Eight studios, a decent-sized gallery, and a large theatre and performance space make up Stock 20, one of Taichung’s most active arts facilities.
Stock 20 was developed as part of a network of reclaimed 1930s train station warehouses situated near the tracks throughout central and southern Taiwan. Since 2000, the complex has been a home and workspace to a rotating slate of 100 Taiwanese and international resident artists.
Who endures the noise of a busy train yard and a leaking warehouse roof? GuanXi recently interviewed the artists in residence.
Peng i i
Peng i i moved to Taichung three years ago to study fine arts at Tunghai University and recently graduated. He’s been living and painting at Stock 20 for about half of this time, supported financially by his parents and the fact that, under the art complex’s resident scheme, he pays no rent for his studio.
A painting major, he has created three series during his time in Taichung. The first focuses on a character called Dou Dou (豆豆): “A while ago there was a commercial called ‘Dou Dou Sees the World’ but I changed it a little bit – ‘Dou Dou Fucked the World.’”
Each canvas represents one “film shot” and is subtitled with a Taiwanese phrase written in Bopomofo.
In the second series, the artist peers under the “sweet cover” of the world in which he was raised, finding that it’s not the candy land he was led to believe.
The third series is more abstract, painting Bopomofo characters over and over again, progressively creating an all black canvas.
You can see his work in a solo exhibition at Taichung’s A-7958 Gallery in October or visit him at his studio on Tuesdays and Saturdays, 11 am-5 pm.
Chung Yu-Chia’s musical and artistic career has brought him more awards, money and fame than most 27 year olds in Taiwan. Five years ago, Chung and two university classmates founded Bike (拜客), a Brit-pop inspired group of which he is frontman and songwriter. The band has gained success, touring throughout Taiwan and overseas, with a number of awards and two EPs.
His ability to draw seems in direct contrast with his talent for performance and he admits to little crossover artistically. The only similarity lies in the fact that he is successful in both pursuits. Over the two years he has been creating canvases between twenty and thirty pieces have been snapped up by art galleries, with three of his latest works going to the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts.
He draws from dreams or his own imagination, “inspired by relationships with others, how people connect with each other.”
Chung suffers from anxiety and finds that his unique artistic technique – creating drawings made up of many dots – helps: “The repetitive movement makes me calm.”
To see his work, visit him at his studio on Fridays and Saturdays, 1 pm-5 pm.
Jon Renzella, currently the only international resident artist, hails from the United States. He came to Taiwan because he “was bored with living in the US, wanted to learn Chinese, didn’t want to get deported by the Mainland government for my political work, didn’t want half my federal tax dollars supporting war and I wanted basic health care without decades of debt.”
He creates black and white woodcuts that can take anywhere from a few days to eight months to complete. Over the last two years he has been working on a collection of small travel prints he hopes to make into a book. Some larger works deal with politics.
“Because I … carve a piece for six hours or more … I have the chance to listen to a lot of different podcasts on news, history or politics. All of this input and information has found its way into my work.”
Once he broke through the language barrier, Renzella found the art community in Taichung to be extremely friendly and open.
To help bridge the culture gap, Jon also runs the tiny Lei Gallery from his studio, showcasing work by local and international artists – currently an exhibition by photographer Johan Vosloo.
You can see Renzella’s work in an exhibition at Taichung’s Da Dun Art Galleries in October or visit him at his studio on Thursdays and Saturdays, 1 pm-6 pm and Sundays, 2:30 pm-6 pm.