Island Festoon, a beautiful name, are a series of islands in the Western Pacific. The shapes when seen on a map look like a wreath. It is an island chain formed by sea-floor plate and volcanic movements over millions of years. Taiwan is a young island located in the middle of the Festoon. The natural environment is full of wrinkles caused by time and plate movement.
The February 6th Hualien earthquake in 2018 touched off the birth of the first edition of the Fault Line Art Festival. From the frequent earthquakes of Hualien, this island arc, extending from north to south, connects many interpretations in different cultural contexts through art. The regional issues in the field of life correspond to each node in the globalization link.
From the perspective of topology, humans have had an impact on the evolution of history, such as the divisions of administrative districts and national boundaries. On the other hand, the Earth and nature also have their own boundaries, for example, plate faults. The Milun Fault that caused the Hualien earthquake begins at Chihsingtan Beach, passes through Hualien City, and carries on southeast to the South Coast. It looks like a 7-kilometer curve that carves a piece of Hualien city into Pacific Ocean. One side is on the Philippine plate and the other is on the Eurasian plate.
The boundaries of the plate do not respect the rhythm of humanity. It will not divert because of national territory. It will not notify us before an earthquake strikes. However, the natural boundaries and human boundaries are overlapping in the same space. The Milun fault strikes every sixty years and this land on the east side of Hualien City may be separated into a small island in a thousand years.
The Fault Line Art Festival, initiated by civil society, is part of the reconstruction work taking place since the February 6th earthquake. I will try to talk about the phenomena and relationships between the context of human life and the context of earth plate from the perspective of contemporary art. It is a proper time to have a distance to look at it and not to forget after one year of the earthquake. Following the fault line, we have invited three artists to develop artworks and to explore three levels of discussion.
Yu-Song Wang - The common memory and the approaching of conceptual objects
“Hualien’s White Light House” won the first prize of the 2017 Taipei Arts Award. The content of the work is about the common memory of Hualien 38 years ago, and the white lighthouse that was blown up to facilitate the expansion of Hualien Port. Wang used several ways to approach Hualien’s White Light House, which no longer exists. However, it is always impossible to reproduce it. The concept of an “invisible object” became clear in this process.
Chih-Hung Liu - The coexistence of the ambiguity of life and space
The work “Dashed Line”: The artist will arrange a giant illuminated dashed line on the grass on the banks of the Milun River to have a conversation with the environment. The work serves as an interface layer to ask questions and express thoughts. The dashed line with its own concept is compared to life and space category. It points to the virtual-real, existential-hidden coexistence and opposition.
Kayako Nakashima – Difference of culture and connection of creative experience
In the work “Layer”, the artist tries to discuss the life level that people ignore unconsciously through a collapsed building that became a parking lot. Knee-high, and low-wall fences are spread over the grass; it brings some fun. Children can run and jump here. The surface of the low wall is interspersed with tiles, but it points to the collapsed house. In the evening, the entrance to the low wall will light up; the invisible house in the dark is faintly formed in memory and imagination.
by Te-Mao Lee
北角工作室 Nordkapp Studio
© Fault Line Art Festival 2019