特別感謝Special Thanks：中正社會福利服務中心 臺北市中正萬華區身心障礙者資源中心 臺北市南海發展中心 臺北市中正婦女暨家庭服務中心 臺北市西區新移民社區關懷據點 顏品時尚創意社
About Transmutation: The Therapeutic Art of Gardeners
Photosynthesis in plants cultivates and nourishes all kinds of life. Taipei Chengzhong Social Welfare Services Building is located right next to Taipei Botanical Garden. In our eyes, the building is a botanical garden of society, providing social services to heal the disorders caused by social development. Led by Assignment Theatre, “Transmutation: The Therapeutic Art of Gardeners” invites LEE Je-Yu, Yves Chun-Ta CHIU as curators, and hopes to bring “planty” of energy to the social welfare building through art.
Dialogue, Communication, Gazing Sense
The building was completed in 2019. From its completion to the acceptance, stationed in, and settling of service agencies, and participation of arts program, it has been the process of steadiness and unsteadiness. And when we take a closer look at the contemporary social welfare business, the social workers visit, listen to and evaluate the clients of service, they are also conducting projects, leading people from an unstable situation to a stable status; they are the ones who place things, which failed to keep up with the rotation of society, in their normal position, putting chaos back into order. With the scene pictured, and then looked back to the botanical garden, where a sense of stability and instability also equally exists.
The botanical garden was built during Japanese colonial period. It is an important place for establishing knowledge of plant species, which happens to work in a similar way to contemporary welfare business; they both dedicate to study, investigation and classification of unidentified species, turning them into sensory and manageable species. Human beings or objects are orderly as a result of rationalization. However, instability never fades away in these seemingly orderly scenarios; they are the daily emotional work of social workers, the silence of the service objects, and those who have yet not been known and of concern. Without doubt plants go through different organic change during the four seasons. It can be stated that without these instabilities, the image of social welfare would not be clear.
Under the shadow of rationalization, how many of the instabilities in the social welfare building can be touched by “Transmutation,” the botanical garden inspired project, and how to find the emotions hidden in stability, through dialogue, communication and gaze?
The Tetralogy of Therapeutic Art of Gardeners
Drawing an analogy between the Taipei Chengzhong Social Welfare Services Building and Taipei Botanical Garden is not only because of their neighborhood position, but also the wish of participating in social welfare projects with the healing images of plants. Thus, the priorities of “Transmutation” are spatial atmosphere design and the building users, as well as the idea of involving creation in social work for the potential to explore emotional perception in rational affairs. We can say that “Transmutation” is looking for ways, through art, to trigger the interaction between users, whether in mind, or in sense of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste, for healing the unstable emotional perception in social welfare business. The purpose of such a combined therapeutic art, with social welfare labor and artistic labor, is to make us the gardeners in the building and to help each other out. By regaining the emotional footsteps, emotions turn into rationality, and instability turns into stability. Thus, we hereby present four projects of healing, including drama, gardening, sound installation and landscape construction.
“Photosynthetic: Therapeutic Theatre” held by theater director CHANG Chia-Jung , who collaborates with Taipei Resource Center for People with Disability in Zhongzheng and Wanhua Districts, use the skills and program to design a group performance with the methodology of Therapeutic Theatre. The participants transform their personal story to theatre and explore deeply through a process of creativity and final production. “Sound Organism” is created by Atelier Hui-Kan, the studio of our sound art creation team ( TSA Wan-Shuen + Yannick DAUBY). The project takes listening as creation concept participating in the uses of the building. With the sound installation in the social welfare building, an alternative space for the sense of listening appears. “Sensory Garden: The Arts of Five Senses” led by horticultural therapist Sean LIN, cooperates with “Nan Hai Development Center” in growing herbs and edible vegetables outside the center, using plants to develop participatory labor. The landscape creation “Trans-plantation Village” designed by ArchiBlur Lab, is inspired by the concept of “settlement”. The team utilizes the space on the sixth-floor balcony to build a hanging garden, using water and plants as core elements, and further integrates it with the curatorial team’s “Relation Nursery Room (archives of research, thoughts, process)” and other projects. On this multi-media and multisensory platform, people can rest, gaze at and listen to the communities and botanical gardens nearby. These are actions in a cultural movement we carry out during the process of artistic intervention, a move to awaken emotions in human beings, moreover, a spiritual journey to tear down the walls of rational disciplines, in which instability is regarded as a partner.
Director: CHUNG Chiao（Assignment Theatre）
Curators: LEE Je-Yu, CHIU Chun-Ta(Yves)
Project Manager: YANG Fang-Yi, CHEN Min-Hui
Project Assistant: WU Yi-Ching, YI Chien-Ru
Exhibition Design: ArchiBlur Lab
Photography and Videography: OnePlumHorse Films
Visual Design: Idealform
作品配置圖 Artworks Map
Transmutation Working Process
The establishment of a relationship takes time and involved interaction. This dynamic and networked process is similar to raising seedlings, which requires intense observation and delicate care. Transmutation Working Process represents the concepts from artists of the project, how they apply their expertise in different methods, such as drama, sound art, gardening and landscape construction, to confront space, place, users, etc. of the social welfare building, resulted reflections and the distinguished styles of handling on the topic of “relationship”. The curatorial team also try to present the intriguing questions and demonstrating notions from our the process of participation, research and analysis. With their help, our team discovers the potential of art for revealing unstable perceptual patterns and the possible path of participation.
Through Photosynthetic, We Breathe
How deep an affection and a bond should it be, for a person to devote oneself to beloveds for fifteen, or even fifty years of time? Along with caregivers and theater workers in the course of three-month passionate listening, dialogue and self-confession, they could gaze at the hardships and frustrations experienced by themselves, intellectual disabilities, rare diseases, schizophrenia, and dementia. Photosynthetic, a drama therapy workshops organized by theater director CHANG Chia-Jung, helps sharpen the image of caregivers’ resentment towards life, which turns out to be their profoundest love for the family; clarify insight into caregivers’ ability to protect their family as the proof of their strength. Through the path of theatre, the deepest love as well as the unique strength on human scale are sculptured.
Auditory Perceptual Movement of Sound Organism / Organisation of Sound
Besides being a physical phenomenon, sound is also a unique per Sound Organism ceptual activity and a medium for depicting social patterns. Through sounds, we can identify, imagine, fantasize and recall things. Meanwhile, sounds can also be a means of dividing scopes of rights and powers. The auditory movement, Sound Organism, led by TSAI Wan-Shuen and Yannick DAUBY, begins at the Taipei City Western District Community Care Center for new Immigrant and Taipei City Zhongzheng Women and Family Service Center on the fourth floor of Taipei Chengzhong Social Welfare Services Building. An original idea was to extract conversations in life of new immigrants and build a listening field in the reception area. However, after taking the pre-existing functions of the area and privacy of user groups into consideration, the objects for material constructing and collecting turn to social workers and Taipei Botanical Garden. Sound Organism wants to trigger the perception of visitors with “non-functional” sounds in this over-functional building. The concept is to place sound devices in elevators, at the reception and the terrace on the sixth floor of the building, so that Sound Organism could infiltrate elegant and heterogeneous sounds into the cold and rational public space, creating listening scenarios under specific temporal and spatial conditions, or even establishing a “Village” with the art of listening.
Sensory Garden, the Starpoint of Ecological Restoration
Air, water and food are essential components for survival. “To treat sick plants, people tend to feed them more food (fertilizer). However, what they should do first, is solving the problem of ‘breathing’.”, stated botanist Sean LIN. Judged by the symptoms of the building, LIN adheres the principle of “soil treatment first, water treatment afterwards”, and eventually nourishes health and breathable soil. He later further develops a participatory gardening project with Taipei Nanhai Development Center. Sensory Garden is not merely about the cultivation and harvest of vegetables and spices, but also the interaction of sharing ecology, exchanging gardening knowledge and establishing a cooperative relationship through the act of reorganizing soil. Moreover, in the process of improving the soil and growing the community garden, it seems to stir up the perceptions buried by the rationalization construction and build up a microenvironment, where different gardeners (institutional personnel, students and community residents) co-exist.
Twist and Coexistence in Transmutation Village
Eric CHEN’s Transmutation Village is a beautiful paradox in the Social Welfare Services Building. It transforms the 6th floor balcony, which was lack of publicity due to design flaw and regulations, into a garden or a village for people to meet and a place for listening, gardening and gazing. The village compensates for the isolation caused by both tangible and invisible walls due to rational floor design and division of organizations. Transmutation Village brings up the question of “publicity” in a unique position. Its self-made bending steels shuttles through the twisting and turning figures, pondering connections between artistic creation and social welfare business. In this ecological circular construction of waterways, plants and sounds, we conceive how we can witness the ability of nature to thrive in the gaps of steel and envision the possibility for heterogeneous things to coexist.
差事劇團簡介 About Assignment Theatre
Assignment theatre transfers their training institution and theory system from people’s Theatre for the purposes of developing a common people’s performing culture in communities and schools, while raising a critical social awareness towards issues of oppression.
People Theatre emphasizes learning from the process, through the interaction of theatre, to reach the goals of educating, communicating, and growing together. People’s Theatre is a theatre style that proceeds from reality, integrating the local history and life experiences of a community, while exploring an experimental theatre performing aesthetic.
計畫主持人簡介 About the Director
Born in 1956 . a Hakka ethnic writer and poet, who was chief editor of “human magazine” in 1988. 1996, started its career of People’s Theatre till now, founder of Assignment Theatre as the playwright and director, also the planner of inter-Asia theatre project.@
策展人簡介 About the Curators
1981年生於高雄。國立清華大學社會學博士。近年著迷1970 年代鄉土文學論戰以降的藝術與社會思辨，和稀泥於左翼文藝運動、民眾劇場、參與式藝術等概念叢結中。曾參與策劃《紅字團 2014-1949》與《眾志—民眾文藝的跨境連帶》等展覽。
Born in Kaohsiung in 1981. He holds the Ph.D. degree of Sociology from the National Tsing Hua University. He has been recently dedicated to the issue of the relationship between arts and society with regard to the “Debate over Hsiang-Tu literature” in the 1970s. As such, he has been engaged with the left-wing literary movement, People Theater, and Participatory Art and so on ‘entangled concepts’. Past curatorial experiences include The Red Bloc 2014-1949 and Zhong-Zhi: Trans-Border Solidarity of People’s Art.
Yves Chun-ta CHIU is an independent curator and researcher of Art Archive Center in Taiwan. He was born in 1983, Kaohsiung. He escaped from the ivory tower of philosophy in 2008 to enter into the field of contemporary art and has been deeply immersed in it ever since. He received his PhD. in Fine Arts from the Tainan National University of the Arts in 2017. He is very much inspired by the works of western philosophers, art theorists and masters, but prefer to listen to his own masters. He is interested in the methodologies of describing the real society by pseudo-sociology and the production of knowledge by pseudo-discursive. He is also concerned about how art practice is able to form relationships with society and life authentically.
Past curatorial experiences include 2014 New Year New Hope; Voices Travel; M.E.L.T. ing Project; Tainan Chinatown; Urban Potential Chloroplast; Common Story; 2019 Madou Sugar Industry Art Triennial; Collective Negative Space Village.