I have just completed a 25-day artist in residency (April 9 – May 4, 2015) in Cheng Long Village, Yunlin County, Taiwan, where I was also the Curator of the 6th annual Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project. See the Blog at http://artproject4wetland.wordpress.com for photos and information about this international environmental art project.
This year in Cheng Long, in addition to being the curator, I made my own handmade paper artwork and involved the local community in hand papermaking activities. I created a Cheng Long site map using 10 different local plants to make the paper for the artwork. The finished Cheng Long site map is now on exhibition in an abandoned house in the small fishing village that is now being used as an art gallery for my Cheng Long Site Map and also displaying some of the Cheng Long Elementary School children’s paintings about environmental issues.
Here are some photos of my papermaking activities in Cheng Long showing local children and parents participating. The Cheng Long Site Map is about 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide and made in the shape of the cormorant bird that has become the unofficial mascot of Cheng Long Wetlands. Back in 2010, a cormorant bird broke its wing and spent a whole year recuperating with the help of the Kuan Shu Foundation staff and the children in Cheng Long Elementary School. One side of my site map is a sort of map of Cheng Long village and the wetlands and has many leaves, flowers and natural materials from the area. The other side of my Cheng Long Site Map has many photos of Cheng Long children’s faces on it.
For Cheng Long I also made a sample book with recipes for making paper from the 10 local plants I used for this artwork: Paper Mulberry bark, pomgania (Indian beech tree) bark, Fan Palm leaves, Common Reed leaves, Sugar Cane leaves, Sugar Cane bark (waste from a local night market vendor), Sweet Potato vines and leaves, Beach Hibiscus tree bark, Banana leaves and Rice straw.
My Cheng Long Site Map remains on exhibit in the village, and this artwork has been donated to the Kuan Shu Environmental Education Foundation in Cheng Long for permanent display in the village.
The photos of my art project in Cheng Long are by my husband Timothy S. Allen, and you can see more of his photos at his Blog: http://allentimphotos2.wordpress.com