Cheng-Tsung Feng, a Taiwanese designer who specializes in bamboo craft design and art, recently completed a bamboo installation art called "beside" in the Teng Yu-hsien Music Culture Park of Qionglin Township (Hsinchu County, Taiwan). The installation is a sculpture, a space for relaxation, and a lamp; after completion, it has become a tourist attraction for local residents and visitors to take pictures with. This installation was not only made by him alone, but with sixty local residents of Qionglin participated in the production. It is surprising that, before this project, all the sixty residents never had the experience in bamboo weaving.
When received the commission, Feng thought about how to connect the installation art of the park with the local residents. Through the interaction with the residents he worked the outline out, and decided to design an installation that people can make together, even, has to have everyone make together. As an object that the residents will see every day, “if they can participate together, then there will be more feelings attached,” Feng took this as the goal for design
Therefore, Feng chose two approaches of bamboo weaving—circle weaving and random weaving—from the traditional procedures. The two kinds of simple weaving methods are from the folk weaving technique that transcends time, culture and national boundary, and with which, this project enables an opportunity for the residents to be in contact with the endangered traditional weaving culture, which is fading away from our daily life.
Among the two weaving methods, “circle weaving” is a technique used in making a container’s mouth, free in adjusting the size of a circle. Due to the windy environment of Hsinchu area, “circle weaving” is adequate in creating numerous small holes for reducing the resistance to airflow. For the visual effect, in the daytime, the holes create the line-of-sight penetrates the layers, a kind of lace-like meticulous effect; in the night, the lights pass through different holes and create light spots.
While the “random weaving” is accessible for the residents without any bamboo weaving experience, and for them to come to help randomly. With the weaving principles clearly passed on to the participants, they can easily learn the ropes of weaving even in one or two hours, as well as the future maintenance.
Conceptually, Feng is keen to express the notion of "relationship"—the intimate, gentle, companioning, interdependent connection—which is embodied in/as the installation that is indescribable, but with the different shapes and sizes of the holes that attached with and look at one another, thus represents the relationships between young and old, mother and children, grandfather and grandson, and so on.
Through the conception made by Feng, the traditional bamboo weaving technique reappears with a fresh look in the lives of the local. By means of the co-production with the residents, the traditional craft art is no longer a professional skill, but an approachable wisdom for ordinary people.
「旁邊」竹編裝置藝術參觀資訊 / “Beside” Exhibition Info:
Venue: Teng Yu-hsien Music Culture Park, Qionglin Township, Hsinchu County, Taiwan.