Collaborating for the Kids: STJ and R4, November 2016


We would like to announce an exciting collaboration between two sibling groups: Stage Time and Juice @ the Red Room, and Red Room Radio Redux (R4)! Ruth Giordano, the director of R4, has been involved in all aspects of theater practically since she began walking. As she frankly states: she has more than 50 years of experience to share.

In the next two upcoming Stage Time and Juice events you will be able to enjoy the fruits of that collaboration, beginning with a presentation of “Jack and the Beanstalk” during our anniversary show beginning at 2:30 on Saturday, November 19. Ruth will teach several teens how to use their voice and how to hand-create sound effects to retell this fairy tale classic in a fresh and appealing manner.

January 21 brings us Aesop’s Fables, based on a script Ruth penned in 2008 for a children’s theater company in Massachusetts. She will be adapting to fit the Juice troupe. This workshop is geared towards the younger children (ages 7-13). Part of the preparations for taking the stage will include prop and accessory crafting: parents will probably be called upon to assist!

Make sure to visit our Stage Time and Juice Facebook page to receive the most current information about all our workshops and events.

If you, like Ruth, have a gift or passion to share, remember that the Red Room’s door is always open! A small exchange of knowledge can change a child’s (or grownup’s) life forever!

By Carol Yao and Ruth Giordano

Scribe’s Musings, November 2016

For this month’s special anniversary issue, I’m going to turn the Scribe’s Musings over to Manav Mehta, who almost seven years ago, penned this exquisite poem that may prove slightly prophetic.
Happy 7th Anniversary, Red Room!

Stage time and wine
I thank you all for coming tonight, on behalf of the community and i
Moments where we analyze what to do, and what not to do..
Well, screw explaining that I’m up here so that’s what I’m going to do.
I want to tell you all whats been going on in my mind..
Crunching new grooves with a 19 year old grind..
It gives me headaches, awkwardly personal “proud moment” smiles..
An unorganized database, receiving an endless number of untitled files..
You gel up your hair, your hat cries out “STYLE”
Your body type comes with a variable list of numbers to dial..
I’m working on mine! Jogging mile to mile..
A combined effort at a developing mentality, with assorted perspectives-
Stage time and wine, is a place of…
Well wine-
Something that makes it special..special is what you’ll find..
The word artist holds no boundaries, its not marked by a mustache or a hat…
Those who have both are simply gifted, and well..i didn’t get it so screw THAT!
According to me here, once you’ve entered the red room..planet earth is flat..
The ultimate symbol indicating that we’re all equal ..were all artists here- how about that?
It’s a time for us to share! BYOB should change to BYOSOMETHING TO SAY
Everyone has something to share, its usually the ones who are shy..who sit back and compare..
C’mon guys, that simply isn’t fair- but don’t go as far as saying “I CAN say anything..its not like they care”
WE’RE here to listen, to enjoy, to emotionally react the way you do biting into a sweet chocolate eclair..

I wake up with theories, which are completely genius..
But as the day ticks along, it deteriorates to something meaningless..
This random rambling is an example of that- but I love the act of performing..(AND YES THIS IS CONSIDERED A PERFORMANCE..).
That’s a fact

Art comes in all different shapes and forms..the ones labeled eccentric or exotic-
Are just ones there are no real words for..
Ever notice the lack of vocabulary we hold to describe certain things of wonder..
Beauty..stimulating and depressing – sigh..
We use our bodies, the tone of voice, our facial expressions-
I was gifted with the control of my eyebrow muscles..and so..tonight I will take the role of goofy.
Stage time and wine..
Time for all of us to shine..
Hence the much brighter lighting –to symbolize the divine..
Bring out the person inside of you tonight- do so through the love for the spoken word..
Mimes are allowed as well..
Like I said artist holds no boundaries or lines..
There are beverages in the back, grapey wine with some chai-ey chai.
Let us all enjoy the night-
In hopes for more random ramblings in sight.

by Manav Mehta

2 October 2016, Visual Dialogues XI Charity Art Event 慈善油畫聯名展


rrvdxi-oct-poster-092616Opening Reception: Sunday, October 2 at 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Red Room & CBTA (Childhood Brain Tumor Association of Taiwan) would like to invite you to the opening of their charity art event, featuring over 14 artists. They will be donating their art for the cause.

Caridee Chou: “My sister was diagnosed with a brain tumor and during her treatment, she felt that art was a great healer. She discovered that painting helped her through this difficult period.”

This is where the idea originated to hold a charity art show to help other children who are suffering from similar situation. We wish for each child to experience the joy of a happy and healthy childhood.

Donations will go to Childhood Brain Tumor Association of Taiwan (CBTA).
The mission of the CBTA is to improve quality of life and the long term outlook for children with brain tumors from newly diagnosed to survivorship or end of life.

紅房和中華民國關懷腦瘤兒童協會(CBTA)想邀請你參加他們的慈善畫展的開幕式,有超過14個藝術家願意共同聯名將他們的畫作收入捐給中華民國關懷腦瘤兒童協會 。


參展藝術家 Participating artists:
周京瑤,凱利劉,李亭儀,鄭淑芬,周怡賢,鐘翊綺,沉步曦,詹凱名,呂佳真,李昀潔,吳鴻旻,邱國峰,陳敏媛,唐琪珮,Roma Mehta, Charles Haines.

A collaborative effort by Childhood Brain Tumor Association of Taiwan (CBTA) & Red Room.

25 September 2016, Beats for Breakfast Vol. II


Beats for Breakfast II
Sunday 25 September from 9 AM – 3 PM
Get ready for the second enstallment of


Beats for Breakfast is an opportunity to gather, enjoy good music, bask in sunshine, and have a great time. It’s a party, with a difference. The focus is on movement, music, and well-being. Kick your Sunday morning off consciously through self-expression, nourishment, and DANCING. Following the spirit of the Daybreaker parties popping up globally BnB is bound to get you moving! But wait…

What is Daybreaker?!

9:00 – 10:00 Yoga Session [Bilingual Instructor Carolyn] – (bring your own mat! If desperate the Peace street community center is kindly lend us some but if you can, being one to ensure there’s enough)
Limited yoga mats sponsored by PeaceStreet Community Center, please bring your own if possible.
10:00 – 15:00 The dancing begins!!!

Guest DJ Sets:
Yoga [Bilingual Instructor: Carolyn]
Dance [Live DJ Sets: Kuleflux // Lucypova ]
Live Painting by Artist Charles Haines
Mandala Coloring Activity

Food & Refreshments:
Fresh Popcorn (Brown Sugar Cinnamon / Montreal Steak Spice)
Raw Vegan Organic Treats by Coco
Delicious Smoothies
Tea & Coffee Bar

Entry: This event is Pay by Value. We would like to empower people to contribute according to their ability and the value they place upon their own experience. In a nutshell, you pay what you feel you received in return.

//Special thanks to Beats for Breakfast for organizing the occassion, Red Room for providing the space, Peacestreet Community Center for providing the yoga mats, Seedbase for facilitating the Pay by Value system, and to all the participating vendors and volunteers that believe in our vision!//

Start your day a little differently.

How to find us:

Taiwan Air force Base (TAF) 空軍總部 「圖書館」LIBRARY
No. 177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd (Intersection of Jianguo S. Rd. and Jinan Rd.)

Our entrance is located on the intersection of Jianguo S. Rd. and Jinan Rd. (TAF side entrance). After passing the gate, keep marching forward and you’ll see a white building to your left called Library. Make your way to the second floor via the outer staircase on the side.

Travel by MRT:[Zhongxiao Xinsheng Station Exit 6]Walk straight along XinSheng S. Road , then turn left on Jinan Road Sec. 2 , continue down and you’ll spot the entrance.


誰說,喜歡跳舞的選擇只有夜店?如果,我們一起在早上跳舞,有很棒的DJ,一起做瑜伽,享受律動,音樂以及良善的思維,讓你星期天早上可以很豐盛,Beats For Breakfast 紅透美國東西岸,第一次在紅坊RedRoom 舉辦你一定要來體驗!

9:00~10:00 瑜伽 (雙語)請自備瑜珈墊。
10:00~15:00 跳舞。





地址:Taiwan Air force Base (TAF) 空軍總部 「圖書館 台北市大安區建國南路一段177號(濟南路與建國南路交叉口)

2 September 2016, The Most Dangerous Game

Friday, September 2 at 8 PM
Red Room, TAF 空總創新基地 建國南路一段177號, Taipei, Taiwan 106
Created for R4 = Red Room Radio Redux

R4-mgd-FB-1920x1080pxOriginal story by Richard Connell
Adapted for Radio Drama by Ignatz Ratskywatsky
Read by Paul Batt & Pat Woods
Sound Effects by Paul Batt
Directed by Ruth Giordano

COME OUT TO PLAY! then PAY BY VALUE – read on –
The “Pay by Value” system allows attendees the option to award money based on the value they received and their financial ability.
This is a “Pay by Value” event. We hope that our guests will pay according to what they can afford and by the value they place upon the experience.

In a nutshell, you pay according to what you feel you have received.

Please check our Facebook for updates.

29 July 2016, KIND OF RED II

29 July 2016 7pm – 10pm @ the Red Room
An event of Wine Tasting, Food Pairing & Jazz!

為了向麥爾戴維斯取的藍調合輯致敬 ‘Kind of Blue’ ,紅房’Kind of Red’ 提供給你們酒、美味的食物、爵士樂和魅力的陪伴。介紹酒的文化和深入傾聽爵士樂,而每年會提供舞台給精力飽滿的台灣年輕一代爵士樂團。

We are so very grateful for the support we received launching the 1st occasion , and so we welcome you to join us again, and invite company you feel would appreciate such a setting.

As a tribute to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, Red Room brings you an evening of wine, good food, jazz and charming company. Introducing wine in culture and deep listening to Jazz, whilst providing a venue for the up & coming jazz ensembles Taiwan’s young musicians are molding and shaping each year.


票種 Ticket #1

*Reservations Required for Ticket #1 票種 #1 必須訂位*
Accupass Online Ticket Purchase 網上訂票

*7pm-10pm 500NTD *
-Wine Tasting and Food Pairing (3 portions) 7-8pm
品酒搭配小吃點 (三份) 7pm – 8pm
-Live Jazz 現場爵士音樂 8pm – 10pm
-Inclusive of 1 Drink 含一杯紅房水果酒

票種 Ticket #2
*8pm -10pm 300NTD @ the Door 現場購票*
-Inclusive of 1 Drink 含一杯紅房水果酒

Red Room is a non-profit organisation. The entirety of the entrance fee is to cover the expenses necessary to host such an event.


場地 Event Location: Red Room, TAF LIBRARY 2F No. 177, Sec.1, Jianguo S. Rd, Taipei 空軍總部「圖書館」2樓 台北市大安區建國南路一段177號

What is Kind of Red?

On the last Friday of each month, Red Room & PPF House collaborate with a guest chef, sommelier, story tellers, and a Taiwanese new generation Jazz ensemble. Within a 3 hour spectrum, we invite our guests to a wine tasting exploring the stories behind how wine has shaped our modern world. For every sip, a food pairing, and for every nibble, a story. The remainder of the evening is spent actively listening to jazz.

每個月的最後一個星期五, Red Room 與PPF House共同邀請創意主廚,調酒師,一對說故事的人,以及一組新生代爵士樂團。為您提供美好難忘的3個小時藝文時光。我們誠摯的邀請您一起來品酒,探索酒是如何形成當代時尚不可或缺的一部分,同時搭配上一口口的美食與背後的故事,隨著節奏聽見不平凡的故事。時間就應該花在值得的事務上,讓我們一起享受爵士樂帶著我們悠遊美麗的夜。

聯絡資訊Contact Information: <>

Wine Company: 儷泉葡萄酒 SZITY Wine Cellar

介紹者 Introductions made by Wayne Pu 步文鈞

CHEF: Khaled J. Abu Elsamid艾立德
Involved in : 煉金師 超級食品 - Alchemist SuperFoods Spot Taipei

BAND: Jazz Way Station Quartet

演出足跡遍布中正紀念堂、享巷、日和公園、Legacy Taipei、TAV、Café V、The River、Uranium、Sappho等知名展演場地演出深受觀眾喜愛獲得好評。


The Red Room is an ever-expanding community, exploring and extending the boundaries between audience and performer; a not-for-profit platform for events developing a culture of learning to listen to each other, what is around us, and our selves.


24 June 2016, KIND OF RED

As a tribute to Miles Davis Kind of Blue, Red Room brings you an evening of wine, good food, jazz and charming company.
Introducing wine in culture and deep listening to Jazz, whilst providing a venue for the up & coming jazz ensembles Taiwan’s universities are molding and shaping each year.

24 June 2016 *7pm – 10pm*

(7pm-10pm 500NTD on Accupass 網上購票)
Wine Tasting and Food Pairing 品酒搭配小吃點 7pm – 8pm *Reservations Required 必須訂位*

(8pm -10pm 300NTD @ the Door 現場購票)
Live Jazz Music 現場爵士音樂 8pm – 10pm

Both Tickets Include 1 Drink 兩種票都含一杯飲料

Event Organiser: Red Room
Event Location: Red Room, TAF LIBRARY 2F No. 177, Sec.1, Jianguo S. Rd, Taipei 空軍總部「圖書館」2樓 台北市大安區建國南路一段177號

Brief Description of Event

On the last Friday of each month, Red Room & PPF House collaborate with a guest chef, sommelier, story tellers, and a Taiwanese college Jazz ensemble. Within a 3 hour spectrum, we invite our guests to a wine tasting exploring the stories behind how wine has shaped our modern world. For every sip, a food pairing, and for every nibble, a story. The remainder of the evening is spent actively listening to jazz.

每個月的最後一個星期五, Red Room 與PPF House共同邀請創意主廚,調酒師,一對說故事的人,以及台灣大學爵士樂團。為您提供美好難忘的3個小時藝文時光。我們誠摯的邀請您一起來品酒,探索酒是如何形成當代時尚不可或缺的一部分,同時搭配上一口口的美食與背後的故事,隨著節奏聽見不平凡的故事。時間就應該花在值得的事務上,讓我們一起享受爵士樂帶著我們悠遊美麗的夜。

Registration Process:
聯絡資訊Contact Information:

Wine Company:儷泉葡萄酒 SZITY Wine Cellar
介紹者 Introductions made by Wayne Pu步文鈞

CHEF: Khaled J. Abu Elsamid
Involved in : Alchemist Superfoods / The Spot Taipei / Yoshinoya

BAND INFO: Jazz Way Station Quartet
演出足跡遍布中正紀念堂、享巷、日和公園、Legacy Taipei、TAV、Café V、The River、Uranium、Sappho等知名展演場地演出深受觀眾喜愛獲得好評。

2016/5/13 FUNK與Soul Jazz ‧ Sappho
2016/5/8 URANIUM週年慶演出
2016/3/11 拉丁與巴薩諾瓦 ‧ 勿忘我咖啡小館
2016/3/5 Switch ‧ The River with SOSS & Leo37
2016/1/30 Switch ‧ The River with SOSS & Leo37
2016/1/2 爵士中繼站‧TAV
2015/12/27 台大爵士樂社成發‧享巷
2015/11/21 藝起來中正‧中正紀念堂
2015/11/19 Harvest!秋季派對‧Legacy Taipei
2015/10/15 Way Station Trio Project ‧ The Common
2015/08/15 日和公園藝術趴‧日和公園
2015/06/06 台大師大爵士樂社成發‧享巷

現任爵士中繼站團長、台大騷動爵士大樂團lead alto與音樂總監。

鐘崇豪/Piano生於1992年,自幼學琴,畢業於文化大學音樂系,主修鋼琴,副修小提琴,在學時擔任 春之聲交響樂團小提琴手,音樂無國界電台主持人,畢業製作總幹事。 畢業後接觸爵士樂,並演奏鋼琴、合成器、小提琴、巴西 打擊等樂器。 於2015新北市電影節 爵士四重奏演出,光仁爵士大樂團偏鄉巡迴演出。現職音樂教師與樂手,擔任台北京都特快車三重奏鋼琴手,Organism創作樂團樂手,爵士中繼站鋼琴手。 於2016錄取City College of New York爵士演奏,九月赴美深造。



Reflections, Stage Time & Juice, May 21 2016

Check out videos and photos from May 21 on our Facebook page.
The title of our May 21 Stage Time and Juice: Mum’s the Word! is a play on the themes of Mother’s Day and spring. What could be more spring-like than to celebrate life from the perspective of insects? The Juicers were treated to bouncing grasshoppers, whiny bees, supercilious water striders, tragic mayflies, and self-important cicadas, as interpreted through the poems of Paul Fleischman. The poems, read by two readers at once, sometimes in synchrony, sometimes not, demonstrated how poetry can sometimes be performed as a form of music.

Sue DeSimone, on the other hand, seemed to be bugged by something else, leading the Juicers in a plea for ice cream. Her guitar accompanist, Jimmy, seems to have been infected with her melancholy, because he broke into a bit of blues himself after her song was done.

Devry presented a soliloquy from Henry the V while waving around a sword…um…bamboo stick. Two young sisters performed a violin and cello duet from the Japanese animated film “Kiki’s Delivery Service.” One young man sang a song named “Seven”, deploring his lost youth at the ripe old age of nine, and then finished with a keyboard rendition of “Chopsticks” with his mother. His brother did a couple of magic tricks. A pair of siblings read from their favorite story books, one talking about what mommies do and the other describing the sentimental value of a scarf. Finally, two little monkeys demonstrated what it means to be on a roll.

And that’s what you missed at Stage Time and Juice!

Carol Yao

Reflections, Aside 13, April 30 2016

Aside 13 April 30 2016

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said,

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Aside 13 at the Red Room was a three hour journey along the paths of 5 individual and group performers- each with their own story of adventure and wonder to share. The evening opened with words from Red Room’s co-founder, Ping Chu. Ping encouraged the audience to reflect on the importance of the people we meet throughout or travels. “At Red Room,” he said, “it takes only a minute to meet someone, but a lifetime to forget them.” While the day-to-day interactions we have with our friends and colleagues may seem trivial in the moment, Ping reminds us that life is a collection of a multitude of moments, each shaping our experiences, like stones lying in the middle of a narrow stream.

The evening flowed onward to the first performer, Tina Ma. Tina spun a tale of blazing one’s own future and identity through facing different challenges. Her story-song used the personification of animals to symbolize the the wise lessons we can learn from nature. She urged the audience to meditate on the importance of emotion and kindness in our actions, asking “When we act, do we use all four chambers of our heart?” Tina’s question made us wonder: are we full hearted in our interactions and experiences, or do we simply give half of ourselves? Her performance asserted that in order to learn, love, and give to the world, we have to use all four chambers of the heart and feel love flowing through all aspects of our being.

As if mirroring the heart beat pumping blood and life throughout us all, Mia Hsieh used her steel drum to play a song that strikingly embodied the light-hearted nature of travel. In contrast, her vocal tones expressed a yearning for something lost along the way. After all, while Emerson emphasized the whimsy of weaving one’s own trail, he also posited that ” Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” Mia’s song led the listener to believe that perhaps the singing traveller had neglected to hold fast to “the beautiful,” mistakenly confusing the painful lessons of growth with regret and flaw- forgetting that experiences mould us and therefore beautify the paths on which we walk.

Sue de Simone candidly told the audience about walking her own beautiful journey through growth. She began with a rock song based on the adage, “nothing ventured, nothing gained,” telling the audience of how a benign brain tumor lead to a series of addictions from cigarettes to alcohol, from alcohol to cigarettes and from cigarettes to chocolate. While the story was harrowing, Sue used humor to draw attention to her current reality- a successful performer, healthy and full of life.

Rocking us back to the past, Ruth Giordano and the Red Room Radio Redux crew shared an excerpt from their upcoming show, “Treasure Island.” The connection to the evening’s theme is clear- a journey across the sea to find an elusive prize. Although “Treasure Island” may be a classic, the excerpt left the audience wondering how the story would end.

As if on cue, the night came to a hopeful close with Scott Prairie and Mia Hsieh’s collaboration on a series of songs. The final song in their set reminded the audience that, “it’s going to be ok.” With this upbeat and energetic close, the audience rose back to life, bustling hurriedly to catch old friends before heading home and to embrace new friends will a full heart.

Kristin S. is new to Taipei and is excited to volunteer at the Red Room as a rookie. In her free time she enjoys reading psychological thrillers, exploring new cities, and yoga.

Interview with Brendon Chen

Painting, singing and dancing are some of the oldest forms of human expression. While each of them can be viewed through an academic lens, only two are considered entertainment in Taiwanese society according to Brendon Chen, founder of the Escape Artist. “Nowadays, in modern society, we still do singing and dancing as entertainment, but most of the people [have forgotten] that painting is fun,” he told me over a cup of coffee. Chen believes he found the solution to this dilemma when he opened the Escape Artist.

The Escape Artist’s slogan “The Art of Paintertainment” is a pithy summary of Chen’s long term vision of reintroducing painting as less an esoteric practice and more a form of every day entertainment. Teaching visitors and customers goes against the Escape Artist philosophy—this isn’t a space where one pays for tutelage, rather it is a space for amateurs and experts to gather with their friends to connect with others, and themselves, through art. To that end, the studio includes a place in the back, filled with rustic benches where friends can gather and drink coffee while their paintings dry.

Chen found that people who painted without pressure or critique, who painted with those whom they felt comfortable around, they would able to realize their own creativity. Too many people deny their own creativity because they view artistry beyond their grasp, but allowing them to come and splash any color they wish on a canvas teaches them that creativity is inborn. Moreover, the creativity that comes from this painting is more than art, more than even entertainment; it is a way to communicate with the self.

It’s unsurprising that someone who seeks to promote such a vision would connect with Red Room. After being introduced to Red Room by co-founder Ping Chu, Chen has continued to attend and support Red Room events, speaking at Red Room’s Aside in 2013 and sponsoring canvases, easels and paint for Red Room’s annual live art events. To Chen, Red Room and the Escape Artist hold similar dreams of people truly expressing and understanding themselves and each other. Both the Escape Artist and Red Room allow people to “enjoy some wine, the company of a friend, and expressing [themselves]” and he hopes more people will find enjoyment in these simple pleasures as the Escape Artist and Red Room become more prevalent.

To learn more about the Escape Artist, and their connection with Red Room, check out the interview below.

What is the philosophy behind the Escape Artist?

We believe that painting is one of the oldest, and most important, forms of entertainment for human beings. Nowadays in modern society, we still sing and dance as entertainment but most people [have forgotten] that painting is fun. They view painting as an academic thing, especially in Taiwan. People here don’t go to museums or galleries to view paintings. They think it has nothing to do with their lives.

We started the Escape Artist not as an art space but as an entertainment place. Just like we go to KTV to sing, we go to night clubs to dance, we come here to paint.

Long term the reason we started the Escape Artist is we want more people to get to know themselves, so they will choose something they like and not something the media tells them they should like.

Painting is very special. It’s a unique form of expression because it’s the only one where you can receive [what you create]. It’s a self-communication process: you get to know yourself better through painting because you can see what you create.
Through painting people will feel more comfortable about themselves; then they will feel more comfortable with their surroundings, too. It’s very important that the people are willing to step out first.

If more people experience painting, I’m sure they’ll appreciate art more. Since art is part of their life there is a bigger change they will go to galleries to enjoy looking at paintings, buy paintings or they might actually create a painting.

I think in a sense you sort of stepped out to start this business. What was that process like and was there a moment when you knew it would work?

I always had faith that it was going to work, but I have to admit that it was harder than I thought it would be, much, much harder.

I still remember the night before all the investors started wiring the money into the account. It was the first time I couldn’t sleep in my life. Before the Escape Artist, I didn’t have any staff or any investors to report to, so it was really a lot of pressure.

In the end, I decided I still wanted to do it. I always had faith it was going to work.

How did you come up with this idea? What was it that sparked your inspiration?

I studied jewelry design in Milan and I was a musical actor so when I came to Taiwan people always introduced me as their artsy, creative friend. I would say “You’re creative, too”. They would say “Trust me I am not.” They have no confidence in their creativity, but arguing with someone whether they are creative or not is like arguing whether they are a ghosts or God. They won’t believe it unless they experience it.

So my ex-girlfriend and I started to seek out a way for them to experience this. We did some research [on painting] and realized it’s entertaining, it’s fun and it’s relaxing.

It’s kind of a social activity because, while you’re waiting for the paint to dry, you get to talk to people and when you’re painting a lot of ideas may come up.
If you’re cooking, if it’s not delicious then it’s not delicious. If you’re making pottery, if it leaks then it leaks. If you’re gardening then the plant might die. In the end no one can fail at painting. Everyone has a different style, no one is better than anyone else.

Is it, to an extent, a cultural thing in Taiwan, this lack of confidence in creativity or this assumption that you have to be trained to be creative? Did you open this, in a sense, to shift the culture? Have you seen any sort of change since you’ve opened this business and if so how?

More than eighty percent of the people who come here the first time don’t believe they can paint. That’s also why most of our customers have been brought by people who’ve already been here.

In Chinese we have this saying “I don’t have an artistic cell in my body”, but the truth is every cell of human beings is artistic. It’s in our genes, so there’s no way anyone is not artistic. Once they start painting they realize that.
There was a girl who came with three of her friends that didn’t believe she could paint, so she insisted on not painting. She sat [at the table], drank coffee and watched them. After two and a half hours– the other three girls had been laughing and splashing paint on each other– she somehow decided she wanted to paint. The other three girls were like “We’re almost done, we’re about to leave.” That girl was like “I don’t care, I want to paint.” So then it was her friends sitting at the table and drinking coffee. After two hours the girl started to scream “I can’t believe I painted this! There’s no way this is my painting. I painted this!” She kept walking away from the painting because she couldn’t believe it. Eventually I had to stop her from falling down the stairs. We don’t teach them here so she knew one hundred that the painting was created by her.

This kind of magic happens every day. I guess that’s the effect we want.

You don’t teach here. Is that explicitly against your philosophy?

The thing is that if someone made a painting and there’s a mountain and a grass field and a sky. Maybe they think the sky is a little bit empty so they ask me “Do you think I should add something to the sky?”. If I say yes then there are two results. First, they like the result and will think “Brendon is the master. He told me to do this and the picture is awesome” so it’s my credit, not theirs.
If they don’t like the result they’ll think “Oh, even though Brendon helped me, I still can’t do it.” When someone has no confidence that’s what they will do. No matter what they still think they can’t do it, but if I don’t have any influence on their painting, they will know one hundred percent it’s from them.
The most important part is we want them to know one hundred percent that everything is from their heart, that they can’t deny that’s their creativity.
Also, if it’s your first time you won’t know your style. If I teach you, you’ll copy my style and probably you will delay the process of finding your own for many years.

You announced at the RR that you were going to open this business?

Yes, when we started it we told them it would happen in the next week

You also spoke at an Aside in 2013.

Yes, we spoke about creativity.

How did you first get involved with the RR? What drew you to it?

The Escape Artist is more a social responsibility for me. I can’t say it’s not a business, it has to be a business in order to keep itself sustainable, but our goal is to have the most influence while making money not making money while having some influence.

We knew Ping Chu [the co-founder of Red Room] for many years. We consulted Ping because he’s a successful businessman and he has a business a good purpose, and that’s what we want to do. So Ping asked us to share it at Red Room and that’s how we go to know Red Room.

Now, when there’s something we can do to help Red Room we try help Red Room too.

After that initial introduction what is it about the RR that made you want to continue the partnership? What is it that you like about the RR?

I like to read a lot and, especially when I’m speaking in Mandarin, in a lot of people’s minds I’m a dreamer. I’m idealistic. People will say “people don’t talk like this anymore”, [but they do at Red Room].

One thing I like about red room is that it encourages people to use poetry. They read poems, they write poems. Around that they have singing, literature and sharing.

After sharing poems and literature and song, Red Room began to involve more art—like at Artists Break the Mold. Of course it has something to do with painting, so we got involved.

Stage Time & Wine’s slogan encourages people to listen to others. When someone is sharing you don’t talk about your thing, you listen to what he’s about to share. That’s also something I think is very important nowadays.

We take different approaches to expose as many people to this kind of atmosphere that’s not so realistic or capitalistic. Not just talk about stuff but also talk about what’s inside of you, what you want to say. It’s not about performance, but about expression. Red Room and the Escape Artist encourage people not to meet someone’s expectations—not their boss, not their frienda, not society’s– but to explore who they are and what they like. That’s why we’ve always worked together.

Is there a memory you have of attending or a time when EA and RR collaborated that really stands out?

Actually the first time I went to Red Room, Manav read a poem he wrote. Itgave me tons of goosebumps. That was the first time I’d heard someone reading a poem to me, usually because I’m the only one who reads poems among my friends, but reading a poem from a book is very different from someone reading it to you. You could tell Manav liked poetry when he read it. I guess it makes a difference, you can feel that he’s passionate about writing and literature.

I don’t say that because he’s one of the leaders of Red Room. The first time I went to Red Room I didn’t know who he was.

I think that’s the kind of influence Red Room can have on a lot of people. Of course I know a lot of people might not feel it because they might not be ready to do it but eventually they’ll join this kind of event more.

That’s why I think Artist Break The Mold and [the upcoming] Artist Bridge The Gap is the kind of big event that can influence more people, just in one day! That might draw other people to RED Room and I think it will change their lives.

Leah List is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan’s Political Science and International Studies program. She is an aspiring writer, researcher, human rights advocate and a believer in the importance of storytelling. She currently resides in Tianmu. In her free time, she can be found at the Red Room where she volunteers.