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DRT #5 Rückblick: Women in the Field

There is a cluster of stars in the sky that is called The Seven Sisters or Pleiades. Many tales from all over the world relate to that constellation, yet Datscha Radio Taipei has its own stories to tell about the seven lady guests that created a  three-hour radio show titled “Women in the Field” on that 3rd of March in the Treasure Hill Artist Village.

Huang, Sze-Ting, instrumentalist and composer Liuqin; Huang, Hsuan-Jung (Lori), instrumentalist and composer Pipa; Hsu, Yenting, Sound art composer and installation artist; Liao, Yun-Chan, Director of Common Wealth’s Opinion channel, Ora-Ong Chakorn, publisher and editor, Claire Bushby, artist and curator and Jeng, Cheau-Wen (Berry) , Taipei Culture Foundation (TCF), the Associate Manager at Dept. of Management.

From l. to r: Liao, Yun-Chan, Huang, Hsu, Yenting, Huang Sze-Ting, and Hsuan-Jung (Lori)

Lori Huang was the first to arrive, bringing her instrument, the pipa,  with her. Shortly after Sze-Ting Huang came, carrying the liuqin, the „little sister of the pipa”, since they are similar in shape but different in size. Lori and Sze-Ting form part of the “Lost Sounds Studio”, an initiative aiming at a balanced communion of traditional and modern music styles in Taiwan.

The decoration was sprouts and radishes, but as it was raining hard, we stayed inside

Our ensuing exchange of experiences, memories and thoughts was channeled into three blocks that were framed either by live instrumentation or compositions presented by the sound and installation artist Hsu Yenting.

A wide range of topics was covered that reached from women’s role models and liberation strategies in the Asian countries  to daughter-parents relationship to the situation of female immigrant workers in Taiwan to contemporary networking modes.  Not all ladies came from Taiwan. The Thai publisher and editor Ora-Ong Chakorn shared her observations about the situation of literary women writers with us, and the Australian artist Claire Bushby, also a former resident of the THAV,  introduced her work #RT_samplr: a cross-stitch tweet project to the audience.

What did your mothers teach you?

The atmosphere was casual and intimate at the same time. Often we had to swap seats, the mike stand was moved through the room, other visitors peeped in, took photos, left or stayed on to follow the discussion.

Hsu Yenting’s piece “Laundromat” invited us to contemplate on the ambivalence (and maybe outdatedness) of this kind of symbol for women’s work. She also introduced the work of her fellow artist Sheryl Cheung, “Vitality Conversations” as one of the aims of this broadcast lay in not only introducing own compositions/texts but also the work of others.

Plum wine tastes like “falling in love”, says Sze-Ting

Our different nationalities, backgrounds and upbringing merged into an ongoing, lively conversation, on the half way spiced up by sharing a small bottle of plum wine. Among the questions that came up was also the one whether there exists a specifically “female” perspective in the arts (in Taiwan) and in which way it may differ from men’s.

The interesting answer to that was the suggestion that men may tent to be more interested in creating artworks that promise “great impact” while women’s works might focus much more about connecting to her environment “from her heart”.

Hanging out on the sofa… (l. to r. Yunchan, Sze-Ting, Claire, Ora)

We discussed this and quite a number of further topics for you to listen to on the up-coming podcast on Datscha Radio’s mix cloud archive.  

The end of the broadcast was marked by a 25-minute interview with the nature recordist and writer Laila Fan who is also the director of the Taiwan Soundscape Association which she founded in 2015 –  followed by one of her field recordings:  “Listening by the pond(Menghuan lake) in Yaminshan National Park.

Pieces played:

  • Lori Huang: Wu, Hoa-Yuan: Su— After reading Tang Poetry “Pipa Xing”  written by Poet Bai, Ju-yi in 816.
  • Sze-Ting Huang: Cuban Oregano(左手香)- Liuquin piece
  • Lost Sound Studio (Recording) Osmanthus Alley

Zheng: Yang, Yi-Wei | 古箏:楊懿惟
Zhongruan: Huang, Sze-Ting | 中阮:黃思婷
Pipa: Huang, Hsuan-Jung | 琵琶:黃璿蓉

  • Lori Huang + Sze-Ting Huang: Improvisation
  • Hsu Yenting: Laundromat (Installation excerpt); Waterland (Documentary excerpt)
  • Sheryl Sheung: Vitality Conversations

‘Vitality Conversations’ is an ongoing project that involves interviews with women who respond to the idea of blossom with tales of their own life stories. Fictional and true stories are weaved together into an abstract stream of life energy that serves as soundtrack to an installation of vased flowers illuminated by a looped performance of flowers blooming.

Preparing for the Pipa and Liuqin improvisation

According to a Polynesian legend, the Pleiades once made up a single star: the brightest in the sky. The Polynesian god Tane disliked this star, because it had bragged about its beauty. It’s said the god smashed the star into pieces, creating the Pleiades star cluster. However, we can take many different perspectives now.  There are millions of star sisters in the universe, it is up to us how we connect them into new pattern and imaginations.

Saying goodbye….

For once I don’t have to write this resume all by myself, taking the liberty to link to some facebook comments and images of the lady participants:

Claire Bushby ist hier: Treasure Hill Artist Village. 4. März um 06:28 · Taipeh ·

I had a fantastic afternoon yesterday on Datscha Radio’s “Women in the Field” episode. German sound artist, Gabi Schaffer brought together an incredibly inspirational group of women from Taiwan, Thailand, Germany and Australia. We talked challenges of being a female artist, family expectations, motherhood, sexual harassment #metoo, what our mothers/grandmothers have taught us and so much more!

廖雲章 ist mit Claire Bushby und 4 weiteren Personen unterwegs.

3. März um 21:33 ·

德國🇩🇪藝術家Gabi Schaffner 邀請我到寶藏巖的工作室參加線上直播節目 Datscharadio a garden in the air.








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