I arrived in Taiwan, jet lagged but excited to be here! I landed in the evening and was taken to my apartment where I got the quick run down of everything and then crashed out for the night. The next morning I was given a tour of the extremely impressive Yingge Ceramics Museum and the ceramic park which has lawns, a water park and lots of ceramic sculptures interspersed throughout the space. The residency studios are towards the back of the park area and are in a stylized brick building with a sweeping roof structure arcing over the structures. The studios are open for the public to come in as watch as the residents work and ask questions, so our posters greet visitors at the door. I started to set up my space with the tools that I brought and also decided on which porcelain clay to work with for the duration of my time here. Jet lag caught up with me early on this first day but I managed to stay awake until about 8pm and then crashed.
I woke early my second day because I needed to meet a car and translators who would take me up into the mountains to a remote area called the Wulai District. It was a beautiful ride out of the city and up into the cooler mountain areas where they are known for waterfalls, hot springs and the indigenous people who live here. I gave a slide show talk about my art to a classroom of 4th graders who were excited to try working with clay. Despite living only about an hour from one of the ceramic capitals of the world, they had hardly any clay experience. They were especially excited to find out that I would be coming back to their classroom 6 more times to do projects with them as part of the educational out reach programs the museum is developing.
I’ve spent the rest of my time, getting my bearings walking the city, going grocery shopping, figuring out how to order food without English menus, and all the other funny things that make traveling to a foreign place so adventurous! Now, it’s really time to get into a routine (hopefully getting me on the time zone!) and get some long hours going in the studio!