Volume 11 Issue 6 - November 20, 2009
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Jun T. Lai
The Enchanting NCKU Secret Garden
Contemporary Taiwanese Aboriginal Art--Driftwood Site Specific Art Workshop:
An Alternative to Public Art
Article Digest
Wei-ming Luh
Approximate Sample size formula for Testing Group Mean Differences when Variances are Unequal in One-way ANOVA
Jyh-Ming Ting
In-situ re-activated catalyst for unprecedented re-growth of carbon nanotubes
Chao-Liang Wu
Amelioration of collagen-induced arthritis in rats by adenovirus-mediated PTEN gene transfer
Yan-Kuin Su
Degeneration of CMOS Power Cells After Hot-Carrier and Load Mismatch Stresses
News Release
NCKU Press Center
NCKU and Sweden KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) Sign MOU on Nov. 3rd
NCKU Press Center
Prof. Jeh-Nan Pan Received the Quality Award for the Fourth Time
Banyan Forum
Editorial Group
The Enchanting NCKU Secret Garden
Contemporary Taiwanese Aboriginal Art--Driftwood Site Specific Art Workshop:
An Alternative to Public Art

Jun T. Lai

NCKU on Campus Artist
Curator of Contemporary Taiwanese Aboriginal Art---Driftwood Site Specific Art Workshop

In a state of existence which one reconnects with one's true self, inspiration, revelation, creation, one returns to the truth and life source. The Site Specific Art Workshop starts from real life experience, gradually evolves and transforms to enter the environment, and forms concrete expressions related to history.
The first Contemporary Taiwanese Aboriginal Art--Driftwood Site Specific Art Workshop is held on the historical Li-Hsing Campus. Just like the traditional and elegant buildings and garden landscape (the 804 Military Hospital in the Japanese occupation era), for years being deserted like a haunted, bleak and desolate secret garden, regaining attention and life with renovation into a new campus after being entrusted to National Cheng Kung University, the Taiwanese aboriginal art is already in existence, having been elaborating its identity discourse and evolution context vigorously, but only in recent years did it gain attention from mainstream exhibition sites that attempt to include it in the construction of contemporary history of Taiwanese art development. In such a timing, on the Li-Hsing Campus which is full of colonial architecture landscape and historical aura, a group of contemporary aboriginal artists from the most desolate secret garden of Taiwan—the East coast—entered and are stationed here, becoming a subtle and interesting incidence.      
The secret garden implies the surreal realm where inhibitions are loosened, providing a shelter for the psyche that is full of inspiration, energy, and creativity. The work transforms the site to a formation which showcases the tension between shrinking and expansion. In an eye gazing at the infinite sky, with burning flames in the pupil and reserved energy, a magnetic field for man and nature with rising smokes resembling the axis going through the sky and the earth is formed. The first phase highlights the evolution of instincts, marking clear footprints of how life and the mother earth intertwine along the process. The second phase themes on the hundred year old giant woods brought down by the August 8th Flood in Taitung. They are like dragons challenging the humans to face this reality and opportunity. While mourning over the August 8th disaster, in sorrow, we must gather more energy to continue the navigation of life. Such navigation needs power and collaboration among the community members to meet unknown adventures in life. The head of the ship is directed at where the sun rises. The ten synchronized oars, pulling forcefully upward and downward, each representing the power of a member, express the determination and faith to embark on the journey and the spiritual legacy of the island tribe's navigation towards the ocean. The third phase returns to the artist's self expression. Through cohesion and mobilization, the artists are just like unique seeds falling to the earth and grow beautiful blossoms.                

Five aboriginal artists from the Atolan Amis tribe in Taitung are invited to participate in the workshop, including Ruby, Seng-hui An, I-min, Sabu Gazhow, Sabor Lagow, and their capable assistants. The five teams of ten people participated in a 15 days long (Oct. 15th –Nov. 1st, 2009) workshop, dedicating to site specific art creation and infusing life energy into their work. Their art creations bring viewers back to primordial physical senses and instincts to communicate with the nature, feeling the joy of being one with the nature. Driftwoods induce people to reflect on the issue of a sustainable eco-environment. The Workshop is open to students and volunteer workers, and the public also participate in driftwood DIY creation. Not only students can participate in the activity, it also serves as a site for practicing spiritual yoga, where practical aspects of the living environment such as leisure and recreation, environmental protection, and life are combined. This activity further extends to spiritual spheres of shelter, tolerance and legacy, creating an enchanting NCKU secret garden as a sanctuary for cultivating sensibility.   

Translated by Helen Chang
The Banyan Editorial Office
Copyright National Cheng Kung University