This exhibition is to interpret the possibilities with the mythology in the 21st century through the history, culture, and products of a place. Mythology is more than a product of imagination. What lies behind mythology is the associations out of reality and humanity’s infinite expectation towards Creative Creativity. Hence, through the creation of mythical figures, utilization of technologies, and exhibition of artworks, we present a philosophy of sustainable development of nature.
“Spiritual Roaming” is a term rich in emotion and imagination. Traditionally in Chinese, “Shen-You (Spiritual Roaming)” refers to spiritual encounter, often implying an imaginative journey one can not physically undertake. For the people nowadays, “spiritual roaming” is enabled by technology, allowing bodies to partake and wander in the world of creativity and ideality via physical activity. The term “môo-sîn-á” in Taiwanese implies the insignificant individual’s awe of spirits in all creatures. The Anthropological Imagination for Môo-sîn-á by LIN Mei-Rong and LEE Chia-Kai is the first study of spiritual religion in the society of Taiwan through the field research of anthropology. In addition, the construction of temples to worship the loyal and righteous individuals in line with the Confucianism as well as the folklore deities born from the religious needs, the belief in Buddha, Bodhisattva, Arhat, Devata, and Yaksha of the Vedic thinking of the Aryans introduced with Buddhism, and of course the traditional Taoism with belief in the Sun, Moon, and stars empower religions to demonstrate affluent cultural heritages in variety. On the infinite fusion and integration of the technology in the 21st century, the images of gods in the East and West imply the immense power of imagination and creation that traverses between the reality and virtuality. In fact, although the civilization of human technology is ceaselessly advancing, humanity’s faith does not go as the concern presented at the end of the 19th century, nor does it coincide with the moment when the East met the West civilization. From rejection to defense, confrontation, and conversation, the human beings are deepening their understanding of belief individually. Gods never left us. They are among us all along. For millennia, people built temples, churches, mosques, and kuwas. The disturbance and agitation in human hearts for eons have been manifested or incarnated via architecture, sculpture, painting, and patterns. Through belief and systematic philosophy, we gave birth to a perpetual world of transcendence.
Ataabu was originally a name for an indigenous tribe in the Qing Dynasty. The pronunciation was adopted by the Han people after their resettlement here. Also, there are layers of mountains in the west in adjacent to Dahengping Shan. With the Central Ridge as the backbone, the place is veiled in clouds and mists. That was how it came by the elegant name of Wufeng (Misty Peaks). The central Taiwan presents a fertile plain with little obstacles. The area of Ataabu used to be a historical site where the peoples of the Hans and the indigenous tribes met. The Lin’s Family of Wufeng enjoyed a great honor for their valor at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Wufeng was the place where the cultural movement was promoted in the Japanese rule, the site the artifacts from the Palace Museum Beijing were stored for 15 years upon the relocation of the nationalist government to Taiwan, the ground where the Taiwan Provincial Council laid the foundation of democracy, and the location where the first museum in Taiwan designed by Mr. Tadao ANDO, an international maestro in architecture, stands. This exhibition departs from the land space of origin and the time for historical facts unfolded. Through the existence of people, historical events, and natural resources, it traces the origin of life. Through this exhibition with technology and visual combined, we hope to guide people to refocus on the past and future of the land named Taiwan.
This exhibition is divided into several sections. First, through the making of local gods, we refocus ourselves onto the land of Wufeng. For that, ten fictional gods were created out of the legends, products, and nature, including the God of Liquor born from the sweet water flowing from the water system of Mount Hehuan that is perfect for liquor brewing, the Mushroom Spirit born from the fact that Wufeng is the largest hub for the mushroom farms in Taiwan and the place for one of the two museums of mushroom culture and industry in the world, and the God of Earthquake born from Wufeng’s experience of the 921 Earthquake. By embodying the true history in the past, we fuse the land, history, and culture of Wufeng with rich visual images through the ten gods, so as to redirect people’s attention to the local history, culture, and nature. What lies beneath the idea is the modern concept of “sustainable development.” In additional to the ten fictional gods, this exhibition also utilizes various local images of Wufeng, which are reproduced into moving images of projection. Meanwhile, the section “Traversing betwixt Heavens and Earth” is curated to display the modern art works of CHEN Tingshih, HSIAO Chin, and Nick DONG. The spirit of mysticism of the life in the universe manifest itself in their works. Through these works of mysticism, we shed light on the contemporary artists’ new attitude for interpreting nature and the universe. In addition, the section of “Path to the Cosmos of Ataabu” is open on the 3rd floor to present the works of Richard LIN and Michael LIN. The Lin’s Family of Wufeng is a house of literati. Richard Lin was born in the Lin’s Family of Wufeng before the war. He graduated from the Royal Polytechnic Institution with his studies focusing on architecture and arts. Active in the western Europe, the artist employed the Philosophy of Laozi and Zhuangzi as his creative concept. He presented paintings of minimalism, returning to the pursuit of origin as the subject. Michael Lin is the offspring of the Lin’s Family of Wufeng after the war. Born in Tokyo, the artist is active in Europe and Taiwan. He excels at using folk colors and postures of flower in his works, in which the world is splendidly colorful as if Flora the Goddess descends, filled with the energy of the earth.
“Spiritual Roaming of Heaves & Earth at Ataabu: Art×Technology Exhibition” shall depart from the gaze at the culture, history, landscape, and products of Wufeng, rendering images of gods and imaginations of historical memories. As such, it is elevated from the land, history, and nature into a cosmos order and the quest for its perpetuity. Meanwhile, by integrating the most original mythology and the cosmos ideology via modern technology, it shall reinvent new images for the place.