Red Room presents Visual Dialogues XIII / Sitar & Tabla Performance
Sunday, 4th December 2016: I was devoured, and then lifted into the clouds.
Not in a dream, but rather, during the course of a day of art and community at Red Room 紅坊國際村. Capable of being many things to many people—art gallery, concert venue, workshop space, spoken word poetry slam, and cozy spot to hang out—Red Room is a special place for the arts lovers of Taipei.
The warm community fostered by Red Room’s eclectic, friendly approach to the arts is singular in its lack of judgment. I’ve never much enjoyed going to art galleries, leery of those sterile, sacred spaces where I’m often shushed for laughing too loudly. Devoured 吞噬, the gallery opening I attended that Sunday at Red Room, offered an entirely different experience. We looked at, and talked about the art, of course—but we also snacked on chips and fruit, shared plans for the holidays, and felt free to explore the space. I even skimmed through Red Room’s book collection while I was waiting for the next event, a sitar and tabla concert.
(I love that about Red Room. The entire space is available for people to use—nothing is off-limits. There’s no pressure to conform to preset expectations. Artists and art lovers can be snobs, which is not always a bad thing—but Red Room cultivates an atmosphere of openness to all, which I find refreshing. There’s freedom to experiment in such an atmosphere.)
When I first walked in that Sunday afternoon, I didn’t get very far. There was a giant white turtle right at the door, greeting people as they came in. The video projected on the wall above it showed the making of the turtle—how the artist, Annie Hsiao-Wen Wang, collected plastic trash from the ocean, and constructed a turtle from all that human waste. Turtles, of course, are among the many creatures harmed by plastic pollution.
We all could use more reminders of the environmental impacts of the daily things we do without really thinking about them. Eating meat, one of the subjects of T.K, or Taylor Kaku—the other artist featured in the exhibition—is another thing many of us don’t really think about, although it deserves reflection. T.K’s wood sculptures of animal carcasses confront us with the once-living creatures that are made into the meat we eat. Devoured吞噬, as the thirteenth edition of Red Room’s Visual Dialogues series, certainly made me reflect on practical things I can do in my own life to live up to my theoretical ideals.
Although the two artists were there in person, and they briefly introduced their work, they didn’t host a panel talk like I thought they would. I was surprised by this, at first, but it makes sense in the context of Red Room’s informal atmosphere. There’s no need to host a formal panel when you can just go up and talk to the artists yourself—or so it must be supposed.
T.K is Taiwanese, while Anne Hsiao-Wen Wang was born in Taiwan but grew up in Australia. Red Room is both internationally minded and focused on the local. The sitar and tabla performance later that Sunday was a great example of this dichotomy.
The audience was predominantly Taiwanese; the sitar player, Hansraj Prabhakar, was visiting from India at the request of a former student, who lives in Taiwan. The tabla player, Toshiro Wakaike, hails from Japan.
Eventide. People began to slowly file in. They lingered by the giant sea turtle at the door, peered closer at the paintings on the walls, and enjoyed the art from Devoured 吞噬while they were waiting.
As they sat close together on the large red carpets covering the floor—no shoes allowed—the room began to fill. Red Room transformed seamlessly from a reflective art gallery into a buzzing concert venue, with art included. I love that about Red Room. It serves versatile purposes, all with the aim of making art—all kinds of art, from music to visuals to the spoken word—available to those who seek it.
When the concert finally began, the room came alive with the shared pleasure of being transported, floating, into a world where songs never end. The music was soaring high in the clouds. Down on earth, people let themselves be lulled into a trance and carried away…
Of course, nothing does go on forever. When the music finally came to a close, we all woke up from our collective dream. As we departed, on our separate ways, we said our farewells cheerfully, for we knew we might come together again some other night—at Red Room, where anyone can have a voice, and where everyone will be heard.
by April Xiong
By the Red Room…
Our Creative Nook for our Red Room Performers, Contributors, Friends, and Newbies who want to share more of their beautiful words. Want to be a part of it? Contact me, Whitney, at email@example.com for submission guidelines and information. I accept on a rolling basis, but I would like to get contributions ready by the 25th of each month.
By Aspiring Azul
6am this morning i watch a speech by Ping on perspective. regarding the law sanctioning the principle of Marital Equality for woman & woman, man and man.
by 7 i’m spilling ink across the table top
whirling out the words i could not express,
remaining is but what i have left.
I don’t believe in Marriage
I believe in creating, communicating, coloring my crazed cravings into my comic craft
i’ve chosen this
i’ve chosen him
i’ve chosen her
Love isn’t colorblind, nor is love red
love is a rainbow under covers of a bed
I believe in the sight of another human being drawing me breathless
intense vulnerability linked to sharing…everything
I believe in the security of a surreal bond
confident that the world outside sanctions my choice
I’ve chosen this
i’ve chosen him
i’ve chosen her
a united plunge into pools of wonder
hand in hand through shallow puddles of rooted struggles
limbs intwined for the pretzel like cuddles
braving winter elements with one scarf between two
filled wth butterflies and candle lit shrines
peering into eyes that spark a fire trail
listening to a heart rate tell its tale
smelling scents of head & hair
touch of body with tender care
without these liberties and assurances, whats left of being human?
without acceptance , how can we belong?
With my beliefs respected
insert myself into reality
contribute to those around me,
navigate the spheres of curiosity
adapt to principles of society
blend and stir to thicken the stew
trace life’s pages with many and a few
crack the surface and discover the new
Today the issue is that not all of us can do these things,
bubbling beneath us is boiling truth
if neglected we’re ruined we’re THROUGH
I believe in people , i believe in our decisions, i believe in our acceptance,
i’ve chosen this,
i’ve chosen him,
i’ve chosen her
Seven Years and Counting… A Reflection of Red Room’s 7th Anniversary
I remember walking into Red Room’s 7th Anniversary not knowing what to expect. Having sat in the planning meetings, it was hard to visualize when Manav was saying something about a tent, and vendors, and graffiti art, and how it would all come together in a big, beautiful ball of awesomeness.
My words, not his, by the way.
How was this going to work?
I have the answer to that question now. Have faith, because when you love something as much as we love Red Room, all things are possible.
There are so many memories from that night on November 19, and shortly afterwards. There were the incredible graffiti art that greeted all who entered the festivities, created by the amazing PowWow Taiwan artists and others. My son Preston in particular loved the one with the panther. There was the way everything came together for Stage Time and Juice and the magical “Jack and the Beanstalk” collaboration with R4. It was so great to see the young performers throw themselves into the story and the sound effects, and even better, the audience could feel the enthusiasm. I have a feeling there will be more collaborations in the future. Maybe someone in the audience will go from sitting out there, and onto the stage.
My son Preston was especially enthralled by the magicians.
I spent a good deal of my time inside the Red Room space acting as a bit of a “gatekeeper,” if you will. Since the space was open, someone should be up there to answer questions, provide company for anyone that needed a break from the heat and the fun stuff outdoors, and to keep an eye on things. I walked around and gazed at the pictures of Red Room’s past. I’m only a drop in the bucket of Red Room’s history, only two years, but I hope I’ve made my mark here. So many people have in the most magical and unexpected ways.
In light of the swirl of negative energy that is engulfing our world from many places, I started a Wall of Love within the Red Room space. I got this idea from an article I read about a man in New York City who set out a table with Post-It notes and pens. He invited people to write notes of love, encouragement, and positive energy to anyone they wished and post the notes up on the walls of the New York subway system.
So, I set out markers, paper, and pens, and invited people to pen their own messages of love and hope, in any language and in any form they wished. I was happy to see a few people do that and add it to the exhibit within the Red Room space.
I think what I can take away from the Red Room 7th Anniversary is that over the last seven years, Red Room is more than just a space. It’s a home. It’s a work of art and heart. It’s the people that have come and go through the years. It’s the energy that courses through the people and space with every art installation, every piece of music played, every piece of literature read, and every smile on someone’s face. It’s the hugs. It’s the support.
It’s the love that crosses language, culture, and that affects us in ways that suffuse our whole being.
That is Red Room, for the past 7 years. And no matter how much it grows, I hope that’s one thing that never changes.
By Whitney Zahar
Editor and Librarian
Season’s Greetings, Red Roomers, old and new!
November and December have flown by in the most beautiful, colorful blur of fellowship and festivity. That’s why this edition of the e-news is our GLORIOUS, SUPER-SIZED Edition!
We close out 2016 with an impressive 7th anniversary event in November that spanned 3 days. It’s amazing to see how much Red Room has grown in seven years; imagine what we can do as time goes by. For a word on that, here’s something from our Keeper, Roma Mehta:
2016 evolved to become a landmark year for Red Room.
2017 will crystalize all that we learned.
2018 is where we should be looking.
Let’s plant an orchard.
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year, indeed! We have to have hope and to have faith, and Red Room is a place, a people, a movement that can foster that.
November’s Visual Dialogues was a carefully curated selection of photographs from Red Room’s history and events, perfectly balancing out our anniversary celebration. We’re looking forward to seeing old and new faces grace those images for years to come. Yours truly is also thinking of ideas to make those photographs seen more often by the public in the form of small exhibits and a photo archives.
December’s Visual Dialogues is dominated by a beautiful turtle in our front hall. Can you believe it’s made entirely from recycled plastic? Artists T.K. and Anne Hsiao-Wen bring their sculptural visions of how human consumption affects the world around us.
Stage Time and Wine 84, held on December 17, was a merry evening filled with poetry (including a little SCIENCE from Trevor Tormatosi), dance, music, and joy for the old, while ringing in the new.
Red Room can be a whirlwind. It can spin you around, sometimes overwhelming, always something unique. This year was a hard year for many people around the world. But I think Red Room has grown in its mission to use the arts as a platform to reach out, expand hearts and minds, and welcome people to our door. Here, you will find a place that’s truly special. Here, you will always find “friends you have not met yet.” There is a place for you here. That much, I promise.
We have many new events heading your way, which our Keeper Roma will share with all. But we are always looking for volunteers for our events and contributors to the e-newsletter.
For information about writing with me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Whitney Zahar
The idea of a one-day workshop for the purpose of creating a short presentation for the 7th Anniversary celebration came to Juice’s Carol Yao in the course of a discussion about a future and more elaborate R4/Juice collaboration. Jack & the Beanstalk was chosen from a list of familiar (Western) folk tales mainly because of that story’s potential for noise-making (sound effects).
Four teens were recruited: Julian and Nicole Hsu, Jessie Chen and Sosia Chen-Wernik. Carol and Ruth rounded out the cast.
We had less than three hours to learn the show. Radio drama allows for reading the script – no memorization was required. People settled into their assignments easily. Only one person played multiple roles and those characters appeared in separate scenes. The youngest member of the group took responsibility for sound effects and the eldest teen took on most of the narration as well as handling the cue-cards.
A last-minute addition was Ashish Purswaney, who translated the pre-show script, greeted the audience, introduced the craft of Radio Drama and responded to Cue Cards. The show was well received. There was a good turnout and the family audience was receptive to our offering. The sound system was of excellent quality and expertly-managed. All-in-all it was a good experience, if a bit rushed. But sometimes, that’s how we roll.
Earlier in November the ReadAloud met over some poetry by Robert Frost.
Generally, we feel that the monthly ReadAloud could use some more attention. While it was never meant to be a big event, it’s not thriving.
To end on an up-beat: the November calendar also included a visit to the ICRT studios for a recording session of Most Dangerous Game. Pat Woods and Paul Batt met there with Ruth and our favorite recording engineer Liu Ping. Everyone were so familiar with the material that the session went swimmingly and we were satisfied with the work in just a few hours.
Charles Dickens wrote his most famous hit single at a time when Christmas traditions and celebrations had fallen out of style.
The novella appeared in December 1843 as: A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. It has not been out of print since.
Dickens was quite fond of the holiday and, with his history as a thespian, he thoroughly enjoyed reading it aloud each yuletide to family, friends and neighbors.
It’s become an R4 tradition here in Taiwan to present this classic in one form or another – always closely adhering to the original language. In 2012, a cast of readers assembled at the ICRT studios to record a scripted version, (penned by our own dramaturg, IgnatzRatskywatsky). This recording has been broadcast yearly at holiday time.
Dickens’ own abridged version was our material for the DecemberReadAloud: Sixteen souls gathered in the Red Room at TAF to take turns reading aloud. Incidental music set the mood and simple sound effects enhanced the listening experience.
The room had been festively decorated by Red Room elVes (that’s V for Volunteers, without whom there would be no Red Room) They even made the room smell Christmas-y with cinnamon and citrus and cider.
That’s the Word, and God bless us, everyone!
Red Room Radio Redux
“There is a crack in everything … that’s how the light gets in”
Celebrating Leonard Cohen : Poet & Songwriter!
懷念音樂會 :詩人 ，歌手 Leonard Cohen
Red Room and Happier Cafe would like to invite lovers of Leonard Cohen to join us in a celebration of the singer songwriter’s life. Selected works will be performed by local musicians. All members are encouraged to sing along and we welcome all of you musically inclined to join us, hit a triangle, beat the cajon, lead on guitar or even harmonising vocals.
Special Offerings of the evening will include Mulled Wine & 湯圓TangYuan.
紅坊國際村與更快樂實驗所想邀請所有喜愛 Leonard Cohen 的朋友們來參加我們舉辦的懷念音樂會。
Wednesday 星期三 December 21 2016
Starts 活動時間 : 19:00 ~ 22:00
Open invite for the poetically & musically inclined to join us for a 5min~10min slot on stage to share!
I did my best
it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel
so I learned to touch
I’ve told the truth
I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
it all went wrong
I’ll stand before
the Lord of Song
with nothing on my tongue
Leonard Norman Cohen, was a Canadian singer, songwriter, musician, poet, novelist, and painter.
Leonard Norman Cohen, 一位加拿大歌手，自作詞曲的音樂家、詩人、小說家及畫家
Red Room Radio Redux (R4) invites you to …
Round Table Read – Aloud : December 故事分享之夜 十二月份
時間: 8 pm – 10 pm
地點: 紅房國際村 (空總創新基地)
Time: 8 pm – 10 pm
Date: December 16. 2016
Venue: Red Room International Village, TAF
Your Patronage: Pay-by-Value*
The “Pay-by-Value” system allows attendees the option to award money based on the value they received and their financial ability.
In a nutshell, you pay according to what you feel you have received.
All languages and all levels of experience are welcome.
No microphones, no special effects. No competition. Guaranteed moral support.
“There is a certain satisfaction in voicing written words. We lift them off the page and let them out into the air. At the Red Room village we have created a space-within-the-space and we meet there to listen and to be heard.” -Ruth, Director R4
Learn more –詳情請見:
Redroomtaipei.com > Events > Red Room Radio Redux
Or search Facebook for R4=radioredux
TAYLOR KAKU (T.K)
Taylor Kaku is a mixed-media artist living in Taipei, Taiwan, who works in sculpture, installation, painting, and drawing. Kaku received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in intermedia sculpture from the University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah) in 2013. From 2011 to 2014, he had taken part in many group exhibitions in Salt Lake City. In 2014, he returned to his hometown, Taipei; and work as a freelance artist. In spring 2016, Kaku established an art studio space, Riverside, located in Banqiao District, New Taipei City. Since then, he has managed the mid size studio with a group of emerging artists and young entrepreneurs; meanwhile, he continuing pursues his artist career.
My works are about issues that related to human development such as human nature, environment, religion, technology, wealth distribution, and politics. They have been extremely diverse and they also illustrate my exploration of different materials. What I use to create my works helps determine the topic and allows me to continue to push myself to create, explore, and introduce new mediums. Meanwhile, they Often related to nature and human concerns, while exposing our inner darkness, giving them the capability to concurrently attract and repulse.
I challenge myself by using symbolism, sarcasm, narratives, and metaphors to guide the connections between my works and the audience. Past works have discussed food, petroleum industry, mental disorder, and political struggle. Through personal and universal symbols created from a variety of materials and processes that come together to tell real and fictional stories.
In the last couple of years I have been thinking about who I am and what my main theme is. I gradually have found myself to be a dark artist. I work in the dark to serve the light. By representing the dark and negative side through the surreal, panic and strange sculptures, I hope to promote mutual understanding, respect, and assistance.
ANNIE HSIAO-WEN WANG
This project has been a two-year journey which began when my husband and I moved to Thailand in 2014. Living on the beach, we saw the dire state of our oceans and the extensive level of plastic pollution. Everyday, millions of tons of disposable plastic waste is generated in every corner of the world. Everyday, the remnants of these wastes are washed up on the shores, and into the sea.
It is estimated that 50-80% of sea turtles in the world have ingested plastic, mistaking them for food. These plastic bags fill up their stomachs but do not give them life-sustaining nutrients; and in the end, the turtles die of starvation. Worldwide, six of the seven sea turtles species are now classified as threatened or endangered.
This work is about questioning our disposable culture, and the excessive human consumption of our times. It is a battle cry for our oceans, and for all the animals of our seas.
Born in Taipei and raised in Australia since 1990, Annie is an inter-disciplinary artist. She is the recipient of several art awards; and has exhibited internationally in cities all over Australia, as well as USA, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Her work has been widely documented in both the Australian and international press. Many of her works are now held in public and private collections around the globe.
This project is proudly supported by One Brown Planet: www.onebrownplanet.com