Made In Taiwan
Lanyu Island, Taitung
May 30 – June 19, 2005
Organization: Lanyu Primary School
Lanyu Island, Taitung
Contact: Teacher Huang
(art teacher) and English teacher (Nike)
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
School phone :(089)731576
have arrived in Lanyu and what a ride getting here. I can't remember when
I've enjoyed a flight as much as I did on this small aircraft that flew
into the island. It was a 14 seater with a pilot and co-pilot - no flight
attendant. We got buckled up and took off down the runway in Taitung.
There was no door between the passengers and the cockpit. I was close
enough to see most of what was going on in the cockpit. The landing was
a thrill with very close proximity to the large rocks on the port side
of the aircraft. Part of the runway is built out from the island a short
distance. It is short, and we came in fast and smoothly. It was about
a 40 minute flight I really enjoyed. I can't say as much for Jane. It
did remind me of landing on an aircraft carrier in a COD but without the
arresting wire jolt.
were met by the teachers from the Lanyu Primary School and taken to the
school where we were staying in one of the teacher apartments.. We didn't
have time to settle in because we were off to pick plants from various
locations around the island. Lanyu is a small island, and you can drive
around it at a leisurely pace of 40 kpm in about 45 minutes. However,
it is big enough to give the illusion of never driving in a circle. There
are steep mountains that come right down to the ocean in many places.
The 3000 inhabitants, most aboriginal Tao originally from the Philippines,
live in small villages along the ocean. The island is not self sufficient
and relies on goods and services from the main island. There are three
primary schools with the Lanyu Primary having 6 grades with a total of
66 students. The first grade is the largest with 14 students. I believe
the smallest is the 5th grade with 6 students. Mr. Huang's 3rd grade class
went with us to pick plants. They were really into getting the right plants.
While picking plants we made the journey all the way around the island.
We also confirmed what we had been told - no 7-11s. This is a first in
our travels around Taiwan.
of the things that is common on the island are goats. They wonder freely
grazing whereever they can. We also discovered pigs - not wild but domesticated
ones, wandering the streets. We got back and started installing the exhibit
in the library. This is an interesting space with a domed ceiling and
no way to hang from the concrete. We had to run string from one column
to another to give us something to hang the sight maps from without damaging
the ceiling. We were only able to hang 6 six maps, but it was impressive.
One of the nice things about Lanyu Primary School is that there were
a number of very good cooks. Mr. Huang is exceptional. We suggested that
he open a restauraunt over the summer for all of the tourists. It would
make a lot of money!. We also enjoyed the meals cooked by other teachers.
The last night that we were in Lanyu we did go out to eat at a local restaurant.
For the first night's dinner we ate flying fish that had been dried
in the traditional way. They tasted very good.
the next day, with the help of the students Jane began to prepare the
plants for papermaking. We also wandered around the school grounds and
along the road that goes around the island. The sceenary is beautiful
with the waves crashing against the rocky shoreline. There are no beaches.
Where there was access to the ocean, there were the traditional Tao boats.
When someone sees these boats, one things of Lanyu.
Since we were in Lanyu for only one week, we needed to get things done
very quickly. The children helped with most of the peeling of the bark
and beating the fiber. They also learned how to make paper.
Each class came to learn. Jane taught them the western method because
it was easier, and they could work together putting the paper on objects.
They really enjoyed pressing the paper by being human presses. That afternoon
Jane worked with some of the teachers who came to the Lanyu Primary from
the two other elementary schools. They got to make paper and would have
some of it displayed in the library.
next day some of the students took their dried paper and worked with other
teachers to made paper models of the traditional Lanyu boats. They did
an exceptional job in forming and coloring each of the boats. Jane taught
the Asian method of papermaking to all the students and each created their
own unique handmade paper designs from the pulps made with Lanyu plants.
These handmape paper creations would be put on display at the closing
reception. Jane continued to work on her site map of Lanyu that
would also be displayed in the library with the other maps and the community
Friday the final full day for us to be in Lanyu, Jane prepared the area
on the floor of the library below the dome for installing the handmade
paper boats that the children had made. She had the students gather stones
that she used to create the shape of Lanyu and with the help of the children
colored the floor around the island shape blue with colored chalk..
The boats were then put out in the "water" around the island.
It was quite impressive. She also installed her Lanyu site map hanging
from the ceiling, and we were ready for the closing exhibit. Many of the
parents of the children came to the closing. They not only got to see
the art and the boats the children and Jane had made, but we also presented
a PowerPoint presentation showing what we had been doing at Lanyu Primary
School for a week.
really enjoyed our stay on Lanyu. The teachers are very dedicated, and
the students seem to be happy and caring. This was our last stop on our
13 places journey throughout Taiwan. It was a lovely close to a great
adventure. One follow up on Lanyu. We received a great email from Teacher
Huang about Jane being in residence there. He said it was so important
for the children to see a real artist at work. For many throughout the
island of Taiwan, seeing an artists at work was a new experience, and
Jane is so pleased to have been able to share her love of paper with others.
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June 28, 2005
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