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‘ S t o r y o f a n A r t i s t ’ b y D a n i e l J o hn s t o n , f r o m t he ‘ D o n ’ t B e S c a r e d ’ c a s s e t t e , 1 9 8 2
participated artists & designers Chen, Fei-Fu Luo, Jr-Shin Cheng Ting Hsu Chya Raf Chang Huang, Chieh-Ting Wang, Tzu-Ting Cheng, Yao-Lung Hsueh, Yu-Ling Lin, Shao-Jie Inca Pan Ansel Yen
about someday project
As creative workers, sometimes we feel depressed and doubt ourselves. ‘Why don’t I just choose to sit in the office obediently in a decent suit?’ ‘Why is my bank deposit always insufficient?’ Is there any problem with us? Maybe we are living in the wrong times. The working mode of the new labour cannot fit in the existing system properly. The lack of social insurance and supplementary measures makes our life more precarious. Although making a living is hard, at least we can imagine boldly. This project invites twelve Taiwanese artists and designers to imagine, create and talk about their ideal life/work. Every artist and designer expresses his/her idea by varied medias, including drawing, photograph, video, sculpture, mix-media and so on. Following the submissions are the interviews about their concepts behind the works and their life. They are all born in the 80s and will start their work career soon or just have started for few years. They are full of enthusiasm; at the same time, they face many challenges. Through their works and interviews, we can begin to see a better future, but also realise the hardships of being a creative worker. Even these dreams may be unfeasible now, they reveal what the world could be. Maybe dreams will come true someday.
1 Chen, Fei-Fu graphic designer there seems to be light
* Can you explain your work? I made these six slides to express my dreamy work and life. Every little scene in the frame is one idea. They are: a kitchen, a green house, a swimming pool, long vacation, mobile studios, and collaboration.
* Can you talk more about every idea? Yes. The facilities, like a kitchen, a green house, and a swimming pool present both of my physical and spiritual needs. I like to stay in the kitchen and cook when I feel stressful. A swimming pool is necessary for people living in Taiwan during the summer. And I hope it can become a warm and cosy space when winter comes. The water would
be drained away and then put in many carpets and cushions. Its function is like a social space where people can gather together, relax, and have fun. A greenhouse also makes me feel calm and pleasure. Otherwise, I hope I can cooperate with different artists and designers according to projects. Through cooperation, I can achieve something I can’t complete by myself. The car carrying some mushrooms describes my imaginative studio. I hope my studio can be flexible to various conditions. It can movie, be alone or combine with other workmates’ studios. The airplane shows the desire of escape. I wish I can have a long vacation every year that allows me recharge my batteries.
* Can you talk about your working experiences? I worked in a furniture and design products retailer. My responsibility was mainly about design and sell, including window display, advertisement design and customer service. It was an interesting job, because I could bring my talent into play and I didn’t need to work overtime. It is rare in Taiwan. Most people in my age working in the company often have to work overtime. However, on the other hand, the pay was below the average amount. So I also did some graphic design in private. From my boss’ experience, I realised the hardship of being an entrepreneur who gave consideration to both ideal and reality.
* Can you talk more about the hardship of being an entrepreneur? Yes. I think the hardships can roughly be divided into three aspects: no fund,
insufficient management skills and uncompromising insistence. Not enough funds makes pioneering and expanding become difficult. Great works but no marketing and management knowledge also makes the business cease moving. Not willing to cater for mass market is another one essential issue when artists and designers face their business. Maybe this is a tricky mentality that making money makes artists feel ashamed.
* Will you start your own enterprise? Yes, I want and I think I will start it in three years. I wish I could have my own shop in the future, which I will sell my selected products and introduce talented artists’ and designers’ works to the public. My shop will be a multi-functional space. It can be a gallery and a café as well. It will not be a totally commercial space, but also a living space that communicates a life style and an attitude.
2 Luo, Jr-Shin artist the roller skates
* Can you explain your work? I made this work simply with shoes and Coke. I deal with many readymade objects and explore their relationships with human beings. They are close to human, so they may have some characteristics of life. For example, some objects can move, stand on their own, prop up, or lean against something. I hope they can become some life forms. * So what is this work relevant to the topic â€˜ideal life/ workâ€™? I want to express an attitude to life. It is interesting, relaxed. Sometimes it may be unexpected, random but acceptable. I hope life is not so regular. When accident happens, I can face it with humour. Accidents and randomness are necessary for creative life, and they can be transformed inspiration as well.
* Is your current life like this? Unexpected situations are always happening, and I am also trying to go with it with a health attitude. Unexpectedness must happen; it makes life more surprising, more imaginative. * Does this attitude means roll with punches or compromise? Not really. It is more like doing your best in limited condition. * Can you talk about your current life? I am in unemployed. I quitted the job as a photographer in National Palace Museum. I tried to break the seemingly balanced life. I travelled abroad for some months and almost spent all of my money.
* What are your following plans? To cancel the verification of the grant I acquired last year and then I will get some money that can support my life for a while. And I will hold solo exhibition and selected group exhibition next year. Also, I have to do some design cases for making money. * Stable and unstable life, which do you prefer? I think I like free life more. Have to be brave to do this. But I also feel pressure from my family. I don’t know how to convince my parents. * Is it possible for artists to have stable life? Maybe, if someone or galleries support you. Or you don’t need to worry about money. But for young artists, steadiness is not necessarily a good thing.
* How do you think about the social welfare policy on creative workers? I am not sure if the government need to take care of artists too much. It might cause a vicious circle. Taiwanese artists union just establishes, so artists may be able to join labour insurance soon. I haven’t thought too much about these issues. And I don’t know how the foreign artists make their living, either. * Can you carry out your ideal life? Probably. My friend said I am good at arranging life. After graduating from fine art school, even cannot become an artist, but already learnt how to live.
3 Cheng Ting artist the floating studio
* Can you explain your lovely work? I have three plans for my ideal future: 1. my mobile studio 2. studio exchange 3. artists network platform. My mobile studio is like Hayao Miyazaki ‘s animation, Howl’s Moving Castle. It can be a car or ship, and at the same time an exhibition space as well. It also includes some play equipment, like trampoline and swing. Looking from outside, it’s like an interior space, and from inside, it’s green nature. If I want to communicate with people, I can exchange my studio with other artists around the world. So I need an artists network platform. People can share information about studio surfing. It is similar to couch surfing, but not merely travel. In addition, artists can ask for cooperation for their projects in the network platform. For example, if I want to build a ship studio but I don’t know how, then I can post my draft and ask for help. Thus, people interested in my project can offer me advices or join my project. My dream is travelling around the world freely. * How does travel affect your life? It allows me to restart temporarily. If viewing life as a line, then travel is the side road along the line. I can detour to see different scenes. Actually I am a
person with many problems, such as terrible sense of direction, so it’s hard for me to travel alone. However, when I put myself into unfamiliar environment, I have to rely on myself, which makes me become aware of my existence. In terms of creation, I always fancy my own studio, my own space. But I cannot bear staying in the same space for a long time. For this reason, I imagine the whole world is my studio, so I can create works anytime and anywhere. This is also where the idea, studio exchange, from. * About the network platform, do you like to cooperate with others? Yes, I like. When I studied fine art, everyone did his or her own thing; everyone had strong personal consciousness. Through collaboration, I can learn something new from others, vice versa. But I still need to learn how to work with others. * Why do you want to put many play equipment in your studio? I don’t like too serious working environment. I hope work can be like play. For example, my photograph project, I hope my partners can view it as play, so we drink, play and relax first, and then shoot.
* In your imagination, what your life will be after ten years? Itâ€™s such a sad question. I will be very old then. I think I will become finically independent. I will make money by doing projects. I hope people will come to cooperate with me because they appreciate my works and my personal style. * Have you ever thought about your future in realistic aspect, like marriage, pension, or insurance? I need an agent to deal with these things for me. Maybe iphone can help me to cope with these chores. By the way, hope iphone doesnâ€™t need to charge in the future.
* Is there any real example demonstrating your ideal life and work? I quite appreciate Miranda July. She works as director, writer, and artist, and collaborate with many people. It seems she always puts her ideas into practice. * Can you make your dream come true? Perhaps. I am not sure if I can make enough money, because what I can do is limited, very me. I hope I can work with John Water or Michel Gondry, or with John Water and Michel Gondry at the same time.
4 Hsu Chya artist
* Can you explain your lovely work? I have always be fascinated by all vivid color, and follow my instinct to draw the pictures. For me, flower is elegant, and if there is a world full of colorful flowers, that will be fantastic. Like a wonderland! I always regard my works as an illustration and pattern. I wish them to be unique. Therefore, I imagine they are all suitable to put on products, because I always want my belongs to be special
diversity of the products became just a catalog or exit for a short time. However, it inspires me that if thereâ€™s platform offering different artist or designers to release their works via temporary shop which travel around the world. And the shop only shows the catalog, but makes it like a zine. So people around the world may have chance to know and buy their good-looking essential items in daily life.
and never the same with others.
Through all the products, we can make our life more beautiful.
So my ideal works is to transfer all my works into simple and essential products, like cups, bowls, notebooks, lamps and so on. Since I only come to London for nearly two months, I actually quite like the idea of Argos, and some temporarily shop. Itâ€™s interesting for me to see
* Have you ever applied your drawing to products? Yes, I made T-shirt and notebooks and sent them to my family. So far I havenâ€™t considered selling them. Have to ac-
cumulate more works, make them more complete.
months so far, I feel it’s very inclusive. You never know what’s going to happen next second.
* Why do you want to combine your works with daily life objects? If my works could be applied to other purpose, it would be very good presentation. It’s pity to let the works be limited. I hope my works can have more possibilities, and be seen by more people.
I may have my own brand in the future. And I will travel a lot, not only because I love travel but also the need of my work. Travel makes me learn something new, which also inspires my creation.
* Do you have any working experience? I have some short working experience, like library volunteer, art designer, executive assistance. Being an executive assistance in film production company, I had to deal with trivia and do labour work. I viewed it as a good training, because I had to respond very quickly to solve any unexpected problems. * In your imagination, how your life will be after ten years? I will be 34 then. I will live in a country far away from Taiwan. It may have to fly more than ten hours from Taiwan. Why I want to leave Taiwan can trace back to my childhood. In that time, many of my relatives lived in foreign country, I was always wondering why only me staying in Taiwan. However, with my age increasing, I become like Taiwan more and more. Although it’s not big, not diverse enough, it’s my hometown anyway. I come to London for only two
* Can you tell more about your idea of temporary shop or Argos? I think it’s an interesting way of buying and selling. It can gather many artists’ and designers’ works and make them be seen by more people. * Have you ever thought about your future in realistic aspect, like marriage, pension, or insurance? I haven’t considered much about these issues, but I will do what I like until retirement. I think I can support myself even there is no pension or insurance. * Do you think your dream will come true? I am not so ambitious. The life I desire is very simple and I am not so materialistic. A cup of coffee everyday can make me happy. But of course I will be very happy if my works get recognised in the future.
5 Raf Chang backpacker + writer 5 ways to the wonderland
* Can you explain your work? In general, my ideal life is working for saving money, and then going to travel again and again, like the unceasing circulation. These five pictures express the necessary travel kit for me. For living, people really don’t need so much stuff. The minimum is enough, may be under 10kg. I heard a guy who went to travel only with a small backpack and a suit of clothes. Every time after washing the clothes, he wore it immediately and roamed on the streets though it was still wet. Because it was in tropical countries, the clothes dried quickly. Although I don’t expect this kind of hardship, I quite appreciate this attitude. I hope I can make a living as a writer. Travel is a great way for finding inspiration and stories. Afterwards, I want to write a story, which will start in somewhere I have ever been and there will be a virtual role travelling there. * How does travel affect your life? It causes the shifts in mood. Why I want to travel is mainly because of the desire for escape from the reality- my job, my emotions, and the society. I really enjoy roaming outside. Travel makes me recharged, think, and change my thoughts. When I come back to reality, the power will be consumed gradually. I am not sure what travel has changed me, maybe it has, but I haven’t been aware of it. * What was the point that made you start writing? Actually I have been taking writing seriously for a long time. Before I fancied write a story, but I didn’t fulfil it. After coming back from India, I started to write something about my journey and put them on my blog. Surprisingly, I received many positive feedbacks and that made me keep writing.
* What is the difficulty for you to make your ideal life happen? My family, money, age…I think I am trapped by the common social value. I am not that kind of unrestrained person travelling abroad for many years and never back home. * Compare to stable life; do you seek for more variable life? Maybe. My mum often asks me,’ don’t you want to settle down?’. But to me, the real steadiness is the spiritual steadiness, not the material stability. * To be a writer in Taiwan, have you ever thought about the realistic problems? It’s difficult to become a lucrative writer in Taiwan. The copyright royalty is only 10%. So even my book sells well, about 10,000 copies, I can just earn NTD.300,000 (£6,000). The market is too small. But if my book can publish in China, it’s another topic. Famous writer occupies the market. New writers published by small presses are hard to emerge. But I will insist on my literary style; it’s what the market lacks. In terms of the welfare system, I think I will take two jobs at the same time. I can have a part-time job and then write in the off days. In doing so, I can insure myself. I don’t want to spend all my time on writing; in contrast, I will view it as relaxation. * Will your ideal life come true? It depends. If I can publish my book successfully, then I will be more confirmed in my dream.
6 Huang, Chieh-Ting product designer the p object
* Can you talk about your ongoing project? This project is inspired by lanterns. Lantern’s function is to protect candlelight. The traditional lantern in Asia is made of paper, bamboo or wood. In contrast, western people put the candles in metallic boxes in ancient times; afterwards, oil lamps and marine lamps were invented, which put the light in metallic shade. This is how two different cultures interpret lantern. Therefore, I try to fuse eastern and western cultures by combining Asian materials (wood, paper) with western form (shape, cage). Another point is about ‘protection’ and ‘preciousness’. Light is valuable, so need to be protected. Therefore, I start to think ‘what is precious? ‘. I use cheap materials-wood and paper, but spend much time on hand making to produce seems valuable objects. I try to play the definition of preciousness- diamond shaped shade vs. paper, hand making vs. cheap materials.
* Can you explain how you work on this project? I try to combine digital technology and craft. The craft skill was what I lacked in my BA period. The aim of Taiwanese design education is to train efficient designers. They highly asked us to sketch well and then it is manufacturer’s duty to produce the design works. There is a big gap between design and making. Designers don’t understand the procedure of making, materials and so on. Taiwanese design focuses on efficiency and relies on machine. This causes the short of originality. For this reason, I try to be both a designer and a maker in this project. In this project, I draw lots of sketch, use 3D laser cutting, and then bind and paint by hand. The paper shades are also hand made. When hand making my works, I am always thinking how to develop and adjust my project at the same time. * Does this project demonstrate some parts of your ideal life? Yes. My dream is to be a designer, and
involve in the making process at the same time, which makes me have more sense of participation. Such as Spanish designer, Jaime Hayon, he participates in many making parts in his projects, which increases the commercial value. I may not cooperate with many people, which costs too much time on communication. I prefer to focus on making material objects alone, like bags, vases and so on. I have more feeling about objects, but without specific category. Sometimes I feel design may come to an end, so I bring craft into digital in this project, which is a new start to me.
of cultural literacy, crash training and requiring speediness. These problems are gradually realised, but so far there is no Taiwanese unique design style. Furthermore, the market in Taiwan is too small. Similar taste cannot accept varied design. What the companies want are good skilled and profitable graduates, not the creative ones. The market plays a key role, but it is too closed in Taiwan.
* Did you have any working experience? I did some graphic design and web design for poor artists. Also, I designed bags for a manufacture in China. They owned excellent technique (manufacture for Lacoste), but were short of creative ideas. So I designed some creative bags, and then they produced them as their advertisement.
* Will your dream come true? Mm… it’s very hard, especially in furniture category. Most product design students’ dreams are furniture design, but Taiwanese furniture industry is a disaster. It is too small, and the proprietors cannot afford the money for the designers, so they copy others’ works. In addition, Taiwanese are not willing to spend too much budget on furniture and decoration. My project is low cost and can produce for small amount for segmented market, so there may be a chance to make it happen. Although it is not easy, I won’t give up.
* How do you think about the design industry in Taiwan? In terms of product design, it’s more and more popular than 10 years ago. Taiwan has transformed from OEM to ODM, so the need of designers is increasing. Even so, Taiwanese design still stays in superficial level. It results from many causes, like copy foreign design, lack
* In your imagination, how is your life in 10 years later? I am not sure where I will be then, so I don’t have clear image of future me. Change is always faster than plan. I would seize the moment and expect the surprises’ coming. Sometimes the dream seems too far to achieve. Little life and little job may be enough to me.
7 Wang, Tzu-Ting artist
* Can you talk about your works? These two works are extended from my recent works. Now I am exploring the shape of object itself, such as the canvas. I draw and paint on its natural lines and folds in order to reduce my personal control. When depicting an object, everyone has individual style. So I try to diminish these personal symbols by naturally following objects’ guide to draw. I create this method/rule and it makes me feel freer than before while painting. The first work, canvas’s wrinkles make me think of landscapes, so drawing and painting on it is like recording the terrain. Therefore, I drew some flags indicating the hiking path. About the second work, I painted different shades of colour on the cone canvas according to its natural folds, which made it look like a mountain. And then I put it on the flat canvas to trace its shadow and added a cable railway. I tried to play the relationship between 2D and 3D, shadow and shape.
* How do your work reflect your ideal life or ideal work? Humans make the rules, and then they follow it. The frame (rules) protects the freedom, where the irresponsible behaviour happens. For me, following the intuition is freest. I need something to guide me. Perhaps because I am not brave enough, I tend to avoid some responsibilities. The frame is like a cover which separates me from the responsibilities. The condition of a person is always changing, and now it is not the time for me to work. Some years later, I think I have to find a proper job, like the press or design company, to do something satisfying clients’ needs. * Won’t you be an artist all your life? I don’t think so. The ‘artist’ status is very hard to define. I still don’t view myself as an artist, even though some people would like to buy my works. Artistic creation is to satisfy myself and I can do it as long as I live, but it is not my status. Some prerequisite must
exit or done, then being an artist can be tenable. Studying fine art for a long time, sometimes I feel what I am doing is not important. I really enjoy the process of creation, and if I can make money from creation, it seems unreal to me. Sometimes I think I am littleness, and doubt artists. I need something realistic. Some people buy my works. It seems like extra bonus to me. However, what I care is the process, the transition from this work to next work. Being a student is a good excuse for making art freely. After graduation, I will find a part-time job or apply the artist-in-residency program to extend my state of creation. After two or three years, I will face the reality. There are some models to be a successful artist, but I wouldn’t enjoy art creation if I thought about this. * Can you compare the art scene in Taiwan and in UK? In Taiwan, in terms of painting, it’s not so difficult to be an artist if graduating from TNUA. Because of the school’s fame and teachers, students are easy to receive attention. The collectors are also willing to buy students’ works. Therefore, if you know more people in this circle, it will bring you more opportunities.
In UK, I don’t contact the art market, so I cannot make the comment. I feel there are more acceptability and chances here, but at the same time highly competitive. * How do you think about the art and cultural policy in Taiwan? I think it is fine. There are some resources and grants for artists. Although the system is not perfect, it is still useful. However, the resource is not shared well. Taiwanese cares one’s past experience, so the one who got the advantage before can gain more and more advantage easily. On the other side, people who work quietly may still continue in this way. I view these grants or resource as lottery. I don’t expect it, because it may disturb my creation. * In imagination, how will be your life after 10 years? It’s hard for me to imagine. According to my personality, I will probably find a job, and must work hard to maintain making art at the same time. Some artists are very active to plan for their art careers, but I feel I am an outsider to view the operation of the art market. It will be perfect if someone can help me to manage these matters, then I can create art without worries. But I always feel that life’s not that simple.
8 Cheng, Yao-Lung photographer
* Can you talk about your lovely work? I took ten photos. I made these collages of ready-made objects, which I have collected and picked since I came to UK for studying. Some of them are meaningful, but some are not. Some are souvenirs, and some are rubbish. They accumulate gradually and become one part of my life. I decide to store them up in photos. The containers (boxes, frames…) carrying the stuff also mean the restriction- social norms and parental expectations. Within the restrictions, there are still meaningful and beautiful things existing and happening. I don’t have the power and wisdom to break the limits, although I sense there is something wrong. In terms of my past jobs, I always endured until I could not, and then I looked for next one with expectation. Maybe I don’t have enough courage to challenge the reality, so I try to make me happy in a limited state. * Can you talk more about your past jobs? After graduation from BA, I worked as a graphic designer in a company for one year. I didn’t fit in the company system much, so I quitted my job and worked as a freelancer. And then I had a part time job in a café at the same time. Although working in the café with BA degree was not very acceptable in the traditional value of Taiwanese society, it was closed to my ideal life. Because of my scrupulous personality, I viewed every cup of coffee and meal as my creation. Making it delicious and lovely was my task. Within some minutes, I could complete every little task, presented them to customers, and then received feedback from their comments or facial expressions directly. To me, it was relatively simple process. My working time was fixed and received feedback was so true. Compared to a barista, being a designer was more complex. I was not sure how people view my works, so I had to gain recognition from my boss and seniors. I could not always do what I want. By the way, I was very satisfied with the creation state in that period of working in the café. I photographed what I really wanted to take without thinking too much. Now back to school, I feel the pressure and always think too much before taking photos.
* As a creative worker in Taiwan, what is good and what is bad? The benefit is mainly about spiritual aspects. Life is much more interesting and have more chances to meet the people with similar values and various talents, like photography, design, music, patisserie and so on. The bad side is feeling at a loss for the future. Most people donâ€™t think of design as a profession. The effort that creative workers pay is not easy to quantify and measure. This is a difficult issue, because it is concerned with the whole society. * It there any example demonstrating your ideal work and life? Itis edition and por que base. Itis edition is a studio combined with a small gallery and a shop in Taipei. A couple establishes it four years ago, one is the photographer, and the other is the illustrator. They show and sell their collections - old books and printed matter and hold exhibitions occasionally. Por que base is a photography studio and gallery formed by five people. They worked as an art promotion organisation by holding some workshops and cooperating with art museums. I am curious about how they run their business out of a company system. * In imagination, what will be your ideal life in ten years later? No shortage of food and clothing. I hope I can have my own shop and sell the products I make. They will be some simple and interesting stuff, such as the tableware, zines and T-shirts. The products will be made by hand and limited in the amount. There will be a versatile studio where I can develop the films, make ceramic, print and bind the books, so I can do my works in my own space. Moreover, I can hold some workshops for sharing my skills with others. * What is the difficulty to you to make it happen? I think the most realistic problem is the money. I may have to ask my family for help, but I am not sure if they can understand and agree what I want to do. From the eldersâ€™ viewpoint, they may think it is precarious. Many of my friends face the same issue with me, and we really want to do something which can make a living and satisfy our desire to create something fun. So maybe we can raise money and work together to fulfil our dream.
9 Hsueh, Yu-Ling artist
* Can your explain your graphics? In my opinion, ‘occupation’ and ‘work’ are different. In the foreseeable future, I have to work, but I may not have an occupation. What I want to do cannot be classified into an occupation so far. I am sure I won’t enter an organisation, such as company, school, galleries and so on; in contrast, I will do the work by individual. According to my observation, what the people working under the organisations think and care are about their own personal affairs, although the purpose of these big organisations is contributing to the society. However, individual workers are thinking much bigger, like writer. The graphic shows my perception about individual and organisation. The individual in the above can see more clearly, but he himself or she herself may be black, gray or boring. Below is the organisation, and people within it only think about their own business. Before, I once called a paper factory for inquiry, and the whole process made me feel the telephone operator working there didn’t like paper at all. My observation cannot apply to all, but it is often like this. * So what do you want to do in the future? I am not sure yet. I have thought about picking up stuff, like recycling, which was inspired by a Japanese movie ‘ Bright Future’ and the comic named 少 女少男 (shōjo shōnen). In that movie,
a role makes a living by collecting and repairing second-hand electrical appliances. And in the comic, a character collects many abandoned vehicles and tries to use them for inventing the rocket. In doing so, the products won’t be eliminated by time. It is meaningful to our environment and also an economic way to repay our society, such as Tzu Chi recycle centre in Taiwan. The spirit of recycling is like subtraction. I should do something subtractive. ‘ Artist’ is a dangerous word. I cannot be an artist with a mission. I will be a little person who is indeed doing something. Why I choose studying fine art is because it is freest. I can decide who I am and what to do, not school. But what I really want to do is not specific so far. * Do you view yourself as a creative worker? I think I will work by both brain and labour, and may tend to labour work more. Studying fine art makes me think and observe the world from a more central position. We do art, because we can do nothing. But also because of this, artists can create great works. It is similar to the spirit of Fluxus- we are nothing, so we are everything. * What problems will you meet in order to fulfil your ideal? My family and the society may do not understand what I am doing. Also, I may not make money by doing this. In terms
of social welfare and insurance, I don’t care so much. Maybe I haven’t been independent in economy, so I haven’t face the real impact. * Can you talk about your working experience? I worked in an individual second-hand bookshop for two years, and I also stayed in a press for a while. In that period of time, I noticed what most colleagues cared about were their personal affairs. They always wanted to come off work soon. For them, job was not important in their life. Moreover, I had a part-time job in a café, and I found the people who own the small café have beautiful minds. My past works made me observe many things, which was interesting. * Is there any example demonstrating your ideal life and work? I don’t know anyone who is doing my ideal. Take a writer as an example. If he/she focuses on writing in spite of the market in all life, then he/she is doing something very individual.
* In imagination, how will your life be in 10 years later? I cannot imagine. Maybe I will be still the same as how I am now.
* Do you feel uneasy or unstable about your future? I don’t feel uneasy about my future. I want to fulfil my subtractive life. But now I still have to enter the school organisation and live an additive life full of art creation, art exhibitions, and cultural events. Even though I won’t become an artist with the mission, the additive school life is necessary for current me. I have to discipline myself by addition first in order to do subtraction well.
Lin, Shao-Jie artist ďźƒ3
* Can you explain your work? I started thinking this topic with the reasons of work and life and I think I tend to the spiritual level. To me, other people’s recognition makes me feel satisfied, which awakens me the sense of being. According to this trace, I am thinking about my existence value. The mission of being an artist is to create art works. The artists from different backgrounds, with varied experiences, own their individual style. I pay attention to review the things seemed reasonable in our daily life, and question their unchallengeable state. Many things will become dead if we don’t sense them and be interested in them. In this work, there is a wall with a natural crack in it. I tried to do something with the wall, not from its history and background, but to interact with it to provoke some motives and reasons. Through this behavior, I hope to bring out some questions to the viewers. * Being an artist, what do you want to achieve? To me, creating works which can be approved and communicate with the public is my essential task. Both fortune and fame are the added value. Artists can be classified into levels. The top one is having highly artistic achievement, and glory and fortune at the same time, like A Wei Wei. The second one is being a professor in university. Their works still have highly value, accompanied
with great fame and incomes. The third are the common artists, who make a living by being the professional artists. The fourth are poor artists. They insist on their art creation, which is hard to maintain their life. And the last one is the people who make money by utilizing the name of ‘art’ and ‘artist’. * Can you talk about the art scene in Taiwan? In Taiwan, there are two main pathways to be an artist. One is the ‘ college’ route; another is the ‘gallery’ route. On the college route, it is easier to have more opportunities and resources from advisors, such as exhibition opportunities. Thus, more exposure results in higher popularity and selling rate. However, the powerful advisors’ preference may dominate the trend and affect students’ intention. (In UK, the art students have tutorials with different professors, which means the students can have more advices and then decide by themselves.) The gallery route would be more stable, because the galleries have the resource of collectors and they are also responsible for promotion. The artists in contract with the galleries can make more money, but they are also restricted and shaped more or less by the galleries. Furthermore, there is a rare third route, which may happen on 1 of 1000. This kind of artist emerges suddenly. The topics they deal with often connect to the current society and provoke disputa-
tion and discussions. They are not only smart, but also very lucky. I am still young, so I won’t compromise easily. I will practice the real art in my mind. Diverse opinions from the professors and my friends are really useful to me. I am not eager for fame and money. I would rather devote to my own creation, and the rest depends on the chance. * Will the unstable state of being an artist be a problem to your life? Yes. I care the responsibility for my family; otherwise, I have only few material desires. If being an artist cannot support my life, I will have a part-time job to maintain everyday life. As long as I can meet the minimum needs (eating), I will continue to create art. * How do you think about the government’s policy and welfare towards artists? What the government does is perfunctory. If you don’t ask actively, don’t protest against them, they won’t release the resources. They should form a specialised committee and set up a resource sharing mechanism. Also, Taiwanese big corporation don’t take their social responsibilities, not like UK or USA. They are too conservative to support the contemporary art. They still stay in traditional esthetic values.
There are two big art prizes supported by the Taiwanese corporation. The winners are often the ones with excellent painting skills. * Compared to Taiwan, how is the art scene in UK? The environment is freer and opener, and the market is bigger. Like ICA, the staff would come to my school to hunt some potential students and held exhibitions for new artists. If there are 50 art critics in Taiwan, there may be 500 ones in London. I feel the opportunities here are much more than in Taiwan. And there is much sponsorship by big companies, such as O2, M&S. In London, the galleries and alternative spaces are more prosperous and professional. They do not only view art as a business, but also a mission. These art and cultural organisations would cooperate together to develop the whole art scene. For example, there is an art map published regularly, which shows the information about current exhibitions of most galleries and alternative spaces in London. * Imagine your life in 10 years later. If I carry out my plans smoothly, I will stay in UK to develop my art career then. I hope I can already use media and terms more accurately in that time.
11 Inca Pan illustrator
* Can you explain how your works reflect your ideal life? I have ever seen some illustration handbooks about plants. I am quite attracted to them, such as drawing the body of plants microscopically, observing the gestures of flowers, recording the name of conformations, and then making some simple notes. The world is so big, but we may know less than ten kinds of plants. Hope there will be someday I can wake up quietly and then walk to the
make the decision in the morning. And then take a rest at noon. And back to work around 1:30pm until 6pm. In the evening, I would relax completely.
forest and fields to depict and record the plants.
forget the fatigue and be cheered up.
* How do you conduct your one daily day? It’s about this: Wake up around 8am, go to have breakfast, surf online for any new information, choose a music to play, and then start to work at 9am. Morning is a good time for thinking ideas. I always think up a rough and
This is the ideal state, but it’s not always like this. When it doesn’t go smoothly (it often happens), the whole process would extend till midnight. If there is still no further progress, I would fall asleep with depression. But if the problem is solved at the key point miraculously, I would
* What does the nature bring to you? Maybe the physical and psychological adjustment. I am the person whose emotion easily being affected by the surrounding. Emotional ups and downs would affect my creation, so keeping in balance is always my aim. Nature itself is the best balance. Walking and looking at the sea, or observing the scenery
changes on the way home, are all the good ways to keep me calm. * How do you collect stories? To observe through my eyes. Seeing a scene in the photo and being there in person is very different. There are wind, sunshine, odour, and temperature in the reality. To feel in person can certainly stimulate something new. * Which new place do you want to go? And why? I want to go everywhere I have never been to. Sometimes when passing by the houses standing in the centre of farms, I would imagine who live inside, and what kind of life I would have if I lived there. When taking the train, I can see many houses sitting on the mountain valley. I am also fascinated by these cottages. I wish I could live there for some time. And of course, I hope to visit all the foreign scenic spots as well. * What are the happinesses and worries of being an illustrator?
I have never been a so-called freelancer. In that period of time, I didn’t have a regular job, and didn’t try hard to promote myself, either. I got the cases by waiting passively. Sometimes the time between case and case was very tight, but sometimes was quite loosen. So maybe I am not qualified to answer this question, but it must be very hard, super hard… Actually, I have worked in a design company since the year before last year. So I have to do my own creation after work and on weekends. It consumes lots of energy and affects my creation. I tried hard to adjust. I hope I can focus on my own works wholeheartedly in the future. In spite of some opportunities, I’m not satisfied with my current state. I am conservative, so need to think about it for a long time. * Why do you choose to enter a design company? There are many reasons. As I said, I don’t think I am capable of every project. Also, I am not sure if I can work well with commercial projects. I won’t do any works that I am not proud of for
just making money. Therefore, I decided to work in a company, and plan my future at the same time. And I don’t need to worry about money anymore.
ganised dooryards or backyards. I hope I can pay attention to my life as those homeowners.
Every decision has pros and cons. Working in the company consumes most of my time, but I focus more on the rest time instead. I also like the complete relaxation when getting off duty. Maybe that’s why the labours like to drink together while they are off work. In addition, now I am more open-minded to every project, because I don’t need to be responsible for my own. The projects I do in the company are various. They are very good experiences for me. It expands my flexibility.
* Please imagine your life in 10 years later. Living in a house with a yard. The ground floor is my studio. There is a wind bell. And in the evening, my friends will come to my home and chat.
Another reason is I want to make new friends (ha…). I am not good at social interaction and talking. Being alone is difficult to meet new people. So I decided to enter the company when I was jogging in a lonely afternoon. In the result, I really met very good friends. The disadvantages of being an office worker should be well known, like much hard work, lack of private time. However, I think these experiences will be useful when I have to face something by myself in the future. * Is there any example demonstrating your ideal life or work? There is no specific example. I quite appreciate some houses with well-or-
* Will your dream come true? Probably.
Ansel Yen freelancer the mutual part we’ve missed＃1/＃2/＃3
* Can you explain your work? There are many parts that have disappeared or have never experienced along the line of our lives between me and me/ him and me. In a deficient field, these have lost, being losing, and never being possessed keep us staying in a uncompleted state and looking forward to the missing parts. * Do you face these missing parts with a more optimistic attitude? Is it a power that drives you? In the series of works, I focus more on the wanting/missing parts. Yearning is only a package of humanâ€™s desire, and the continuation of the thinking under these abstract symbols. Thus, the series is closer to negative emotions and expressed by a more negative sense. In the course of my creation, the negative emotion is usually my starting point. It leads me to develop my works from feeling, and then transfer to how people experience these adverse things in the social frame and also how people are affected by it. Therefore, my works
always convey a more negative/passive emotion. I think the ultimate form of art is pain. This is also why the tragedy so popular and can be handed down through ages. * Do you yearn for anything currently? I want to greatly alter my room. And I want a new bedstead with big storage space under it. * How do you conduct your work usually? The surrounding is most important to me. Therefore, I have to settle down everything before working. Like most artists and designers, I need a private space to work and no sounds allowed expect the environmental sound. So I donâ€™t often listen to the music unless my work is already on the track. And I often repeat one song until one work finished. In terms of the content, I often get and store the ideas from my daily life and draw them out for creation at some certain points.
* Can you talk about your working experiences? Except my own works, I mostly do some graphic design cases, including typesetting, printing and visual design. Moreover, I do some animations, video editing, web design and exhibition design. I have worked as a part-time designer in a small design company for almost one year. * Please imagine your perfect daily day. I stay in an ideal studio apartment. Do not go out all day. There are a living room, an open kitchen with the kitchen island, a balcony where I can sit and watch the passersby, a big desk, Internet… * Be a designer in Taiwan, how do you view the realistic environment? And how can it be improved? For a long time, Taiwanese design industry cares the efficiency but ignores the aesthetics, which is also the biggest contradiction that emerging talents face. Even though the artists have great ideas or big ambitions, the supervisor would judge it with the outdated and
stereotyped criteria. They view those applicable for the past are always good and useful. They only care about the profits and what they can discard priority is ‘design’. The convention has been for ages. These outdated supervisors still occupy their places. Maybe what we can do is passively waiting for them being eliminated from the society. This may be why many designers choose to leave the industry. * What kind of person do you want to be and what kind of life do you want to live in the future? For now, I think my life and work would continuously change without any limitation. I don’t have a clear image of future me. Maybe ‘creation’won’t be my priority, but I will try to create something continuously. I view every different lifestyle as the accumulation to me and to my works. * Will your ideal life come true? I think the ‘ideal life’ is like the ‘truth’. People are always chasing it, but never get it. What we can do is to become closer and closer to in during the seeking process.
but i am not the only one
Goldsmiths College, University of London MA Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship Hsian-Jung Chen / 33172010 2011
Published on Jun 17, 2012