We’re happy to host taiwanese art collective Walking Grass Agriculture. Founders Hsing yu LIU and Han sheng CHEN invite you to reflect on Dutch colonialism in Taiwan, via a one-day exhibition, an artist talk and a print workshop in our space.
Fruit farming was an important pillar of Taiwan’s economical development. The proceeds of exporting from the so-called “Land of Banana” or “Land of Pineapple” sustained local industries. Yet many kinds of “Taiwanese fruit” are exotic species rather than indigenous species. From 1624 until 1662, the Dutch authority (VOC) occupied Taiwan and started the earliest archiving of Taiwanese plants. According to “De Dagregisters Van Het Kasteel Zeelandia, Taiwan, 1629-1662,” the fruits imported during the Dutch colonial period to Taiwan included wax apple, mango, guava, sweetsop and tomato. The concept of Vanitas, from Dutch art of the 16th and 17th centuries, will be discussed during the talk. The printmaking workshop will invite participants to create “Taiwanese Vanitas”, thereby cannibalizing the Vanitas and questioning the notion of exotism.
About Walking Grass Agriculture: “Flourish a state through agriculture, intervene art through agriculture” is the method and objective of walking grass studio. Our members have a family background in agriculture and a profound passion for art. We use the term agriculture not just for its technical implications, instead we explore the possibilities of art via the values we have inherited from our families. Agriculture is a balance between nature and culture, not unlike art, it responses to seasons; the heavens and the earth underneath it; time and space; the rhythm of life. All of these are phenomenons art can act upon. Our studio operates in the following ways: 1. curation — From planting to sowing, produces go through a cumbersome and laborious process. Curating an exhibition requires the same effort, our studio orients to planning and executing exhibitions to establish a unique style. 2. creation — Contemporary artist cannot isolate themselves from environmental issues, food safety crisis, and labor rights. Aside from producing images and installations we will mobilize research based projects, through field investigations and interviews we strive to uncover extensive document archives. 3. promotion — In art school we’ve discovered a network of young artists with backgrounds in agriculture, we wish to connect them and others interested in our agenda, to turn projects into movements. Through this we may bring art out of the white box and into warm sunlight and land, affecting not just “viewers”, but everyone involved, turning it into a way of life.