'The Microclimatic Life-line'
Art installation 'The Microclimatic Life-line' was placed in the water-rich nature area of Cheng Long Wetlands in
Taiwan and consists of local, natural, biodegradable and recycled materials. The artwork can inspire people to take action to reduce the impact of climate change by making changes in their own environment. The Microclimatic Life-line artwork visualises both the rhythmic cycle of a heartbeat as well as a crucial moment to save us in dangerous situations.
The history of the environment where the exhibition took place and the climatic factors were more extreme than expected.
We stayed in one of Taiwan's poorest fishing villages. The Chenglong Wetlands originated after 1987 when, after a violent typhoon,
a large part of Taiwan's west coast flooded; not only did many people pass away, but also the original agricultural area with
trees flooded by the sea water. As a consequence, agricultural land was no longer useful as such and fish farms were built.
These massive concrete farms dominate the coastal area and caused that almost all of the original vegetation (plants and trees)
have disappeared. Ground water is used to provide these fish farms with freshwater. This causes a substantial reduction of the
soil in relation to the seawater level. Fortunately, some farms have recently started using seawater to prevent further
As a location for the The Microclimatic Life-line, we have chosen the area which was struck by the typhoon, where a crematorium
with cremated remains of deceased victims which were buried in this area can be seen on the horizon.
'The Microclimatic Life-line' consists of eleven connected rafts made of bamboo and covered with algae. The rafts are made using traditional
techniques using bamboo pen and hole joints; were were trained to usethis technique by a local 'bamboo master'.
On frames, strips of split bamboo were knotted with the help of villagers and various school children. The result is a biodegradable
art installation that will disolve slowly into the Wetlands. During the opening, visitors received an explanation of the artwork and were invited to join the 'Algae Experience'.
Various workshops were organised by lfM for children from the Cheng Long Elementary School (groups 1 to 5) such as a workshop
about the Dutch culture and history, of course concluded by a traditional Dutch game 'blind-fold syrup waffle grabbing'!.
During the next workshop for 'Climate Hunters', pupils were hunting for micro-climates around the school premises and in a nearby
palm tree. Furthermore, they could collect and apply algae to the work of art. In the last workshop, the children themselves formed
a life-line artwork on the lawn for the school (see large image), of which drone camera-images were made.
Meanwhile, various bird species have taken possession of our art installation since we have returned to the Netherlands.
'The Microclimatic Life-line' has now become a micro-climate sanctuary for birds!