How would you fit your family in a box?
Bicycle pedals coming out of the sides of the box? A tree of hanging photographs? A girl with her finger on the edge of a sharp broken mirror with her grandpa’s cigarette lit and smoking above her head? Or simply a box full of glass smashed to smithereens? These were just some of the family boxes provided by the young artists from the second season of the Gosh Foundation’s Fruit Camp.
While the organizers, major directors and officials opened the 2010 Taiwan International Documentary Festival on Friday 22 October 2010, the underlying missions of the festival had begun long before, as the organizers asked: How can the seeds of creativity and collective memory be passed onto the youth? How can these young talents be nurtured to produce marvelous works?
The self-made Taiwanese star, Sylvia Chang tried to answer these questions when she founded the Gosh Foundation, which was intended to inspire young artists to transcend the traditional artistic spectrum and keep creating. When Sylvia, a self-taught actress, singer, playwright and director, arrived in Taichung, she immediately went on a tour of the festival's installations - including the works of the ‘Family Story vs. Video Art’ installation, which were the fruits of the second Gosh Foundation ‘Fruit Camp’.
The preliminary group of young artists had to install the quintessence of their family story in one box; meanwhile, advanced students who had excelled the previous season, the original Fruit Camp, invited you into their huge boxes/makeshift homes to play with their life-size toys and view their video art works about their childhood. They had initially been asked to bring their works to be selected and refined the year previous, with the most talented receiving one on one training from top artist in a suitable artistic field.
The results of this training were astounding. In Childhood vs Childhood, Liu Ming-chieh contrasted the childhood of his grandma with his own, for example cutting between footage of his younger brother innocently playing with a paper airplane, and that of fighter jets during the Japanese colonial period, which represented how airplanes were perceived in his grandmother’s memory. Li Pei-tzu created a formidable animation video which explored her winter melon producing ‘Squash Family’- ‘squashes’ in Taiwanese can refer to short, fat people. To research these ‘family stories’ the kids had to engage their elders with questions of their youth - inheriting and developing their memories. This is a lesson that could help all youths communicate better with their elders. Finally, Yang Hsin-he visually expresses her inner struggles of a life and memory fractured between her early years in Kaohsiung and more recently in Yilan. The young artists were enthralled by the opportunity at such a young age to display their works in Taiwan’s most prestigious art museum.
Images by Liu Lu-chen
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|Written by : Nick Coulson
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