A Few Words from the Curator
The 2017 Taoyuan International Driftwood Art Festival at Fenghe Park Broadly speaking, ideas about gardens (including flower, formal and botanical gardens) in the cultural milieus of the East and West are brimming with metaphor and symbolism. Examples include the Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis, Persian gardens in the folk tale compilation Arabian Nights, the hidden gardens in The Decameron, and the idyllic vistas in Chinese traditional gardens. These gardens symbolize glorious paradises or stage exotic adventures. Some are secluded worlds of joy or sources of earthly delight, while others imply philosophies of life, mimic natural creation, or construct microcosms of the universe's rhythm. Without exception, making a garden demonstrates longing by responding to nature, religion and society, or weaving illusions, myths and allegories. These creations blend reality and imagination to present interrelationships between humanity, the environment, and culture.
This year's International Driftwood Festival makes reference to these rich concepts by setting “A Garden Within” as its theme and exploring intersections between the humanities and nature. The name of our city “Taoyuan” suggests the magnificent scenery of peach orchards, and the Art Festival will take place in Fenghe Park, a green oasis located at the center of the special municipality of Taoyuan City. Eight teams of artists invited from Russia, Hungary, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan will reinterpret the original concept for the park, which had to do with wind patterns, using driftwood sourced from Taiwan's waters. By installing these interpretations in a green park located in an urban center, the festival creates various dialogs between art and nature. The artwork, arranged by a pond, trees and a meadow, will create a many layered and mysterious garden that is both conceptual and physical within the city garden. The energy flowing from this driftwood garden will not only renew the scenery and alter perceptions of the surroundings, but also stimulate the imagination and encourage people to explore and experience the wonders of art, rediscover a place, and revisit nature.