Press Release: Joint Press Conference for The Alternative Guide of Time and C-LAB Summer Festival: Play Arts


Open the former military base and call for public engagement
Reimagine the space, the field and history

The opening exhibition for Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB), The Alternative Guide of Time, a visual arts exhibition, will be opened on September 1st. Curated by Wei Yu and Nobuo Takamori, the exhibition will present works by 11 artists and art groups. The exhibition investigates and reimagines the site context of C-LAB through the history of objects, oral history, videos, drawings, texts and live sounds. Play Arts will take off on September 8th. Curated by Hung Hung with Yoyo Kung as the co-planner, the initiative plans to present more than 12 team of artists and more than 27 events that will transform the 7-hectare campus into an art playground for the public, welcoming the participation of Taipei citizens from various age groups and cultural backgrounds.

The Alternative Guide of Time: Tracing the Stories of the Constellation of History

C-LAB has been through different stages of transformation from the Industrial Research Institute under Taiwan Governor-General’s Office to the Air Force Command Headquarters. The site is like a constellation of overlapping historical spaces and times, awaiting to be recovered, understood and engaged by people from all walks of life. The Alternative Guide of Time takes the audience to revisit the spatial context of the site through cross-disciplinary cultural production. The exhibition starts with Hsu Chia-Wei’s video of the Industrial Research Institute of Taiwan Governor-General’s Office and extends to the historical narratives of industry and science under colonial regime. The exhibition also commissioned researcher Hsiao I-Ling to conduct a field investigation leading the audience through the quest for various memorial coordinates; from the old maps and raw material experiments by the Industrial Research Institute during the Japanese colonial age to the barber shop, clock & watch repair shop and karaoke restaurant of 601 Welfare Commissary from the old Air Force Command Headquarters period.

Writer Lo Yi-Chin based his 14,000-word short story, Labyrinth, on the space of the old Air Force Command Headquarters. The novelist overlaps personal memories with fragments of the larger historical narrative and blending fiction with non-fiction writing. Poet Ye Mimi created Adjust the Audio Frequency in Our Veins for the exhibition which includes ruin pictures taken from the 601 Welfare Commissary. She plans to perform in a live performance together with Minco Lu (double bass), Jean Liu (crystal bowl singing and chanting), and So’ir (African drums). National Culture and Arts Foundation commissioned Yao Jui-Chung and Peng Yi-Hang a photography project in 2016, titled Roaming around the Ruins-Quiet on the Western Front: The Air Force Headquarters. The series has not yet been exhibited publicly and the collection captures the melancholy scenes of a site transitioning from the old Air Force Headquarters to C-LAB. Several ongoing projects that are taking place in the C-LAB echo the photography project, such as the Experimental Architect Project initiative by Collective Negative Space Village and landscape architect Su Hung; The Air Force Headquarters is No Longer Empty, an imaginary mapping drawing workshop of the buildings of The Air Force Headquarters led by Lin Yu-Ting; essays documenting his life in the military by Liao Wei-Yu whom once was posted at the Air Force Command Headquarters.

The exhibition also orchestrates a series of events covering sounds, texts and images, including the Texture Collection Workshop spearheaded by architect Su Hung. The workshop will take the participants to explore C-LAB, the space and venues of the old Air Force Command Headquarters. They will deliberate and collect samples of the space by making prints and videos. The results of the workshop is part of the exhibition. Folktale researcher Somanana Rain and sound artist Liu Fangyi work together to present Anamorphosis & Anatexis, a folktale and sound improvisation project. Novelist Lo Yi-Chin work with Chuan-Yi Yang (NAXS corp.), an experimental musician who is infatuated with Hetian jade on Reading Performance live. It will be a combination of storytelling and live soundscape performance which respond to the historical space of the old Air Force Command Headquarters through language and experimental sounds.

C-LAB Summer Festival: Play Arts

The first C-LAB Summer Festival: Play Arts, revolves around the concept of game playing. It challenges the old-fashioned perception of games and calls to young people that “playing games is never a waste of time”. “The current state of Taiwanese society needs people to have more courage and imagination, to have a bold playful spirit. Capricious is not a synonym of playing games. Rather, games have their own creative rules. Like art it can help to transform individual’s future imagination into cultural experiences available for the public. This is exactly the kind of tangible action art can take to energize the society, said Hung Hung (the curator). Play Art teases out the courage to make a difference, rich imagination and genuine creativity from individuals with the spirit of game playing. Through inclusive and diversified cultural actions, the project transforms the former Air Force Command Headquarters, once a gravely and rigorously guarded place, into an inclusive Play Art theater accessible for people from age 0 to 99.

Play Art will last for two weeks. Starting on September 8th, through Ultra Unfold, a participative art project, the emerging choreographer Yu Yen-Fang invites the public to use C-LAB in their own ways. Barter Market is orchestrated by Voleur du Feu Theatre. It is a bartering game that challenges the norm of quid pro quo system for a consumer society that topples the values of objects. Contrasting the Against-Again Troupe creates a fictional Air Force Command Headquarters Radio Station for theater and independent performers to share their works and lives through live online streaming, the most popular broadcasting format of our time. Riverbed Theatre switches the viewer’s perspective by inviting the audience to lie on the massage table to gain a unique hovering angle from above.

Formosa Circus Art and Bulareyaung Dance Company perform at the Art Space IV, formerly a political venue taking its name from Chiang Kai-Shek. They both liberate and overturn the collective body memory of sitting uptight and rigid in authoritarian space one by presenting a new form of Taiwan-style circus which breaks human’s physical limits and that another by staging contemporary dance powered by the native mountains, forests and ocean. As Battle! Jazz vs Classical Music! puts forward a saxophone stage and Let’s Go on a Picnic by Dark Eye Performance Lab brings laughter and romantic ambience through music and picnic, this festival allows C-LAB to become a joyful and light-hearted place that is no longer an awe-inspiring, solemn military base.
Sandpit Archaeologist and Wonderland are participatory installations designed for children over age three. The team behind Sandpit Archaeologist buried mid-relief sculptures associated with the theme flying in the sandpit for children to discover and dig up. Wonderland applies from the load-bearing capacity and flexibility created by weaving structures, to the colorful installation which allows children to climb and roam within. Les Petites Choses Production, a dance company committed to supporting the young dancing community in Taipei, will introduce contemporary dance and the diversity and width the art of dancing to the general public.

As the opening exhibition and performances of C-LAB, The Alternative Guide of Time and Play Arts work on models like collaboration, participatory performance and exhibition facilitating joint creative process and creating a platform between professional artists and the general public, they both put the idea of providing accessibility to creators into practice with an aim to foster and enrich the creative ecosystem through the user-driven development model.

The Alternative Guide of Time
Exhibition Period: 2018/9/1 (Sat.) – 2018/10/7 (Sun.)
Opening Ceremony: 2018/8/31 (Fri.) 19:00

C-LAB Summer Festival: Play Arts
Exhibition Period: 2018/9/1 (Sat.) – 2018/10/7 (Sun.)
Opening Ceremony: 2018/8/31 (Fri.) 19:00