Art News from Margaret Shiu of BCS #03:50 years ago Neil Armstrong took a giant step for mankind !

Art News from Margaret Shiu

50 years ago Neil Armstrong took a giant step for mankind !

50 years later can we all do a small step for this earth?

The world was in total euphoria 50 years ago , but what happened in the last 50 years?

For once a space shuttle touchdown on the moon, with people from different nationalities, working together for one common cause : creative inquiry! That euphoria was in my mind, as a 23 year old, newly graduated from Berkeley, and on my way to work in real application at MIT as an economic research assistant. The rest is history.

Those few years were transformative for me. That era is still embedded in me in many ways. That was when I learned how knowledge can be transferred into action, economic development skills put forth to seek concrete evidence of economic imbalance, using the newest technology, the computer. From the best ranking university in the US.
Looking back what have I been thinking after I left the US and Singapore and coming back to taiwan?

A major seed of doubt has already formed in my mind: that economics is not the only factor in alleviating social inequality. Social and political agenda are so deeply entwined that I’m not interested in economics anymore.
I turned to The Arts. I found a gold mine !
I found that The Arts have great potential in creative inquiry to provide endless possibilities that could give hope to possible change.

Maybe that is what I have been trying to do in the last 24 years with the Bamboo Curtain Studio?
I will not be around for the next 25 years to examine the grand 50. but let’s look back at what happened in this micro micro culture space in the last 24, in the abandoned chicken farm next to the Tamsui river.

I am thankful for a team of deep thinking researchers willing to dig through the piles of material of our past efforts. And our management team, plus five advisers on board too.
Our researchers agree with our suggestion that Bcs had been active in five distinctive areas. The way the arts can be validated as creative experimentation, using art in diverse manners in society.

I wish all of you to be on the watch-out, as we summarize our findings to everyone on 2020 in May , in a big big way, on the 25th anniversary, where we will be holding a major conference on the value of art in our society.

How does Artist work in Society by the young talents to the old senior artists, in social engagement?
how does Artist work on environmental issues, as we witness the total helplessness of climate emergency right now?
And who helped these artists develop their ideas? Were there curators, critics and culture management experts, working collaboratively, to help bring Creative Leadership into action?
And how such a micro micro space as our studio, can be so actively engaged with so many sectors of society?  If it is not a matter of hardware, nor a matter of scale, then what is the role of culture space,  especially that which is lead by Artists ?
Lastly, BCS help out the global connectivity too. How and why? Maybe it is because of my background, because I’m just forever jetlagged, being an artist, wife, mother, daughter and daughter in law, spinning across the globe,  I’m forever charting a spider web of networking in exchange possibilities,even before the World Wide Web started ?! Ah ha but why these artists from all of these countries started to engage with this little little Isolated island?

These are questions that Bcs is investigating, it is ust a sample in the unique culture ecology of Taiwan. There are many other institutions and projects similar to us. We will gather many like minded organizations for a great conversation, please be there too?

First of a series of discussions will start in September. So marked on your calendar and join our first workshop of how artists are now actively engage on ecology, and why art is vital to address the wider problem of sustainability!  Saturday all day on September 21. Be there to see the creative ideas artists have been promoting for change.Stay tuned and the next five months I would tell you in my newsletters, each month,  why and how the five different Mimi versions of pilot projects of art interventions, of Artists.

These sessions are synopsis of not just Bamboo Curtain Studio efforts, but many other effective actions that creative people in Taiwan are undertaking. What we are trying to do is really below the radar screen of local Media. Prototypes are usually highly risky and may not be the most effective in outcome. These ideas are flying a short zigzag pathway, and there must be many models, before we can succeed and scale up in impact.
Just like the spaceship Apollo 11, it took years to reach that new possibility.  We need that time line for solving our earthly problems.

Let us help Built up a support system for the Arts, in an equivalent of a Neil Armstrong shuttle spaceship that landed on the moon 50 years ago! It is time we learn from his courage and take the risk. Let us all choose a cause and work on it consistently. Each and every small step can be interconnected, it will have a butterfly syndrome effective for Change for the better , we have to urgently address all issues from political, to social, to environmental disintegration of the planet earth now.


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