N E W S F E E D S >>>

Caithness News Bulletins August 2005

September 2005 August 2005

Caithness.org News Index

Front Page Archives

Joanne B Kaar World Fact Book On Taiwan
Ding-way Lin From Taiwan In Caithness with Local Artist Joanne B Kaar
By Ding-way Lin
Last year I worked with Scottish artist, Joanne B Kaar when she came to the Chaoyang University of Technology in Taichung, to be the artist-in-residence in the department of  communication design where I am currently studying. She stayed here for 5 months. During this time I showed Joanne around Taiwan and also introduced her to our traditions. At the end of her stay, we both exhibited new work at the Su-Ho paper museum in Taipei City, which was inspired by this experience. Joanne returned to Scotland in December 04, but we kept in touch.

Photo Gallery

One of the classes I studied involved designing a new 'brand' image for a company. I chose to design a new name card for Joanne's business. As she works in paper, my design was based on a traditional Taiwan papercut in red. Also, as part of my University degree course, I have to do 8 weeks work experience with a company. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to do my work experience with Joanne in Scotland, as my brother was kind enough to pay for my travel to the UK. My work experience started as soon as I e-mailed her this good news! We decided to run a series of workshops for children and adults, and called them 'Taiwan Experience'! So we spent a few months planning the activity, e-mailing each other ideas. An organisation called 'ArtsPlay Highland' offered to help fund the workshops, to make it more accessible, with the host venues covering the rest of the costs.

I arrived in London on Sunday 3rd July. Joanne's husband, Joe, came to meet me at the airport. We stayed that night in Oxford, before driving to the far north of Scotland. My first experience of the UK, was walking around Oxford in the early evening. It was still daylight, but the shops were all closed and the streets were quiet! No night markets here!!!

On the journey north we visited China Town in Manchester!!  I had a look inside some of the shops. They don't sell the same things in Taiwan!!  We also visited the Lowry centre. This is a modern art gallery, named after a famous artist from Salford which is near Manchester.

Our next stop was camping in the Scottish village of Dunkeld.  Here I met the midge!  We arrived tired at Joanne and Joes house in Dunnet, after the long drive.  Their house is in the countryside. No shops! My bedroom window looks over the sea to the Orkney Islands. Its quiet here. No scooters!  It does not go dark until very late. This confuses me, as it goes dark in Taiwan about 7pm!

I had a few days to look around Caithness, before we went on a workshop to learn about making glass art at Northlands Glass in Lybster.

We then packed the car, and set off south to teach our first workshops.  This was for families. So there was a mixture of adults, teenagers and young children. The workshop was held in a museum building. We had to take everything with us required for the workshops as most places we would be teaching do not have any shops nearby!

The fun part was translating everyone's names into Chinese!  And also letting them taste some Taiwan snacks!  We have to travel very far to teach workshops. On this first trip we travelled more than 800 miles and had to get 2 hour boat to a small island called North Uist. So it was a long way to go home if we forgot anything!!

Its interesting meeting new people and go to new places. Everywhere is very quiet, but they have nice art centres in their villages. Taiwan Island is only about half the size of Scotland, but has a population of more than 22 million.

I think by the time we have done all of our workshops, we will have travelled the same distance as going around Taiwan Island more than 7 times (and that's only for teaching workshop, not getting to and from London!) We have driven more than two and a half thousand miles to teach Taiwan Experience workshops. Our last one was at 'Touched By Scotland' near Aberdeen.

During August we also had an exhibition at Timespan Art Gallery. Most of the work is special papers from Taiwan, including ghost money which is used for burning during Lunar festivals, with a few of my own traditional bright red papercuts (red means good luck).

Its great here, I want to come back.

best wishes
Ding-Way Lin

Joanne B Kaar