TAIWAN MADE

Yu-Ju Lin

A myriad of colors. Someone added a stroke of paints. Another added more stokes. And so on. After more than one hundred years, these colors have become intricately intertwined. Some are bright and beautiful. Some are dim and obscure. Some original colors are barely recognizable. There are visible lines, but how these lines are formed is unclear. Inside it, everyone can have a place. Many colors overlap together and become different hues and shades. What is this myriad of color? You may ask. Well, it is beyond description.

What kind of country is Taiwan? What are the customs and cultures in Taiwan? How many ethnic groups, cultures, and memories are interwoven in the island? What does it mean to be Taiwanese grassroots? What are left after the colonial experience? What kinds of people does Taiwan’s education make us? What parts of Taiwan lay carved in the marrow of Taiwanese bones? What are the origins of physical gestures and trainings that Taiwanese performers adopt? What does the existence of Taiwan mean?

It was during a trip abroad that Yu-ju Lin started to think about the meanings and connotations of telling foreigners that “I am from Taiwan.” How deep an insight do we have on such identification? Years later, this question has become the basis for the performance. During the Artist-in-Residence project period at NTCH, LIN decided to break her habits of creative process and work together with five performing artists (Huai-te Huang, Pin-wen Su, Tung-yi Hsiao, Lu Lee, and Chu-hua Wang). They all have different backgrounds and styles, and she has never collaborated with any of them. Together, they try to revisit the personal and collective memories of growing up in Taiwan in the 80s. They reexamine the gestures of many Taiwanese and their underlying motives. Using body as a carrier of culture and a medium of expression, these performers try to find some clues, among the diversified lives and cultural footprints, with the intention to portray Taiwan.

Premiere: Jun. 21, 2019 at Experimental Theater, Taipei. Commissioned by National Performing Arts Center – National Theater & Concert Hall (Taiwan), for 2019 Innovation Series.

Credit:
Choreography:Yu-Ju Lin | Collective Creation and Performance:Huai-Te Huang, Pin-Wen Su, Tung-Yi Hsiao, Lu Lee, Chu-Hua Wang | Creative Partner:Yen-Ting Hsu | Lighting Design:Chih-Heng Chuang | Sound Design:Chia-Wei Hsu | Visual Installation:Xin Zhou | Costume Consultant:Sih-Yu Lin

Pareviews:

''suggesting the confidence that might be blossomed from a hybrid culture...''

Ying-Fan Chen, Critics for Pareviews:

“Through collective creation, they might have redefined the collective memory of Taiwan that is shared between the artists and audience… the vivid juxtaposition of various paragraphs gives the spectators a great fun… Taiwan Made is like a colorful blouse made by Taiwanese tailors, combining the knowledge of Taiwanese body and foreign materials… suggesting the confidence that might be blossomed from a hybrid culture.”

ARTALKS:

''when they gather together, they are surprisingly invincible...''

Wan-Jung Wei, Critic for ARTALKS:

“The styles of five performers are rather different, however, they become a natural match … I’m reminded of those pop bands in the 90s, like Backstreet Boys … Each of them should have belonged to different circle, but when they gather together, they are surprisingly invincible … “Bustling” and “mixing” are vital for Taiwan Made. Juxtaposing modern dance, folklore and … it successfully presents the diverse imagery of Taiwan.”

2020-03-20T15:29:02+00:00