My artist in residency project at Wutong Foundation in Zhubei City, Hsinchu County, Taiwan, is just completed. I was working at the Wutong Foundation for two weeks from March 16 – 31, 2015, and created handmade paper from local plant waste materials and made a Wutong Food Forest Site Map to present to the county magistrate at a press conference on March 30. The magistrate and officers from the Hsinchu County Environmental Protection Bureau were at the press conference to celebrate the official opening of the Wutong Foundation’s planned Food Forest project.
My Wutong Food Forest Site Map was created from handmade paper using 9 different local plants and made in the shape of a Wutong tree leaf. There is a famous old Chinese poem that says the Wutong tree is the only tree that a phoenix bird will land on. I also included a painted image of a phoenix bird on one side along with images of all sorts of fruits and vegetable that will be growing in a few years at the food forest site near the Hsinchu MRT Station on Guengming 6th Road. Zhubei City. The land has been set aside by the county for the food forest project and will be a sustainable community garden using permaculture techniques. Now there is a row of small fruit trees started there and a spiral form made from stones and rubble taken out of the soil when the small trees were planted.
The 9 plants I used in the Wutong Foundation project are: paper mulberry tree bark, shell flower ginger leaves, iris leaves, fan palm leaves, lace bark elm tree bark, Cordia dichotomy bark, banana leaves, and the stems and leaves of field mustard and wolf-tail grass….all found near the Wutong Foundation offices and studio along Guangming 6th Road, Zhubei City.
During this residency I also taught a two-day workshop class for local people to learn how to make handmade paper from local plant materials in a sustainable way. I did not use leaves except those already turning brown and dying back, I used branches that the gardener trimmed from the trees or that we collected growing as weads in a vacant lot near the Foundation.
I enjoyed this residency and the chance to learn more about Hsinchu County and the food forest concept, and I would like to thank the Wutong Foundation for this opportunity. The photos for this project were taken by Timothy S. Allen and his photo blog is at http://allentimphotos2.wordpress.com