Place Reimagined: Taipei through Aural Memory (Pt.2-2)

Place Reimagined: Taipei through Aural Memory
Part 2-2: Fragments: Tamsui - Zhuwei

Keiko Uenishi

June 2017

From the artist-in-residency at Bamboo Curtain Studio - 

Project overview:

I continued to work on the "Aural memories of people in Taipei" that I started at Taipei Artist Village Treasure Hill (TAVTH) but focused on people in Zhuwei/Tamsui districts in New Taipei City where Bamboo Curtain Studio (BCS) was located. Soon after my arrival, the extreme flood at BCS caused by the heavy rain storm, forced BCS residents including myself and staff members to escape from the area. We were quickly taken cared at the local sweets store "Zhuwei Almond Milk Tofu Ice Shop" (體育公園竹圍杏仁豆腐冰.They wholeheartedly helped us as BCS had been building the relationship with the local store through ongoing artistic community projects. With the help of BCS staff, Catherine Lee for communication, Mr. 郭,the boss of the establishment, was generous enough to agree with my plan to set up a small table in front of his store on one Sunday afternoon later in the residency. It was my hope to encounter people who would come to enjoy eating the desserts at the store and/or simply come across the communal plaza. It was the similar scheme I applied at Taipei Artist Village Treasure Hill (TAVTH) where I had the first part of my residency in Taipei. Utilizing such casual setup situated in the (usually) busy area, I was loosely planning to invite interested people to spend small amount (or any length) of time with me and ask to talk about their memory from listening sounds in present/past (including sounds in dreams.) Unfortunately, hit by another bad luck of having heavy rain for many days in the later part of the residency including the Sunday, local people scarcely turned out. In preparation for the project, I dyed (utilizing bamboo leaves growing at BCS) and handwrote a banner made with used bed linens donated to BCS by local hotels. It was handed to Mr. 郭 at the end of BCS residency. He promised to keep it until I would come back to Zhuwei next time to continue the project.

I was also invited to make a short sound performance in which I demonstrated experiments with objects found at the rehearsal room. The presentation was made in collaboration with Ivan F Moran of 身聲劇場(Sun Son Theatre).

One of the last activities in the part two of the residency, was to ask people working at BCS and Sun Son Theatre to talk about their aural memory. As mentioned above, my initial plan (to make such audio recordings in front of "Zhuwei Almond Milk Tofu Ice Shop") had to be postponed to the next opportunity in the future. Nonetheless, it was a significant experience to relearn the people and the place that I got familiarized over the course of the four weeks residency through their memory from listening. The knowledge gained through the experience through listening to the people, opened up new aspects and raised questions about the neighborhood that were unbeknownst to me.
(Detailed info available upon requests.)
Parts of this video has dual languages spoken simultaneously, however, not to be taken as 'simultaneous interpretation'. They were spoken by the same person who initially chose to speak in their language (Chinese in varieties of dialects of their choice) and later repeated with an English version spoken by the same person. It was my decision to have no written text subtitles for translation but to let the viewers to (try to) listen to the two versions simultaneously. If preferred, the viewers may choose to listen to one language at a time by panning (or wearing one side of their headphones) to tune into one language.