Reflections on RED 糸工

糸工 ]藝術對畫 閉幕趴Red – VD XXVI , Closing Party
展期 Date|Saturday, 2018.10.06 – 3PM – 5PM
地點 Venue|Red Room 紅坊國際村
新藝術對畫藝廊 The New Red Room Visual Dialogues Gallery

Running from September 2nd to October 6th, Red Room’s Visual Dialogues is in full swing with its inaugural exhibition, RED, in their new location. The show, a group exhibition, invited artists from across all mediums to submit works that contemplate and address Red Room’s eponymously named exhibition. Ushering in a new chapter in the history of Red Room and Visual Dialogues, the show brings together works from Red Room veterans and newcomers. Of note amongst the latter, are the Photowalkers, a group of photographers and photography enthusiasts based in Taiwan.

To those familiar with Red Room’s original location, the issues of space and presentation may linger in the imagination, especially for those tasked with curating the large and open multipurpose room. There was undoubtedly a certain charm in having a mixed performance space, gallery, community center. After all, the focus and mission of Red Room emphasizes community first above all else. Nonetheless, from this writer’s personal conversations with previous curators, the large open room and its high walls always posed a challenge. In a sense, the works were swallowed by the walls. A space with that kind of appetite could potentially become a challenge for the artists working to fill it with work.

With this in mind, the new gallery and location mitigates these issues in one easy master stroke. The gallery has its own space now. What is for now called the Visual Dialogues Gallery exists separate from Red Rooms performance area. The compartmentalization means the gallery is now more forgiving, more accommodating to the works on display. RED, a group exhibition composed of 27 different visual artists, 13 photographers, and over 40 different works, becomes the perfect exercise in space and presentation for the new location. Walls are full, works are not competing for recognition, and walls are not hungry.

Red Visual Dialogues 26 from Red Room on Vimeo.

The works themselves, in paint, in glass, in digital print, in book, in wall, in poster, in woven swing, tackle what “red” means, in all the permutations the mind can imagine. Playful works, loving works, and works that ask us to stretch our conception of this all to human color, hang democratically, side-by-side. It is no wonder such a topic can elicit such varied interpretations. One gets the sense that red is the oldest colors. A color that flows from the inside.

The closing of the show will be on October 6th, and will take the form of a take-down and party. If you did not make it to the opening, I highly recommend making time and paying Red Room a visit and checking out RED. The work, the artists, and the new space may surprise you.

Download the pdf for Visual Dialogues Artist profiles here.

Download the pdf for Photowalkers bios here.


Sean Gaffney
[email protected]

Red Room Reflections, September 2018

Aside 16, A Feast for the Senses 第16場 一場感官的盛宴

Aside 16 June 2018

Aside 16

A Feast for the Senses

The June Aside at the Red Room was a feast for the senses in more ways than one.

The evening was an educational journey through the many tastes and flavors of this island. From Hakka Chinese to indigenous cuisine and traditional bandoh style banquets, our knowledge of Taiwan’s rich and diverse food culture was enriched and enjoyed by all who attended.

Katy Hui-Wen Hung 洪惠文 is an avid collector of recipes and culinary stories as well as a passionate advocate of Taiwanese cuisine. Her frequent travels have become a journey through Taipei’s food culture, past and present. She spoke about her discoveries while writing her soon to be released book on A Culinary History of Taipei: Beyond Pork and Ponlai, co-authored by Steven Crook.

Chef Lin Ming-Tsan 林明燦 shared his knowledge and experiences as a 總舖師 Bando master chef, a tradition handed down from his father and grandfather. His display of knives dating back from his grandfather’s time and the must-have items a good bandoh chef requires was a rare treat to witness. He is known as A Master Who Recreates Old Favors. ~ “I carry the torch to continue my father’s legacy

Chuan Chun-Yi 全俊逸 is from the mountain Bunun tribes of Xinyi in Nantou County. A shepherd by trade, he spoke about the abundant life force brought out by the earth and the sustainable management of land, life, and food by the Bunun tribe. Chuan also prepared a feast for all to share with his classic mutton tomato stew and fresh wild vegetables. Accompanied by Mochi and rice wine freshly prepared by his mother.

Special thanks to each of the presenters for their time and sharing. Thank you to Chun-Yi for the delicious feast and to our generous partners Canmeng Aveda and Granola House for sponsoring the gifts. Thanks to Romona Guan for on the spot translations.


第16場 旁白在紅坊
一場感官的盛宴

六月場的旁白在紅坊真是一場多方元的感官盛宴。活動的步伐讓我們跟著講師們串流於台灣島的各種口感和風味;從客家到布農到辦桌宴席,每一位參與者對台灣豐富的飲食文化都感受到了更深層的了解與欣賞。
洪惠文(Katy Hui-Wen Hung)是一位食譜與故事的收藏者,也同時是台灣飲食文化的倡導者。她在台灣的各種旅遊經驗讓她能更充分了解到台北食物歷史的過去與現在。洪老師為各位觀眾述說了她與Steven Crook一起合寫的新書:「A Culinary History of Taipei: Beyond Pork and Ponlai」,而我們都很期待這本書的出版。

林明燦(Chef Lin Ming-Tsan)跟著祖父與父親的腳步貫上辦桌總舖師頭銜,當晚與紅坊大方分享了他的各種知識與經驗。 林老師更特別帶來了祖父與父親傳承下來的各種刀具與現場分享它們悠久的歷史與各種用途。就如號稱「傳承古早味大師」的林師傅說道:「我在延續我父親的事蹟。」

全俊逸(Chuan Chun-Yi)是南投信義鄉布農族的人。正職是牧羊人的全老師非常注重與土地的關係,述說了布農族透過可持續農業培養出來的生命力與食物。全老師更與母親用心的烹煮了一頓豐盛的大餐,菜單上有令人垂涎三尺的番茄羊肉湯、新鮮的蔬菜、手工麻糬與自己釀造的小米酒。

非常感謝各位講師為我們貢獻這麼多的時間與愛心。特別謝謝全老師與母親為我們帶來每個人都吃不停的一餐。更要感謝我們的夥伴們AVEDA肯夢與Granola House贊助的禮品。

想看到活動當晚更多照片的話可以點擊此連結.

希望大家能跟我們一起參加下一場旁白在紅坊。敬請期待其他消息喔!


Photos of the evening can be viewed here.

We hope to see you at the next Aside. Stay tuned for updates. Sign up for our monthly e-news so you never miss out on a great opportunity to visit the Red Room!

The Red Room. June 2018

The Well of Words, May 2018

Stage Time & Wine 100 from Red Room on Vimeo.

The Well of Words
Memories from ninety-nine Stage Time & Wines

On the 16th June, Red Room will host its 100th Stage Time & Wine. This milestone represents over eight years of events hosted by Red Room, an ever-growing community, and an ever-stronger ‘culture of listening’. If you have been to Red Room before, it is likely you have felt the special kind of energy that resonates from the walls. If you haven’t visited Red Room yet, the 100th Stage Time & Wine may be the perfect opportunity for you to feel it for yourself.

“Stage Time & Wine is a build-your-own event where each participant is invited to contribute to the creation of the evening”

Ayesha Mehta, Red Room Co-founder

Anything can be shared within the Red Room: voices, stories, poems, songs, instruments, dances, ideas, memories, sounds, murmurs, silence. At the heart of Red Room is a ‘culture of listening’, so I believe it would most appropriate if we share the words of others in this article. I have rummaged in the Red Room archives and unearthed memories, personal experiences and voices from ninety-nine Stage Time & Wines.

In the beginning: an idea

Red Room was born from words. It all began with a conversation between Ayesha Mehta and Ping Chu when a fortuitous rainshower caused their paths to cross in Dulan, Taidung in 2009. This conversation planted a seed, which released its roots into the Taipei artistic community and began uniting individuals with a common passion.

“In this web-connected world we live in today, we have stopped practicing deep listening and are losing the human connection on the personal level. We are busy doing, not being. Being allows us to grow and feel the bliss we are all capable of experiencing.”

This is the vision that Ayesha shared with Ping. Her dream of creating a ‘listening space’ was the building block upon which Red Room could grow. Ayesha’s seedling of an idea sparked an interest and inspired others. Before long, a group of friends gathered to plan an event where participants could express themselves freely and listen deeply to each other. Ayesha’s brother, Manav, came up with the name ‘Stage Time & Wine’.

The first Stage Time & Wine took place in the Learning Kitchen. As Roma Mehta described it, the friends “put things together”; they experimented with the space, hung up shawls as stage curtains, created a ‘bar’ through each sharing what they had, and then hoped people would come along to enjoy the evening. Nobody could have predicted that the event would take off in the way it did.

Stage Time & Wine 1

“We didn’t really plan for Red Room to be what it’s become. It’s grown every year. We definitely didn’t know when we were sitting around the table what Red Room would become.” (Charles Haines’ memory of Red Room’s creation)

“The first Stage Time & Wine event was filled with laughter, raucousness, honesty and a room full of strangers entering into intimacy and giving towards each other.” (Ayesha Mehta)

Words of Red Roomers: what does Red Room mean to you?
“It’s the shaky rushy feeling that washes over me when I step up to the microphone.” (Rose Goossen)

“We’ll embrace it, applaud it and dream with it when the night ends.” (Leah List)

“When we were introduced to Red Room, it was like a door opened… to myself.” (Ruth Landowne Giordano)

“The act of sharing my work and listening to others recharged my battery every month.” (Daniel Black)

“If we can make people feel, if we can be REAL, even for a moment, by giving form to our creativity then we have achieved something.” (Trevor Trebotski Tortomasi)

“At the core, it is about restoring the lost spoken word and creative expression, sharing, and listening.”

(Ping Chu, Red Room Co-Founder)

“The word artist holds no boundaries, it’s not marked by a mustache or a hat…”
(Extract from a Red Room poem by Manav Mehta)

Constance Woods’ memory of a young woman sharing a love letter at Stage Time and Wine: “A frisson of a moment sparkled through the room.”

Emily Loftis’ memory of painting Ping’s shirt in an interactive stage time performance: “You don’t have to be an artist to understand the simple pleasure of spreading paint over canvas. But there was something more to this experience as well. Ping was doing exactly what Red Room offers everyone who comes through its doors: an invitation to leave your mark.”

Beyond the four walls: Red Room’s social impact

Like a pebble thrown into a pond, Red Room has stirred up a rippling effect across the Taipei artistic community. Conversations happen in the Red Room. We feed off each others’ energy and inspire one another to take our ambitions further. We collaborate, form bands, put on plays, create art together.

“Together we did create a community or a tribe of like minded people who want to participate in something bigger than themselves.”
(Ping Chu)

Red Room has provided a platform for young artists to experiment, find their unique style and put their work out there. “They help promote the young artists who otherwise would probably have difficulties doing so… We support one another. It’s all about contributing to the community.”
(Faye Angevine)

 

Stepping into the Red Room is also the beginning of an individual, internal journey; we are dared to take risks and to be real. “Red Room is mesmerizing. Now I can dream bigger, feel better and aim higher than before.” (Tina Ma)

Looking forward
What surprises will the 100th Stage Time & Wine have instore for us? The Red Room team have an ambitious aim to involve 100 performers for the 100th gathering… and there will surely be 100 glasses of wine to accompany! Gather with us and share this precious moment, cherish the open platform for expression, and add your voice to the well of words.

Poetry by Lily Yen, May 2018

〈遠路〉by 詹瑋
The Farther Route

Do you like how twisted I am?
Are you willing to take the farther route with me?
There is no light,
but it is said to have more stars.
There is no sign post,
but there are many unnamed flora.
Do you want to live in a warm ocean?
Are you willing to approach a shark out of sheer curiosity?
I always think of you at critical moments
as if you could wake me from my nightmares.

== ==
〈如果真有下輩子〉by 徐珮芬/patmuffin
If There Were a Next Life

I would spend my next life
As a beautiful deer,
Dashing into the road when you were driving
For your sincere remorse.
I would spend my next life
As a petit snail.
On the sidewalk after the rain,
I’d quietly be crushed by you
So that I could live on the sole of your shoes
And follow you wherever you go.
Next life,
I would become a
Mispirnted word
Located in a
Perfect love poem
To make you slightly surprised
And to make you wonder about
The meaning of my existence.

〈我們〉by 宋尚緯
We

Some verses are sad by nature,
such as Love, such as We.
We–Can you understand?
It requires two people or more
to do the same things, such as
making love, or coming across difficult words,
or reading similar stories,
or writing sentences that make one another feel
suffocated at an instance.
I will not ask you ever again, things like
how you’ve been, how the weather is
where you are, if it’s raining,
if you’re still kidnapped by the reality, or
if you’re still afraid, you’re
still shaken in the middle of a storm.
I know the mere existence of somethings
make people sad.
I just didn’t think even these hearts
are broken through our collaboration.
I don’t know about you, but the rain here
has been hitting my window nonstop.
Every raindrop is a needle
piercing through our history
and then slowly sawing it back together.
Are you still where I left you
just as I had once waited for you?
Sooner or later someone will have to leave first,
sometimes dying in life
sometimes an inextinguishable flame
rise in one’s dreams.
Some verses have always been upsetting,
I know, for instance what you’ve told me, about
us. Everything turned miserable
after you and I are no longer we.
I come across difficult words,
read similar stories,
tell lies that suffocate myself.
All lies are voluntarily told.
Same are decay and diaspora.
Same as you and I.
== ==
〈所有人都起飛了只剩他在原地〉 by 林禹瑄
Everyone Has Taken off, Leaving Only Him on the Spot

Everyone has taken off
Leaving only him on the spot
Stepping back and forth, blinking, lighting a lighter,
Using burnt fingers to rub some icy desire.

The floor in his eyes was still the floor
The wall was still the wall, and the self mirror on the wall
Was still having the annoying look,
Living in the house like a wasteland,
Making hollow sounds:
“Nothing happened.”
No splendid fire, no man-eating flower,
and no soft branch leading to the deep end of the universe,
bringing back the answer to life–
He still has questions, but no one answers them.
Everyone has taken off

Leaving only him on the spot,
Trying to burn the extinguished prairie,
Believing that repeating the same uselessness
At the same frequency
Will make himself useful,
Such as reading about communism, drinking diet coke,
Such as believing that ordinariness
Brings one safety and happiness.
“But nothing happened.”
No clock hand that went counterclockwise, no shiny memories,
and no expanding galaxy silently devouring
a life time of regret and depression.
He knew that the world had problems,
But he didn’t know where he had made a mistake.
He remained silent. Everyone said
Silence was right.

And yet everyone has taken off,
Leaving only him on the spot,
Walking back and forth, blinking, and lighting a lighter,
Continuing to breathe sincerely
“Nothing becomes better.”
He unwrapped a piece of chewing gum,
Chewing himself plain.
He felt lonely,
He felt he was extra,
But he didn’t
Put on a disappointed look.
A minute still contains 60 seconds, and afar is still afar.
Standing under the sun
Still makes him want to make a wish.
Everyone has taken off,
Leaving the best of life behind.
He puts the ashes in his pocket,
Sometimes watering it, sometimes burning it.
When it rains,
Only he has a secret.
Only he can see the new-grown mushrooms.

By Lily Yen