Jane Ingram Allen, Curator
Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival

Guandu Nature Park, Taipei, Taiwan

2007 Exhibition: April 21 - September 15

2006 Exhibition: May 6 - October 31

Jane 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.

birds eye view of parkView of the front of the main building

About Guandu Nature Park:

Guandu 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

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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.

The 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!

In 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.

History of the Sculpture Festival::

In 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.

The 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.

About the 2007 Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival

Opening Weekend: April 21 (Earth Day) and April 22, 2007

Exhibition Continues through September 15, 2007

Public Participation Activities with the artists: Saturday: 11AM - 2PM, Sunday: 2 - 5 PM

About the 2007 Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival Artists and the Installations

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.

2007 Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival Artists and their Installations:

Ben Taffinder - EnglandWater Maze
Ben Taffinder - England - "Water Maze"

 

Cornelia Konrads - GermanyHerbal Pillars
Cornelia Konrads - Germany - "Herbal Pillars"

Ary Perez and Denise Milan - BrazilAmazon and Danshue Rivers - Water that Feeds Life
Denise Milan and Ary Perez - Brazil -"Amazon and Danshui Rivers - Water that Feeds Life"

Huang Kuang-hua - TaiwanConstruct Dwell
Huang Kuang-hua - Taiwan - "Construct Dwell"

Daniela Villiger, Janice Handleman, Judit Villiger"Jump in the Bog"
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"
Karin van der Molen - Netherlands - "In My Dreams I Can Fly"

Karl Ciesluk - Canada"Only One Fish Left"
Karl Ciesluk - Canada - "Only One Fish Left

Leung Mee-ping - Hong Kong, China"On-Sites"
Leung Mee-ping - Hong Kong, China - "On-Sites"

Marek Ranis - Poland/USA"The Floating Land"
Marek Ranis - Poland/USA - "The Floating Land"

Pablo Fuentes - Chile"The City for the Birds"
Pablo Fuentes - Chile - "The City for the Birds"

Pan Ping-yu - Taiwan"An Unapproachable Shore"
Pan Ping-yu - Taiwan - "An Unapproachable Shore"

Susanne Ruoff - Germany"PeopleWatching Cabins"
Susanne Ruoff - Germany - "PeopleWatching Cabins"

 

About 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. 

"Grass 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 home. 

"Made a Reed Bracelet" Workshop with Josho of the USA. Josho led participants in creating their own wearable jewelry with reeds from Guandu Nature Park.

"Kite Making" Workshop with Wen-fu Yu of Taiwan. The artist led participants in creating small kites with bamboo sticks and recycled paper.

"Plants 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.

"Wind 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.

About the 2006 Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival Artists and the Installations

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:

Jane 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.

Pamela 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.

Josho - 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.

Rikuo 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.

Yumiko 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

Wen 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.

(updated on April 28, 2007 )

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