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24|River Basin Action

WU Mali X GONG Jow-Jiun X CHEN Po-I

The “River Basin Action” exhibition section carves out a space for dialogue by integrating Art as Environment—A Cultural Action at the Plum Tree Creek, which was launched by Wu Mali and Bamboo Curtain Studio, and ran from 2010 to 2012, and ongoing projects of “One Thousand Names of Zeng-wen River” and Monument, developed by Gong Jow-Jiun and Chen Po-I, with The Parliament of Things in Dapu, Chiayi scheduled be held in November 2022. This section looks back on the contexts of Taiwan’s environmental art actions and revisits the multifaceted relationships between rivers, the environment, species, and the ecology, expanding the horizon for the future of contemporary art.

|Art as Environment—A Cultural Action at the Plum Tree Creek

WU Mali

2010-2012 and beyond

Through actions that connect several community resources, Art as Environment—A Cultural Action at the Plum Tree Creek centers around an unknown creek in the Zhuwei area of Tamsui and reflects how the land is fragmented and creeks and rivers have become unrecognizable amid the rapid urban development. In the name of “connecting the broken land with water,” this project conveys the hope of reconstructing the relationship between human beings and the environment.


The project was mainly carried out between 2010 and 2012 and received funding from the National Culture and Arts Foundation. Related sub-projects include “Breakfast Gathering at the Plum Tree Creek,” “There’s a Creek in Front of My School,” “The Shape of the Village: Moving Museum,” and “Community Theatre.” After receiving the prize money from the Taishin Visual Arts Award in 2013, the project was carried out by Bamboo Curtain Studio in collaboration with community ecological experts that continued to promote environmental education and publish community bulletins to establish the “Plum Tree Creek Protection Alliance.”

|One Thousand Names of Zeng-Wen River

GONG Jow-Jiun


Zeng-Wen River, which runs through Chiayi and Tainan, is 138 kilometers long and the mother of the entire drainage basin. The upstream starts in Alishan Tung-Sui Mountain and proceeds to Dapu, the Chiayi–Tainan Plain, finally flowing out to sea in Taijiang. There are four reservoirs along the river: Tsengwen Reservoir, Nanhua Reservoir, Jingmian Reservoir, and Wusanto Reservoir. After three years of research and investigation, nine sub-projects were included in Mattauw Earth 2022’s “One Thousand Names of Zeng-Wen River” initiative, attempting to use art as a means to create a platform for exchanging ideas in regard to the drainage basin community, guiding people into the ecology of Zeng-wen River.

|Monument: Fushan Check Dam

Chen Po-I


120 × 112cm & 120 × 120cm|Giclée

Creeks and rivers are channels for moving water, as well as conduits for silt to run from atop mountains and hills to the plains and mouths of rivers. 


Monument is about the giant sculptures formed by humans and nature out of the siltation prevention dams in the upper reaches of the Tsengwen River. Blocks of concrete carved out by years of flowing water, the dissolving of dry periods, and the polishing of plentiful periods of water, are works fashioned together by the hydropower of nature, the power of humanity, time, and the climate together. The Tsou tribe’s earth god, ak’emameoi, created the earth and controls the rivers. He used water to erase these siltation control dams from the land, and restore nature’s harmony. 


These various Monument spanning the river are revelations given to us by nature; they are sculptures witnessing the work of Ak’emameoi.

Wu Mali and Bamboo Curtain Studio

Wu Mali currently teaches at the National Kaohsiung NormalUniversity Graduate Institute of Transdisciplinary Art. Inspired byavant-garde art, Wu specializes in using art as an intervention to connect different communities and commence cultural actions. She received the National Award for Arts in 2016.


Bamboo Curtain Studio’s founder Margaret Shiu has always been concerned with issues regarding culture, art, and the ecological environment. Apart from initiatives on related policies, Shiu also dedicated her efforts to actions and practices. Shiu was awarded the Taipei Culture Award and the Special Contribution Prize from New Taipei City Culture Award in 2021.

The 11th Taishin Arts Award – Visual Arts Award|Art as Environment—A Cultural Action at the Plum Tree Creek

GONG Jow-Jiun

Gong Jow-Jiun is an associate professor at the Doctoral Program in Art Creation and Theory of the Tainan National University of Arts, with research interests in phenomenology and contemporary French philosophy. Gong has long devoted his attention to issues related to the philosophy of the body, aesthetics, phenomenological psychology, and psychoanalysis. In 2013, Gong started his curatorial practice and has organized exhibitions including “Are We Working Too Much?,” “The Return of Ghosts,” “Kau Puê: Mutual Companionship in New Future,” “Wild Rhizome,” and “Yao-Chi City.” Gong was also the chief curator of Mattauw Earth 2022’s “One Thousand Names of Zeng-Wen River”

The 16th Taishin Arts Award – Annual Grand Prize|Kau-Puê: Mutual Companionship in Near Future: 2017 Soulangh International Contemporary Art Festival ─Chief curator GONG Jow-Jiun, Team of curators CHEN Po-I, Eric CHIEN, CHEN Yen-Ing, HUANG Chiung-Yin

Chen Po-I

Born in 1972 in Chiayi, Chen received his PhD degree in Ocean Engineering at National Cheng Kung University (2018). Chen is actively engaged in the photography education and also works as a curator of Tainan International Foto Festival (2023). Some of his photographic works now become the permanent collection at National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (Taiwan), Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung (Taiwan), Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts (Japan), Maison Européenne de la Photographie (France). He was also the recipient of Taishin Arts Awards and Golden Tripod Awards.

The 13th Taishin Arts Award – Shortlist Award| Home: Records of the Relocation of Hongmaogang Village

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