Jane Ingram Allen
Made In Taiwan
Hualien County

May 9 –22, 2005

Hualien County Culture Affairs Bureau, East Hualien Foundation of Culture and Education
Pine Garden Center

Culture Affairs Bureau, Hualien County
549, Jhongshan Rd., Hualien City, Hualien County 970
Email: evaccac@hotmail.com


Empty gallery with mirrors where we will hand the site mapsJane, Eva and VincentWe have arrived in Hualien, and our first impression is veryJane hanging floral abundance good. The city built a new airport and itis quite impressive. Eva Chang picked us up and showed us around the area and then took us to Pine Garden Center. It is quite beautiful and will be a very interesting place to work for two weeks. The Center is two stories and has gallery and classroom spaces. We have decided to hang the exhibit on the second floor because the space is large and filled with light.  Although the ceilings are high they can be reached with a ladder. They hold yoga classes in the space on Mondays, but that should be compatible with the art work. We will be holding the workshop in a covered porch area near a small pond. The workshop will be held on Friday and Saturday.

Florai Abundance at the entrance to the exhibit hallView of works in the exhibitstudioToday we completed the installation of the exhibition in the upstairs gallery. The exhibit looks good with all of the light coming in from the windows and skylights. After lunch we set up the studio, and Jane began to look around the Pine Grove area for suitable plants that will make paper. She found a number, but she has already made paper from some of them. She met with a woman this afternoon to review the various plants. She looked at all of the paper plant books that have been done for each residency. We are going to visit this volunteer's home and studio tomorrow. She is a member of the Ami tribe, one of the aboriginal groups in Hualien area.   We also have a press conference tomorrow, and the Cultural Bureau will be sending representatives to the conference. The Mayor may also be there as well.

night marketWe also went out looking at various stores in the area where we are staying in downtown Hualien. There is night market nearby that sold good fruits. We are staying above a dental office on the 4th floor. The dentist's wife is a board member of Pine Grove Center. The facilities are very nice and the dentist, American name Charlie, and his wife Amy are very thoughtful and considerate.

Deputy Director, Eva, and Jane in the galleryToday was the day for the news conference. The Deputy Director of the Hualien County Cultural Bureau came to the news conference along with some other staff. We also had 10 print reporters and two video reporters. It was a great turn out, and we heard that many of the reporters enjoyed Jane's art work. Prior to the reporters arrival we set up the papermaking area, so that they would see how paper was made. During the event, one of the reports responded to Jane's request for others to make paer. This was one of two video reporters. She did a nice job and will come back to get her paper when it dries. The reporters stayed for over an hour which is an indication of reporters in the galleryhow interested they were in Jane's work and the process of papermaking.

Reporter making paperDuring lunch we watched the video on the "My Home" exhibit that Jane did an installation for back in October. It was great to see the Jane's paper house and all of the people enjoying making paper and writing on the paper attached to the house. Rich Art, who organized the exhibit also produced a very extensive and beautiful catolog of the exhibition.

After lunch, we went to the home of the abriginal artist Mei. She lives near Liyu Lake about 20 kilometers from Hualien. Her home reflects not only a unique culture but her own art work. She is particularly interestedJane and Mei talking about plants in the plants that the Ami use for food and wants to see how some of these can be used for papermaking. We selected two plants that we will try to make paper. Tomorrow we will begin the process of preparing the plants and start cooking.

Jane and staff member peeling barkToday was focused on collecting additional plants, cooking and then making sample paper for the Hualien paper book. It is raining here, and it will be difficult to have the paper dry. There is one building at Pine Grove that has air conditioning and that may be used for drying the paper.

Jane and visitorsPine Grove Staff and helpersSo far we have discovered 5 plants and have made paper from two of them. One of them, the Indian Laurel is similar to the Laurel tree we found on Kinmen. That tree produced so much slimy material it was not possible to make paper. We did use it for formation aid. The Indian Laurel also produces a slimy material similar to formation aid, but it was possible to make paper and use no other formation aid. The question will be if it is strong enough when it dries. We also found a ficus tree at ine Grove Center, and it appears to be very good for papermaking. The bark/skin is very similar to mulberry.

Jane cooking plantspaper dryingWe went to dinner tonight at a very nice restaurant with Mr. Tsai who was one of the curators with Rich Art and Culture who worked on the " Taiwan My Home" exhibit that Jane partiicpatied in last October in Taipei. He will be working with us on the final show of Jane's project to be held in Taipei.

Tomorrow will begin the two day workshop. It will be a challenge as the weather may continue to be wet. We'll have to adapt and try various things to get it to work for everyone. When we returned to the place we are staying, our host was teaching a flower arranging class for some of her students. We were introduced and Tim caught them taking a picture of Jane and some of the students.

students preparing for workshopstudents making paperStudents in Gallerystudents pressing paperstudents picking plants in the rainThe day started early because we needed to be at Pine Garden to get ready for the workshop. There were over 25 students who enjoyed learning about paper. The first part of the morning was spent with introductions, viewing of the Power Point presentation about making paper and Jane's work and then making paper using the Western method. The workshop class also went upstairs to view Jane's Taiwan and regional site maps. After lunch the students continued to make paper. They created some interesting paper that we are hoping will dry for tomorrow. It has been ery wet here for the last couple of days. We are told that the weather is expected to improve.

Pine GroveSince arriving in Hualien, we have experienced at least half a dozen earthquakes. One was as large as 4.6 and was located 8 k away from Hualien City. Taiwan has a lot of earthquake activity.  People who live here say that they no longer notice these small earthquakes. This may not be too true as we had one the morning while in the upstairs gallery, and some of the people gave out rather loud cries of alarm. I would guess that after a while you take them in stride. There are no really tall buildings here, and the Taiwanese, particularly after the major earthquake in 1997, have built very strong and flexible structures.


student washing pulpPine treesStudents making paperstudents paintingVincent, Jane and JaneThe second day of the workshop went very well. The students spent a lot time making paper using both the Western and Asian methods and trying out some innovative contemporary approaches. They aslo did a group pour on to a screen stapled to the prch floor. They also made some very interesting art work from the paper that they had made the day before. Some of this paper had to be ironed to dry it. It was sunny in the morning but then began to rain again in the afternoon.

We contacted our landlord's sister, Amy Wang and she took us to dinner at the Astar Hotel that is one of the oldest and most elegant in Hualien.. Its decor is of aboriginal art and carvings. The food was excellent. It was a buffet and had such a variety of food from meats to sea food. There were also many desserts including ice cream.

Jane picking plants with the help of a volunteer who is holding an umbrellaJane with cattail structure in a frame before dipping Visitors from US and TaiwanThe rain continues to come down. It makes it very difficult to have the paper Jane makes dry. She went out to pick some additional plants to cook and make paper. She Hualien Riverselected "cattail" reeds from the pond that is next to the studio. She also selected leaves, flowers and other items that will be included in her paper for the Hualien "site map." Jane has the help of one of the volunteers. Jane picked while she held the umbrella. Jane felt somewhat like royality with having someone hold an umbrella for her. She took some of the reeds and made an open woven structure that she placed on a papermaking frame and dipped into the vat of pulp. It was an interesting piece of paper.

Hualien County coast line and Jici beachCow Beach signWhile making paper we had a visitor from the Univeristy of South Carolina. He was here with other people visiting for the day. He commented on the earthquake that moring. It was the first one that he had experienced.  He was enjoying himself seeing the sites of Hualien.

wooden women with bikini bottom held together with a "Hello Kitty" strapAfter lunch, Vincent took us on a tour of the coast line of Hualien Country south of Hualien City. It is one of the most beautiful areas of Taiwan. The mountains come right down to the sea. There are scattered villages along the coast with names such as Baci and Jici. Jici has one of the best beaches for swimming in Hualien County. Most of the rest of the coast is very rocky. We did stop at a couple of interesting places.

sleeping dogfishing villageOne of those places was a beach, restaurant and sculpture park run by an Amis family. It was called "Cow Beach" and had a sign at the top of the road that looked like a cow. They also had a warning sign of the things youartist's studio wallwere not to do - including bombing fish. There were many folk art like sculptures from wood and stone. Some were a combination of both. There were more traditional ones carved from the rocks and wood. There were also some very contempory ones. One of the contemporary ones was a rather busty woman in a blue bikini bottom that was held together with a "Hello Kitty" strap. At the restaurant we happened on a sleeping dog that did not seem to be disturbed by anyone.

Amis play houseCarved boat and ornimentsFrom there we continued to head south and stopped at an overlook with a scene of the beach and the mountain coming right down to the water. This was the community and beach area known as Jici. Beyond Jici we stopped again at famous bridge built by the Japanese. It is now closed and replaced by a modern metal bridge. At this point we turned around and headed back. On the way we stopped at two artist's studios. One is a Taiwanest aboriginal of the Amis tribe who has exhibited widely. We took some photos of his studio and of the playhouse-sized Amis house he built for his children. His studio was constructed of various wood that he fitted together cutting out jig saw like connections.

artisted wood carver KanJane drinking coffee at wwok carving studio of Kancup of coffee on tableDinner partyWe continued up the beach to the Jiko studio where the artist Mr. Kan builds furniture that is surreal. They are imaginative and very enjoyable. He does very well selling his work in Taiwan and would do as well in the US we think. He joined us for coffee and talked about his work and other activities. We then continued on and arrived back to our place of stay. We really enjoyed the trip and thanked Vincent, the director of Pine Garden Center for taking us.

Jane making paperJane preparing to put paper on a treeThere was another dentist who is an orthodonist using the dental office today. He got his training in Philidelphia and lives in Philadelphia and Taiwan now. We went out to dinner with him and his assistant and a friend. The restaurant is owned by and the food cooked by a former Taiwan Airforce fighter pilot. The food was excellent, and we enjoyed meeting many in the restaurnt, including the Director of the Education Bureau of Hualien County.  We will definitely return to eat again at this restaurant in Hualien.

Jane with paper that dried on the pine treeYoga classYogo ClassIt was a dryer day until this afternoon when it began to rain again. Tomorrow will be a better day, they say. Fortunately, it was dry enough for Jane to make paper and put it on the pine trees this morning. It dried by early afternoon. It showed the nice texture of the bark from the big pine trees that are so important to Pine Garden Center.  

Some students from the Hualien Teachers College came to visit Pine Garden today, and Jane gave a demonstration of papermaking for them.  In the early afternoon there was a yoga class upstairs where Jane's exhibit is installed. It was wonderful to see these moving bodies intertwined with the site maps. Tim took a video, and he will try to incorporate it into a video on Jane's work. Shoes of the people in the Yoga class

In the afternoon, Jane began working on putting her Hualien site map together. It will have the shape of Hualien County. She is hoping to get some of the traditional ramie fiber used by the aboriginals in Hualien County to use as the strings that hold the map together.  Tomorrow an aboriginal weaver is supposed to come to visit and bring some fibers and threads. 



Jane and others looking at the weavingsJane and others looking at the plant booksJane working on site mapToday Jane worked on her Hualien site map. She was able to put the strings and other fibers to link her individual pieces of handmade paper together to make the shape of Hualien County. She had asked for some ramie thread to put into her site map. A lady from one of the aboriginal tribes stopped by with some of the ramie thread that she had spun. Her name in Chinese is Tien, Jing hsou, and she also has an aboriginal name.  She learned the techniques of spinning and weaving in the traditional way from her grandmother.  Ms. Tien also brought with her some of the weavings that she had done. Jane picking out dried gelJane working on site mapOne of them was a beautiful woven piece done on a traditional back strap loom that is used by her tribe. The material was ramie in its natural color with a traditional pattern in darker color.  Jane shared with Ms. Tien the information on the plants that she is using to make paper in Taiwan and showed her some of the samples of handmade paper. One of the plants was ramie done in Taipei County. Jane also looked at some of the other weavings that the weaver brought with her.  All of them are done very well. One of the signs of a good weaving is an even edge or selvage.

Jane presenting to Rotary ClubJane with Rotary PresidentFollowing a great lunch at a seafood restaurant located in the night market, Jane continued to work on the site map. She applied the Golden acrylic mat gel to the surface of the map. This is done to hold the work together. Tim has been working on preparing an overall video of the Made in Taiwan project.

Jane continued to work on her site map. She finished one side and will work on the other. This morning she had a visit from another artist/sculptor and installation artists. He talked with her about her work and his art and will come back with photos of his works to show Jane.  Later in the afternoon the gardener at Pine Garden Center brought in some willow branches that he had collected, and Jane will use these to make some paper tomorrow.  

Jane drawing lotus blossumsWedding picturesThis evening Jane gave a prsentation to the Chi Hwa Rotary Club in Hualien.   She gave a PowerPoint presentation that showed her art work with handmade paper and talked about the "Made in Taiwan" project. 

This morning Jane continued to work on her Hualian site map. She also spent time striping the bark of the red willow that was brought to the Center. She expected that this plant that grew next to the pond would make good paper. Some of the volunteers cooked the fiber and then began to beat the cooked fiber. Jane also sat at the edge of the pond to draw the two lillies that were growing in the pond. She later included a painted water lily in her site map.

Jane meeting with Dung Hwu facultyJane at the lunchFor lunch, many of the members of the workshop came to bring lunch for a potluck lunch all together again.  Each person made a dish and they were all vegetarian and seafood dishes.  We enjoyed all the good food and the time together.  The workshop participants also looked at all the dried handmade papers they had made and removed them from the cloth and signed their names to works that will be in the community works exhibition at the Center on Saturday.  This luncheon was a very special even and really shows the hospitality and good food of Hualien.   Afterwards she and Tim went to visit the National Dong Hwa University campus that is located about 15 kilometers south of Hualien City. It is a new university built 11 years ago. We visited with many individuals and talked to the two people who run the art center. It would be an interesting place to work.

visitor watching JaneJane signing poster for President HuangPreparing to sit down for dinner at the sea food restaurantJane finished her Hualien site map this morning. It will be hung tomorrow morning before the closing public event scheduled to take place at 2:00 PM. While finishing her work she had a visitor who is a retired school teacher.   Jane also made paper from the water willow bark that was prepared the day before.  This brings the number of plants used in Hualien for papermkaing to 7.  The only one that Jane has used before in Taiwan is the cattail leaves that she found by the pond at Pine Garden.  The paper plants book will be completed as soon as the Chinese translation is done and a copy given to Pine Garden Center.  

After lunch we went back to Dong Hwa University for an appointment with President Hwang. He is a delightful person who is a professor of chemistry as well as the President. .One of the comments that we heard about President Hwang was that he has a very open communications policy. We spent an hour with him. Jane presented him with a hand made piece of paper and poster.   At his request, Jane signed both. He invited us for dinner later, and we were delighted to join him and others for dinner at a very nice sea food restaurant.  It was a delightful day.

Lunch with the staff and volunteersvisitors looking at the exhibitCommunity WorkToday was the closing exhibit of Jane's Hualien site map and the community work from the Hualien workshop participants. The Hualien site map was installed in the downstairs gallery at Pine Garden along with the many creative community works. It made an impressive display.  We were also very pleased to have the mayor from the Hualien City come to accept Jane's donation of her Hualien site map. What was very unussual was that he stayed for over an hour and participated in many of the activities that were taking place. Hualien City is foruate to have such a dedicated person as mayor.  Many of the community workshop pqrticipants were there at the exhibition Hualien Site MapMayor, Jane and othersNational Dong Hua Univ. and his children with janeparty and made some speeches about the workshop and their interest in continuing with papermaking art.  Jane is very pleased that many are interested in continuing.

We were also honored to have the President of National Dong Hua University, Dr Hwang, come to the exhibition. He was accompanied by his two daughters. They enjoed the exhibit and had a chance to socialize with others. They stayed a long time. We also had the Chair of the Physics department Chia-Liang Cheng and his wife Yuh-Yao Wan who is department Chair of the Graduate Institute of Aboriginal Arts. Chia-Dr. Hwang, his children and Jane in front of the Taiwan Site MapTim and RobertLiang Cheng also brought his mother and younger brother with him.  There were also many people from the community and visitors who came to the exhibition party.

We had a wonderful stay in Hualien, and the staff and volunteers at Pine Garden were extremely helpful and dedicated to the success of Pine Garden. We want to particularly thank our hosts Amy and Charlie Chang, who opened up their apartment above their dental clinic for us to have a very nice place to stay in Hualien.  Both Amy and Charlie we exceedingly generous and gracious hosts for our stay in Hualien.. Amy was kind enough to drive us to many of the places around the area.

Vincent and groupThe last day in Hualien ended with a wonderful dinnner at a famous restaurant in Hualien City hosted by Pine Garden.  We enjoyed sharing the great food and fellowship with the staff and volunteers of Pine Garden.  After the dinner Jane and Tim packed up qll the materials, equipment and personal stuff to send on to Taitung Railway Art Warehouse, our next stop for the "Made in Taiwn" project.



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(updated on May 21, 2005 )

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