It’s hard to let go, I know it well. Tears of sorrow have filled my eyes, but I want to hear more stories about me. It could be stories about slightly wicked thoughts, awkward moments, confessions or complaints that need ears to listen. Welcome to the Secret Garden. Share with me secretly! In years of being with the Bamboo Curtain Studio, what are the little secrets that you’ve kept?
-The Final Conference of the Bamboo Curtain Studio-
BCS is like a dreamland in which art can be found anywhere. Upon entering the main gate of the studio, one may discover an installation by artist WU Yi Chien titled “Document XIV” on the ground. Phonetic symbols composed of inset terra cotta bricks in cement spell out the names of artists who had worked and shown at BCS from 1996-2000 in chronological order.
Every artist visiting BCS is invited to leave a personal cup at My Cup as a gesture for homey comfort. Not only does the space resemble a family dining room for satisfying meals over tea, it serves also as a site for exhibitions. The inscribed pots and pans on the wall are documentations of Filipino artists Marika CONSTANTINO and Anjo BOLARDA’s 2015 project, The Melting Pot, in Taipei.
“Are those the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove?” That's right—the artist himself, the 4 BCS onsite dogs (A-Won, Niu-Niu, Ann-Ann, Duen-Duen), Ki Ki the cat, and a little bird can be spotted on the surface of one of BCS’s warehouses, making up “Leisure Time in the Bamboo Forest,” a scene different from that of the Jing Dynasty Seven Sages, a group of literati that had found peace and refuge in simple, rustic life during political unrest in the 3rd century China.
Can you spot a row of chairs lining the roof ridge of BCS? What are they and why are they up there? One of the most important landmarks of Bamboo Curtain Studio is the line of chairs on the studio roof. Sitting on one of those elevated seats looking out to the Guanyin Mountain and Tamsui River, one could imagine him or herself on a journey faraway. The unique installation is artist WANG Te-Yu’s first outdoor piece titled “No. 30” from her “Come From Your Hometown“ series in 1998. “It is impossible to document the relationship between one and this space,” Wang stated about the piece, “Everything happens within a single moment. When it happened, it happened. Only the one in that moment knew what he or she encountered. The moment belongs to the individual alone. He or she would not know what it was like for the others. The encounter—visually, tactilely, and physically—became a personal experience. It would be a part of his or her own memory.”
Some 100 delegates from 20 countries gathered in Phnom Penh this week to discuss the role and future of the arts in the region.