Suho Paper Museum’s A Dining Scenery exhibition features three art installations and a roster of classes and workshops. Photo courtesy of Suho Paper Museum
A Dining Scenery, the latest exhibition at Suho Paper Museum, shows viewers how to turn their three squares a day into fine art
With art installations and cooking classes, Suho Paper Museum’s group exhibition A Dining Scenery focuses on both the act and art of eating.
Artist Ho Chia-hsing recreated his studio desk, where he takes tea each afternoon while working on calligraphy scrolls, while the three members of design team Zabu thought of ways to make a school lunch more aesthetically appealing. Japanese artist and frequent Suho collaborator Kobayashi Junko’s multimedia installation conjures up a leisurely picnic in the forest. During the exhibition, which runs until Oct. 15, Suho will host a roster of events and workshops topics related to how to prepare or serve food.
“We hope to change the way people look at what they eat and inspire them to approach their food from a different point of view,” says Lynn Wu, Suho Paper Museum’s project planner.
A Dining Scenery’s art installations show how mealtimes can be a restorative or bonding experience.
Enchi Chen, Chiali Kuo and Marko Cheng, who designed Zabu, a cafe near National Taiwan Normal University (also known as Shida), recreated a high school classroom with vintage furniture from their own collection.
The four student desks, as well as a teacher’s table, are set up as if their occupants have only just left for a moment. Onigiri and bowls of rice shaped out of papier-mache are carefully arranged in recyclable paper lunch boxes or on dishware made out of unusual materials such as tree bark.
“The Zabu team wanted to show how anyone can use a few very simple, well chosen items to create a feeling of abundance and improve the quality of their lives,” Wu says.
WHAT: A Dining Scenery
WHEN: Until Oct. 15
WHERE: Suho Paper Museum, 68, Changan E Rd Sec 2, Taipei City, tel: (02) 2507-5535. Open Mondays to Saturdays from 9:30am to 4:30pm. The museum’s gift shop is open until 5pm
ON THE NET: www.suhopaper.org.tw
ADMISSION: General admission is NT$100, or NT$180 with a papermaking class. For A Dining Scenery class fees, see Suho’s Web site
Ho’s calligraphic renditions of the Buddhist scripture titled The Heart Sutra hang next to a recreation of his studio table. Written consecutively, the five scrolls allow viewers to see the small changes in each of the hundreds of characters as Ho’s mood shifted or he became more confident with the brushstrokes.
The table holds the three small brushes Ho used to copy The Heart Sutra, as well as a tea set with a tiny pot, the artist’s nod to the exhibition’s theme.
“The teapot is so small that you have to brew and pour the tea over and over again. As you repeat the motions, it becomes a form of meditation and focuses your thoughts,” Wu says.
Junko’s multimedia installation is meant to transport visitors out of the city and into a cool mountain forest with a burbling brook. Large murals made from single sheets of handmade paper evoke sunlight as it shines through leaves or sparkles on ripples of water. Visitors who sit at a wooden table are treated to a surprise: The action of sitting down triggers a work by new media artist Kelvin Liao in which a projector beams images of tea and snacks onto the table’s surface.
Suho’s curriculum of courses and workshops explores the process of holding a dinner party down to the smallest detail. A workshop on Saturday will show participants how to carve their own wooden chopsticks, while a talk next month focuses on teaching table etiquette to young children. Herbs and vegetables grown in a potted garden on the museum’s rooftop — including lemongrass, rosemary, basil, lavender and shiso — will be used in several cooking classes. On July 29, Belgium musician and chef Thomas Foguenne will host a “design party” at the museum, creating dishes made with locally grown ingredients.
“When people eat something, we don’t want them to just care about how it tastes, but also how it was raised and how it was grown,” Wu says.
During the duration of A Dining Scenery, Suho will also sell related items in its first floor gift shop, including Japanese brand Wasara’s biodegradable paper tableware made from reed, bamboo and sugarcane pulp; mizuhiki napkin rings and chopstick holders braided from tightly wound rice paper and silk cords by OEY, also from Japan; and hand thrown ceramics by China’s Urban Tribe. Products designed by Suho include bowls shaped from long, sturdy mulberry tree fibers and a gift set with a pot, dry soil and handmade paper embedded with seeds that can be planted.
The museum will hold concurrent exhibitions and events in Taichung and Kaohsiung. Suho’s Taichung exhibit runs at CMP Block, 257-2, Jhonggang Rd Sec 1, West Dist, Greater Taichung through July 25, while the Kaohsiung edition takes place at the Pier 2 Arts Center, 1 Dayong Rd, Yancheng Dist, Greater Kaohsiung, from Sept 3 to Sept 25.
For a complete schedule and to register for courses, visit www.suhopaper.org.tw or call (02) 2507-5535.
By Catherine Shu
07 July 2011