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Container art colors Kaohsiung with ecological awareness

The Hulk's "Green Giant"
Sutthirat Supaparinya and Chakkrit Chimnok's "Tree of Life"
Tang Ming-sho's "Sema of the Cloud"
Zik Group's Container Art on Jewish Persecution
Takahiko Suzuki's "Global Store"
The DUDD Group's "The Little World"
Colin Offord's "Iron Ore"

The Hulk's "Green Giant"

Sutthirat Supaparinya and Chakkrit Chimnok's "Tree of Life"

Tang Ming-sho's "Sema of the Cloud"

Zik Group's Container Art on Jewish Persecution

Takahiko Suzuki's "Global Store"

The DUDD Group's "The Little World"

Colin Offord's "Iron Ore"

Fourteen eye-catching cargo containers, all provided by the Yang Ming Group and given a make-over by talented international artists, wear different creatively designed looks as they sit in different spots in the Neiweipi Cultural Park in Kaohsiung City.
Ecology interpreted from different perspectives is the theme of this year's exhibition. This ties in with Kaohsiung's goal to become a city of happiness, transforming itself into a better and greener city with environmentally friendly values.
The ever-busy container port in southern Taiwan is playing host to the Kaohsiumg International Container Art Festival for the 4th year in a row. Local and foreign artists, whether as individuals or members of participating teams, spent one month executing their ideas and creative visions on the ecology theme on their assigned containers. Each accepted design received a budget of NT$250,000.
The Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, which is situated at the center of the 40-hectare Neiweipi Cultural Park, provided the artists their common working space. All of the artists, the cream of the crop selected based on their proposals and drawings, worked on their projects with great enthusiasm. A typhoon's visit failed to dampen their spirit. In fact, activities simply had to be put on hold temporarily. When the storm died down, everyone went back to work on their half-finished container art.
Lee Yi-chuan's "A Brave New World" demonstrates an artist's use of acrylic paint to depict a slice of nature full of trees and flowering plants. Lee, a fine arts graduate from Tainan, seeks to remind man, now driven to live in a world of concrete and steel, about his origin from nature and the importance of protecting the environment for his own survival.
Tang Ming-sho, an anthropology graduate from the National Taiwan University, dwells on the course taken by a typhoon as it develops to wreak havoc and destruction along its path before dying down and returning the land to a state of calm and quiet. The artist, who calls the often typhoon-visited Taitung his home, is fascinated with aboriginal culture. Intrigued by the female name of every typhoon, Tang paints a woman, allowing her to dominate the container art titled "Sema of the Cloud." In tracing the journey of a typhoon and the travel of the river to the ocean, Tang also drives home the need to heed ecological concerns to give this earth a chance and future.
Kuo Tzu-cheng's "Four Elements" puts the symbolic water, fire, wind, and earth in the eco-container, seeking to perpetuate natural ecology. Balance and harmony are emphasized to ensure achieving such end.
Sung Tzu-ying, You Yun-ru, Li Yi-chen, and Lai Sheng-jhong call themselves The Hulk. Their project titled "Green Giant" throws open the door of the cargo container, inviting the public to walk into a beautiful cornfield. A fast-growing cornfield has to do with good ecology, according to the artists.
The students from Miaoli divided the painting work among themselves. On the external surface of the container has been painted a far-from-perfect ear of corn. Some corn kernels, in fact, are missing. Such cavities are painted over with suggestions of water, ever a source of life. The extraction from corn of ethanol, an alternative energy source replacing petroleum, finds expression on this particular container, too.
Ichi Ikeda covers a container with pictures of water taps, calling his design "Earth Taps Container - Finding the Navels of the Water Planet." The importance of water in life cannot be overemphasized. Wasteful water consumption in this part of the world has to be stopped, according to Ikeda. Remember that elsewhere in Africa, the population must perpetually put up with drought in their fight for survival.
Ikeda has figured it all out: the container can hold 420 liters of water. But all a man needs in his everyday life is 80 liters. The outside of the container is divided into blue squares and each box size can hold 80 liters, representing man's water consumption each day.
Meanwhile Takahiko Suzuki has his "Global Store" on display. This says something about the Internet world. He creates posters, using photographed images. A computer shop in Manhattan, an eatery in Chiayi, as well as a dining place-cum-art space in Kaohsiung cover this particular container. Go online to find out more about these places. Suzuki may be a first-timer in Kaohsiung. But he discovers fast the well-known art space run by an artist in Siziwan.
"Beautiful and Delicious" is how Koichiro Miura calls his container art piece. The focus is on the relationship between man and nature. The psychedelic culture of the Sixties is revived in his creative exercise on the theme of "sustainable cosmopolis." He gets across a very positive energy through his design maze and network. Generations of viewers can relate to it.
The DUDD Group's "The Little World" is all about communication. Different strata of society keep undergoing rapid change and development. Customs and traditions are factors of influence.
Sutthirat Supaparinya, a Thai teacher, gets help from students Chakkrit Chimnok and Chatchai Suban in pasting reflector lighting sheet materials on the container titled "Tree Of Life." An indigenous tree from Thailand in the picture provides shade to animals. Creatures from the animal kingdom are dependent on the tree to stay alive, according to the artists from Chiang Mai.
. French artist Virginie Lavey's "Today I Trust My Instincts, I Trust Myself" issues a call to those with a sedentary lifestyle to make an effort to walk in the forest and get into a moving rhythm. She herself has lived in big and small cities. Since the year 2000, she has lived and worked in Tokyo.
Carmen Einfinger from the United Kingdom calls her contribution to the outdoor exhibition "Container Cozy." The project in pink was executed with the involvement of local women, who are good at knitting with yarn.
Taiwan's knitting mills used to export textiles in big quantities, taking the national economy far. This time, container art gives the local landscape some decorative touches. Three knitted lotus flowers are placed on top of the cargo container. From time to time, performing artists show up to add a new dimension to the work of art.
Biljana Bakaluca's "Paper Container" required covering the container with newspapers from around the world. Every country puts out newspapers regularly. Trees in forests must continue to be felled to provide the pulp needed to make newsprint, according to this Serbian artist. The chopping down of trees affects adversely the natural ecosystem.
From Down Under comes Colin Offord, whose project is titled "Iron Ore." The container, while crossing oceans, is exposed to the elements. Rust on its metal surface becomes a problem. The artist even introduced salt to fasten the steel corrosion. The rusting part will look even better with the passing of time, according to Offord.
Zik, the only invited group, is from Israel. Fifteen tons of broken glass made the long journey from the Middle East country to Taiwan.
But why glass? This is an expected question. The Jewish people, mostly traders and shopowners, suffered persecution during the time of Nazi dictator Hitler in Germany. Anti-Semitic aggression in those days found expression through the smashing of the windows of shops owned by the Jews. Worse, the Jews were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. Many died in the gas chambers during the Holocaust. The Israeli artists do not want the world to forget history.
The container art show in the park where the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts is located will be on view until January 13, 2008. Tsai Hsin-ling of the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts (tel. 07-5550331) coordinated the project.


Updated : 2021-04-21 14:27 GMT+08:00