The Summer of 2016 ended with Aside 14 beating the heat with a cool night of fun & laughter. Whether it was a slight giggle, a huge belly laugh or anything in between, laughter can bring people together and establish amazing connections. In an instant, laughter can change the atmosphere of a room from chilly to one of warmth. That was what several of Taipei’s talented performers did while rocking the Red Room with their banter and wit. From Comedy to Improv to Insults and Toasts, laughs were definitely contagious this evening.
Starting the evening off, stand-up comedian Charlie Storrar shared his passion for the craft with famed British sense of humor and well-timed quips.
Next came the hilarious videos of the dynamic duo, Kevin Lee & Michael Wong from the 什麼東西 LK Show. Their original comedy web series poking fun at daily life situations has accumulated millions of views.
To round out the first half of the show, Meg Anderson and her Sweet Danger Improv troupe (Matthew Long, Colin Norman, and William Openshaw) created on-the-spot comedic vignettes using input from their captive audience.
After a short break of feasting on delicious raw vegan treats by CoCo, stand-up comedian Eric Chang started off the second half with a bang. His routine focused on hysterical cross-cultural behaviors and situations, which we can all identify with in our own lives.
Then came the very first and much anticipated Roasts of Red Room! Co-founder Ping Chu and our own RR curator Manav Mehta were the first to feel the heat. Friends and foes alike gathered for battle under the capable direction Roastmasters A-Fong and the now infamous Charlie Storrar.
First up in the hot seat – Ping Chu. For many of us who have not known Ping for long, it was enlightening and amusing to hear roasters, Tina Ma, Brendon Chen and Brook Hall share stories about his past, quirks and foibles.
Last but not least, Manav Mehta stepped up to take his due. Long-time friends, David Gentile, Sam Dulaney, Addison Eng and surprise roaster Goober all took turns spilling some of Manav’s secrets. Most likely Roma learned one or two new things about her son during this process. As the saying goes, “with friends like that, who needs enemies?” Of course, Manav did not take things lying down. He came back with a few pokes and jabs of his own. But as all of us present were aware, everything said that evening was in the spirit of fun and camaraderie.
As E E Cummings said, “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter”. Well, it was great knowing that none of us present wasted our day.
By Sharon Landon
In the last year we have had 10 Visual Dialogues in the Red Room International Village at TAF. Each show brought artists from different cultures and experiences to display art and share ideas. Art can be a window into another person’s culture and heart. It can also be a beautiful object on a shelf or hanging on the wall. The show openings bring together a cross section of friends, Red Roomers, art lovers and children. Art truly belongs to everyone and Visual Dialogues are an opportunity for artists of all media and experience to share their journey.
Visual Dialogues@the Red Room’s August show features Roma Mehta and David Pipkin. Their show is called “Balance,” and one can right away see why. Roma’s earthy tones and fluid brush strokes match with the tones and colours of David’s beautiful pottery. Each artist plays with the elements Earth, Fire, Wind and Water.
Roma uses words and colours to evoke these elements, and we feel at home looking and experiencing her work. With David’s approach to clay, one goes beyond seeing the earthen clay. Instead, one feels its texture with the eye, as well as the heat of the fire that was used to bake it.
“Balance” encourages the viewer to get in touch with the earth spirit within them.
This show will continue to run all through September, so if you missed it last month, come and feel the energy and open yourself up to the spirit.
To apply to show in Visual Dialogues, please go to our website www.redroomtaipei.com/contact-us to download the application form or use the link below:
By Constance Woods and Charles Haines
Coordinators for Visual Dialogues
At last, I entered the Red Room for the first time in over a year! After a year of great pressures, obligations, and pain, I breathed a sigh of relief. Even though I haven’t been a part of Red Room for very long, I feel like I’m always coming home when I walk through those doors. I feel like I’m with my tribe.
I think many of us feel the same way when we come to Red Room. We feel it’s a place that no matter how long we’ve been away, or how far we’ve roamed, we can always return and find a warm welcome.
Some of us bring beautiful traditional Balinese dance, such Inggrid Wardani. Others, like Rajat Subhra Karmakar, bear beautiful songs from India, with the flavor of Taiwan. Someone brought us their talents for the first time, such as Sean Wang with his amazing violin, CiCi with her hip-hopping “Hamilton” virtuosity, and our own intern Willie Chung with storytelling skills. Max Powers regaled us with his sharp, delightful poetry, while Vicky Sun returned as our wondrous songstress. Andrew Salamanca also showed us more of what he was discovering in his explorations of Taiwanese music.
Here at Red Room, at Stage Time and Wine, or at any event, what you have to bring to the community will always be embraced. Songs, stories, poetry, dance, laughter, tears: bring it all! So long as “thee shall obeyeth the rules!”
For me, Stage Time and Wine 81 marked the beginning of a new year. It’s a year of new friends and new relationships with old friends. I see a bright new horizon where I get more of a chance to give back to the community, and where I get to cultivate my skills as a writer and a storyteller.
Thanks for welcoming me back, Red Room!
by Whitney Zahar, Red Room Scribe
Visual Dialogues X @ Red Room
balance – 平衡
Visual Dialogue X will be an exploration of balance. David Pipkin’s works with clay and Roma Mehta’s works on paper create a dialogue with the five elements in a search for balance.
這次的藝術對話<玖>，將延伸探討 – 平衡。藉由David Pipkin與Roma Mehta的陶藝與文筆兩種形式，創造五行藝文對話，尋求兩者間的平衡。
Red Room is a multi-cultural, multi-generational space. Points of view are varied. We ask that the participants take this into consideration.
August 7th 2016 4-6 pm
Show runs until 2 September 2016. 活動持續至2016年9月2日
Email us : firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries or for details.
Born and raised in Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plains, and….never a day is without red clay. I took my first ceramics class in Stillwater Oklahoma, the home of the OSU Aggies, while I was studying architecture and dodging Draft bullets. I was immediately hooked on the process of making pots; digging that often overlooked amazing red clay, processing it, my fingers learning to see and understand the differential pressures needed to mold and form objects, then comes the chemistry of the glazes, and finally the magic of smoke and fire. All aspects of making clay objects have always fit me like a glove.
After graduation I spent more time making pots or playing on sailboats, than working as an architect. Downturns in real estate always hit architects first, so when a downturn hit Oklahoma I was actually delighted to be laid off so I could focus on playing with clay. After spending the better part of a year being a fulltime potter, I to returned to architecture with an interesting job. Although making a living from pots is possible and the hard work was actually fun, I found I really did not like working alone and was happy to hang around the water fountain again. During the first 5 years out of school I had many exhibitions, won awards, and made the rounds of multiple craft fairs.
Fast forward 40 years, I have not regretted remaining in architecture as it has shown me the world. I have worked in Oklahoma, NY, LA then Taipei. I was always able to keep my hands in clay and look forward to spending more time with clay as I get older.
I consider myself a serious student of clay. Every place I have lived in has offered different types of clay with different work conditions. In Taiwan I was limited to electric kilns, which was not my first choice but I gradually learned to come to terms with it. Two years ago I decided I wanted to go back to gas-fired kilns and thanks to the help of a potter friend Jack Doherty, I managed to build a gas-fired ‘soda’ kiln on my roof. After 12 months of planning I built a 1 cubic meter beast of a kiln. I had built and fired many high temperature gas kilns but never a soda kiln.
Soda firing means taking the kiln up to a temperature of about 1200 C, then introducing bicarbonate of soda in liquid form, which interacts with the clay and slips in unexpected ways. The process is 10 times more difficult to control than normal gas firing. After my 5th firing, I now have a pretty good list of things not to do. Hopefully, after 5 more firings I will have a reasonable list of things to do. Firing a cubic meter soda kiln offers a physical challenge that I did not plan for. However it is all part of the learning process, and I expect to make pots until the day I die, if it doesn’t kill me first.
I grew up in Calcutta, a densely populated city where the entire spectrum of human experience was in plain sight everywhere you looked. From a very early age i found joy in art and painted every chance i got. It was a way to connect with my inner self and provided an escape from the sadness and misery around me. I could not fix what i saw, but i could create something beautiful.
I decided to study graphic design in college so that i could ensure a living while continuing to paint in my free time. Art and design merged as the years went by and became a way of seeing and understanding the world around me.
My art is a collection of episodes that afford glimpses into moments of clarity and have been essential in my journey.
Portraits, lines and shapes, energy, colours, all blend and become the lens through which I see the world. Art gives me the insights I need to understanding the world I have chosen to live in. India remains the vibrant inspiration, the chaos of my soul and my palette. It disturbs my senses and calls me to become involved. Taiwan brings order to the chaos of things beyond my control. Helps me linger longer in the creative space.
with the first brush stroke
the canvas becomes the master
and leads me through a spirit journey.
i remain receptive as thoughts unscramble and a story unfolds on a living canvas.
inspired by the energy of india,
the spirit of taiwan,
the beauty of our planet,
the embrace of its people.
Roma Mehta is originally from India. A graphic designer, an artist, and a committed community member, she has made Taiwan her home since 1987.
Visual Dialogues 藝術對畫
between people, spaces and ideas
Two artists from different cultures with be featured in a monthly art show at the Red Room International Village, opening on the first Sunday of each month.
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays 3pm-7pm
TAF LIBRARY 2F No. 177, Sec.1, Jianguo S. Rd, Taipei