Seeing the Local Culture with New Eyes
The Department of Cultural Vocation Development held the 2020 Graduation Exhibition from 16th to 23rd January at the Shuxin Hall of Xibenyuan Temple to showcase fascinating and creative students works that capture and reflect local culture or history. The diversified products displayed at the exhibition range from short film, ceramic vessels, garments, leather goods to building block artwork, and many more. Thomas C.K. Yang, Taipei Tech Vice President, said that students from the Department of Cultural Vocation Development have poured in their utmost effort and creativity into their graduation production, and present us the innovative products that combine historical elements with contemporary perspectives.
Old Tiles with a Modern Twist
The ancient patterned tiles serve as a medium of collective cultural memory for the Taiwanese. The specific tiles were imported in the early 20th Century and had become a popular material used in the interior design in Taiwan. As time gone by and the old houses gradually worn down, the ancient patterned tiles were also damaged and became scarce. To preserve the ancient tiles, a team of volunteer workers in Chiayi proactively takes on the job to retrieve and repair the pattern tiles from the remaining old houses in Taiwan and established the Museum of Old Taiwan Tiles.
Two students from the Department of Cultural Vocation Development, Guo Fang-Ting and Chen Huai Xuan, have visited the Museum of Old Taiwan Tiles in Chiayi and explored the history of ancient patterned tiles, and they had decided to use the ancient patterned tiles as an inspiration for their graduation production. To give the ancient patterned tile a modern twist while still maintaining its cultural connotation, Guo and Chen had designed and produced a series of building block artwork with their own interpretation of the ancient pattern.
Kuo and Chen indicated that the patterns of the building block artwork were designed by themselves but were deeply inspired by the floral pattern and the fruit symbol commonly seen on ancient tiles. “We want to make the historical context behind the ancient tiles more approachable,” said Kuo and Chen, “We also believe that through the block play activity, children will be intrigued and will want to know more about our traditional culture” said Kuo and Chen.
Ceramic Vessels with Nostalgic Sentiment
Another group of students of the Cultural Vocation Development Department, Hsu Ming-Ting and Liu Hsin-Yen, revisited the famous landscape paintings, “Twelve Points of Interest in Taipei”, by Gogara Koto, and decided to use the color palette of the paintings as the main element to create a series of ceramic vessel. Through conducting various experiments of glazing and color matching techniques, they have managed to deliver the finished products of exquisite ceramic vessels that echo the history and culture of Taipei.
Student Short Film Depicting Pandemic Outbreak
A more contemporary piece at the exhibition is the short film made by students Tso Hong-Yu and Chang Jung-Chen. They spent a year to film and produce a 16-minute short film, “Wo Pu Shih Ku Yi Te” (我不是故意的, I Didn’t Mean To), to portray the pandemic outbreak and the conflict between healthcare professionals, patients and patients’ families (“Wo Pu Shih Ku Yi Te” official trailer). Tso and Chang hope that a more understanding social dialogue can be triggered by this film, and the audience can realize that empathy is key in this post-pandemic world.