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An Investigation of Imaginary Life Forms from Dulan

This is the end result of a residency program in Taitung (eastern part of Taiwan) under the 2016 Austronesian International Arts Award.

Dulan has lovely dogs and cats, all given names and living at ease with the human residents. Laid outside every home you can see driftwood of all shapes and sizes. Driftwood is readily found along the coastline of Taitung and local people pick out pieces for spoons, toys and sculpture making as well as for firewood for heat and cooking. In Dulan Bay, I was stunned by the beautiful scenery, the endless sky and sea with infinite gradients of blue. I realised that the people born into this landscape and in constant sight of this natural beauty have found a way to live in harmony with nature. So I too started picking up driftwood. I painted each piece as a way to observe every detail, pattern and shape revealed beneath the bark. The coloured wood generated a strange feeling, in emphasising the unique shapes they were transformed into something else. They revealed themselves as bone remnants, as creatures that I had never seen before - a new imaginary natural history of the area made visible.

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