I arrived in Taipei, setting my first ever foot in a country with very complicated Chinese identity, which I will eventually share about, as it as far as may have not concerned me that very much, it is quite a reflection of being a Chinese Indonesian as well. 

Spent a night in a beautiful small hotel by Longshan Temple and made my way to Treasure Hill Artist Village for ADAM's residency lodging. The hostel is called Attic, beautiful architecture with stunning view of the Fuhe river and bridge, which is the territorial division between Taipei City and New Taipei City. 

I was checked into the largest room and would be sharing it with four other artists, Batu Bozo─člu (Turkey), Jeong Se-young (South Korea), Chang Kang-hua (Taiwan) and Russ Ligtas (The Philippines). 

Above is a shot of the room and its view. 





Above are some shots of Attic, our hostel while the last image is a door of one of the villagers' house which I find really interesting.

From the foyer of Attic and looking way down, I could see these two floral sculptures. And when we were given a tour of the compound, I found this section of a rundown house with leftovers flower tiles. 







Then there are these fishes patterns on the ground, apparently it is to mark the water pipes. This reminds me of Wishiwashi, the Pokemon with the lowest stat in history but in its School form, is arguably one of the strongest. And when I googled the origin of its name, it seems to be derived from wishy-washy, which obviously referring to the state of weakness but also its Japanese name of yowashi, weak. The design too is derived from the flashlight fish (yes! there are such fishes! like  they have this part below their eyes that will light up like torchlight!). 

I think this will be a workable pattern to create a project that is based on an accumulation of repetition. 






I then managed to spend some time walking through the busy street of Taipei, or maybe to be more exact, around Gongguan metro station and came upon many shops selling cutesy things. Stickers seem to be a culture that is pretty popular and maybe this can also be a workable pattern towards creating something two-dimensional, or in fact performance. 





Apart from the stickers, what caught my attention is the number of claw machines installed around the city. And after digging some google searches, it seems to be a recent culture that is continuously booming, and economically profitable as well. My proposal was to look into the arcade gaming culture as I had this image of streets filled with arcade games, and maybe there are some performative elements that I can work with or be inspired by those coins operated machines but maybe I can put them aside for the time being and get myself immersed in these gambling instead. 




Coming back to the fish patterns, I attempted my first frottage but I think I might have bought the wrong pencil, which was pastel color, hence too thick. These are the shameful proofs of my unsuccessful first attempt. 




We then had a field trip to Yilan county where we were briefed that we would be visiting the fishing town and be taught how to net. It was a seaside small town that plans to incorporate art tourism by inviting artists to revitalize the site. I think a lot of the artists in ADAM have very strong opinions regarding this potential gentrification while personally, I can not contribute much to the discussion. I was still half awake when the tour guide presented the project and at the same time, I believe Jakarta has yet to step into an economically independent stage or even culturally interested to begin this problem.   




Then as promised, we went to be introduced to the net making. While I was prepared for an actual fish netting, we ended up making a miniature craft, which I kind of sucked at the same time. I think I am very very terrible with knots and should step away from them in the future. 












We then proceeded to a nearby town called Toucheng where we were introduced to a form of local puppet. They are very similar to Betawi's Ondel-ondel but maybe lean towards religious practice instead of cultural. I find the mechanics of the hands are brilliant, simple pendulum-like joints that inject life into the figures. I think the hollow-hole in the middle is a bit too distracting visually but because of the hands which make them very much human-like, it does not seem to matter as much. 

I think design-wise, there is some potential for me with this puppetry, but it will be over-exoticizing the culture to simply import it into my creative production. I am not sure how to approach this in a more correct manner or even politically correct manner (ehem), but maybe through subsequent discussions with other artists I might be able to shed some light on it. 


And of course, the temple exterior with some colorful shot of a canopy outside of it. With that, I am signing off my first week entry and getting prepared towards my second week with the ADAM group as we will be spilt into smaller groups, working towards collaborations for our respective presentations.