In early July, I received an e-mail from Cai Qing, a friend I met in a performance art event in Indonesia. He was coming to Taiwan for a holiday with his wife and asked if he could do something with me before he left in the end of August. Cai Qing, born in China and living for a long time in Germany and USA, is now teaching in Singapore and undergoes his PhD program in Hang Zhou, China. He is much more passionate for performance art than me. He thinks about it everywhere and every minute. Compare to him, I am really too lazy…..
He is active, and I am passive. He is fast, and I am slow. He roams and lives everywhere, and I persist in one place. We are so different. But I am willing to echo his call, laying down my habit and my relax time, to work for our common interest.
What touched me is that some young local artists are also willing to stop their own works to join us. And luckily enough, In Art Gallery which I would like to have the event happens to be free at the time we pick and is therefore able to offer us the venue. I couldn’t be more appreciative for all of these.
Then is the problem of naming. What should we name this event? I spent a lot of time thinking about it. Many proper and improper names flew among my fingers. When I almost broke down by all the wrong codes in my head, three words suddenly showed and sparkled in my mind: Yi Wo Fong ( 藝窩瘋 ). That’s it! I recalled in recent years performance art has been more and more popular domestically as well as internationally. Yi Wo Fong is originally 一窩蜂 ( a nest of bees) in Chinese, connoting the phenomenon that people swarm in doing something in a short period of time. But it can also be a pun of 藝窩瘋 ( art nest of nuts/crazy guys ), which seems fit to our coming event with group performance as a key form.
In Yi Wo Fong, artists will do solo performance first. They can do it inside or outside of the gallery simultaneously, after which they come back to the main venue, the 1st floor of gallery, and do the group performance. Their performance will correlate with other artists/objects/audience/space/environment, etc. They can form a group, or do a solo; deep involve with others, or evacuate from it; can highly concentrate, or fall apart as they will. A kinetic impulse is expected to form on the spot of live performance by different consciousness, sub-consciousness, or non-consciousness and lead them to an unpredictable and unnamed, but adorable total happenings/performance…..
It’s going to be a tough challenge for the artists. They have to figure out what to do/what not to do, or construct/deconstruct at numerous immediate moments. It’s also a challenge to the audience. They will have no comfortable chairs to sit, and no touching plot/story/text/narration to follow. Instead, they have to follow and move with the artists all the time. And what’s more, in the process of watching the performance, they have to constantly feel and perceive like the artists do about what happen on the spot: the atmosphere, temperature, air, light, compassion, meanings, reflection, doubt, revolt, therapy, humor, irony, rationality, emotion…
Thus, Yi Wo Fong will follow the style of events that ArTrend Performance Group has organized before, looking for how far contemporary experimental live performance can go. It’s definitely a summer event that can’t be missed by those who concern contemporary avant-garde art and the teachers and students of visual art or performance art co-related fields. (by Yeh Tzu-Chi)
'Preface,' Catalogue of A(rt) Nest of Nuts, by Yeh Tzu-Chi, ArTrend Performance Group, Taiwan, 2013