon net bags filled with soil and grass seeds to grow over time. Ayres’s
installation titled “Growing Grass” will encourage people
to watch the work of nature and the process of growth. She will work with
Park naturalists to find seeds for a grass species that is native to Taiwan
and that will be good for the environment at Guandu. Ayres is gallery
director and professor of art at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois,
and she has done similar grass ball installations at art museums and public
spaces in the USA. This will be her first visit to Asia.
- USA - Josho of the USA has been an artist in residence for several environmental
organizations and is currently working at the Occidental Arts and Ecology
Center in California. He will be coming to Taiwan for the first time direct
from a project in India. Josho is very interested in community art projects
that involve people in working together to make sculpture installations
that focus on land use and environmental issues. At Guandu he will make
a sculpture using local branches and reeds and other grasses that will
function as a bird blind and provide bird habitat perches to encourage
people to become more aware of birds and the necessity to protect and
preserve bird habitats such as Guandu Nature Park.
Ueda - Japan - Rikuo Ueda of Osaka, Japan, will create an installation
titled “Mind of Wind” that will be in the form of a small
building or “wind café” made of discarded wood and
found debris. Inside the small building will be a wind machine ingenuously
constructed from a tree branch and using the power of the wind to make
brush drawings on paper. People can sit and have some tea inside the “wind
café” while they wait for the wind to make a drawing for
them to take home. His installation will encourage people to become aware
of the wind and other often unnoticed elements of nature. Ueda has been
doing similar wind machine installations at many places in Europe and
Japan, but this will be his first installation in Taiwan.
Yamazaki - Japan - Yumiko Yamazaki of Osaka, Japan, will create an installation
titled "Plants Project on the Water" that will continue her
series of works that record the experience of a particular time and place.
She will construct 4 bamboo rafts and place them in the water at Guandu
Nature Park. The rafts will have soil for growing plants on them, but
at first nothing will be growing there. Gradually over time the
soil will be filled with plants brought by the wind, birds and other actions
of Nature. Yumiko's projects usually involve the power of time and
nature to create changes and recording those happenings with handmade
paper artworks and photographs. Yumiko has created her installation
art projects in Japan, the United States and Europe. Yumiko has
just returned from a trip to Denmark to make an installation and teach
a workshop on her techniques of installation art. For more information
about Yumiko Yamazaki, visit her website at http://www6.plala.or.jp/yumiko_y/index_e.html
Fu Yu - Taiwan - Artist Wen-Fu Yu, born in Yunlin County and now living
in Nantou County, is known for his large scale installations using duck
feathers. Yu recently had a one-person exhibition at the Taipei Fine Arts
Museum where his installation titled “The Air” filled the
room with a giant cascade of white feathers suspended from the ceiling.
At Guandu Nature Park Yu will create a sculpture in the form of a feather-like
flower found on the marsh grass that blooms in the Fall at Guandu.
His installation will be placed around a pond at the Nature Park and include
thousands of duck feathers attached to bamboo poles. Yu has created
other installations in Taiwan and also in the USA where he has been an
artist in residence at Headlands Center for the Arts in California and
at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York.
April 28, 2007
more information about Jane and her artwork and other projects, click
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