Posted on 01 May 2024

Call for Artists 2024

Guandu Nature Park calls for three artists with a focus on the human-nature relationship to participate in the 2024 Guandu International Nature Art Festival entitled “Ecology, as a perception Submission deadline is May 31th, 2024.

Selected artists will spend around four weeks as artists-in-residence in Guandu Nature Park and use natural or environmentally friendly materials to create artworks onsite that can convey environmental messages and raise awareness.


Theme: Ecology, as a perception

-Events, Attitudes, and More


We've forgotten the shape of the waterfowl's footprints on the mudflats.

Forget the neem flowers in the spring meadow.

We burnt rubbish in the remote wilderness.

-------------------- wetlands remember


I Curatorial Structure


II Preface - Ecological

"An 'event is always something new that occurs in an unexpected way, and its emergence can disrupt any existing stable structure. Continuing the two exhibitions "Healing, A Methodology" and "Nature, A Gift" curated in the previous two years of the Guandu International Nature Art Festival, Guandu Nature Park tries to respond to the "post epidemic" era (after COVID-19), where "nature" has been used as an alternative solution for the restoration of "social order" (we try to go back to and create a solution for emotional connection with nature), it seems that we need to go back and think about the reality that we are facing after the event (COVID-19):

That is to say, in the face of such an "event" (which has a significant impact on the human ecology), apart from the gradual restoration of the established social order and the resulting response to "sustainability" in the international community, we also try to think about how we can respond to the various impacts and changes generated by the post-event environmental changes through art and curation. Here we need to think in a more 'ecological' way, such as the concept of sustainability in the environment.

"Sustainability" refers to the competition for resources generated by various organisms to maintain their survival, and makes most of the materials can be recycled internally to achieve a balance, so pondering from an ecological point of view or attitude means that we must consider the interrelationships between various factors and conditions of the environment and the behaviours or actions of various organisms in the environment, and it is a more holistic and dynamic process of thinking. It is also worthwhile to explore what role and function art can play in this aspect.

III Artistic

If "event" is a gesture that breaks through the framework and destroys the balance of the environment, then art, as a non-routine and unconventional way of expression and interpretation, seems to be closer to the impact of the event. Art itself has the nature of an event, as renowned theorist Slavoj Zizek has said when discussing the nature of the "event":

"An eventual outcome determines its own cause or reason in a retrospective manner."

Such retrospective postulates and self-generated causes often transcend the rational logic of cause and effect, but are presented in a cyclical manner. Then art, as a creative, diverse and personal interpretation, is no more than an alternative version of events, though not comparable in terms of norms, and compared to the rational and purposive technological manipulation of real society, art has the potential to break out of the established framework and the possibility of a more flexible and leaping interpretation.

It can be said that art has a certain "eventfulness" or appearance and phenomenon in its nature. Take for example the famous eco-art work "7000 Eichen - Stadtverwaldung statt" (7000 Oaks - Replacing Urban Management with Urban Forestry) by Joseph Beuys in the 7th Kassel Documenta as an example, Beuys declared when asked about the motivation and goal of the creation:

"I see the tree as a form of sculpture that expresses eternity, especially the slow-growing, solid wood of the oak tree. Prehistoric Druids believed that the oak tree was the foundation of all things, so they used it as a symbol of sanctuary and called themselves 'Oak Knowers', and I envision the same future. ...... With these 7,000 oaks, I offer the world a simple but radical possibility."

"The 7000 Oaks is the symbolic beginning and the basalt monument is the symbolic marker. The future goals of this project include: 1. to promote urban greening to the world with the aim of environmental and ecological education; 2. to raise the awareness of city residents about the importance of the ecological environment; and 3. to revitalise the community through sustainable, creative and inclusive artistic action."

In this regard, Beuys, an artist famous for his "social sculpture", regarded "sculpture" as a kind of shaping the meaning of construction and action, and the object dealt with is the environment, society or the phenomenon itself. Such a shift from the traditional concern for the material to the interest in the phenomenon has influenced the original appearance of art's intervention in the nature and the exemplary role of the modern era. If we look back at the history of art's involvement in nature - from the early stage of art's development when it attempted to detach itself from the spatiality of the intermediary mechanism and the value of the breakthrough of the traditional media to the "eco-art" that adopted a more caring attitude towards the ecology, the level of art's involvement in nature has not only become more in-depth, but also shifted from the pure artistic to the social and political in terms of its aesthetic value. Perhaps it is also because nature as an object is no longer limited by space and material, but also has multiple social relations and values.

However, this does not mean that we do not rely on science and technology for practical management, but rather that they have different levels of treatment and influence. We attempt to address the impact and implications of events from an ecological perspective (not only in terms of nature, but also as a concept of nature, meaning a broader consideration of the totality of factors within the environment), combined with the potential of art to break out of the framework of rational tools.

IV Of Guandu

If《The Lost River》, which won the 2023 Taiwan Literature Awards, is a milestone in nature writing, then the motivation for this book was the environmental protection movement triggered by one of the most well-known environmental movements of the last few years, the Chihpen Photovoltaic Development Project. When reading the multi-layered story of the wetlands, which the author Hwang Han Yao tried to weave together with prose strokes, documentary journalism, and the integration of local and ethnic diaries, observations of local species, landscape changes, tribal stories, and the long-lasting interactions between people and the land, as well as the record of the social movement against the Chihpen photovoltaic project at that time, one can't help but overlap with the history of the Guandu Plain's environmental changes and the nature park. Coincidentally, they share similar environmental patterns and challenges:

The Guandu Plain is also located at the "end" of the Danshui River, where the Keelung River meets the Danshui River, and is also a wetland, and the designation of the reserve area also comes from the participation of the environmental movement, and even the recent environmental changes have a similar history.

As described in the book, the wetland is the meeting place of various ecological (including human) interactions in time and space, and it is the boundary and space between the land and the water, the city and the wilderness, and the human and the nature. As such a space, the Guandu Nature Park and Reserve actually have the symbolic significance of the society to the environmental conservation, and they are also responsible for the function of the environmental conservation and education, and the Art Festival is one of the projects that performs this function. As early as the first festival in 2006, art has been a way of debating the relationship between the natural environment and its surroundings, as declared in 2016:

After ten years, this art action has drawn a blueprint for the Guandu Nature Park for the symbiosis of estuarine culture, wetland conservation and environmental art. Starting from 2016, under the name of "Guandu International Nature Art Festival", we took advantage of the past ten years of accumulated experiences and emotions to further implement and deepen our understanding and care for the local area, and we hope that everyone participating in this art festival will be able to actively rebuild their own relationship with the environment, and to be inspired by the nature, and to find a direction for the future sustainability together. Together, we will find a direction for a sustainable future.

If the change of name from outdoor installation to nature art is a more ecological observation and practice, then it is also a response to the shift in contemporary aesthetics to a more educational and discursive art. Perhaps it is also a way of responding to the Anthropocene and its events.

V Perceptions and Opportunities

Bernard Stiegler, the famous philosopher of the techno-social correlation, once said:

"The Anthropocene is an "entropocene", that is, a period of mass production of entropy, which is equivalent to an increase in disorder or a weakening of order, in which case the entropy is negative, or "negentropy".

When global warming, extreme weather, air pollution, ecological and biodiversity decline, etc., when all kinds of "exceptions" and events become the norm, more and more artists begin to pay attention to this reality. If the hippie movement in the 60s and 70s called for a return to nature, then in the 21st century we need to reflect and pay attention to all kinds of problems of environmental change.

So what does it mean to be an ecological art or artist, according to Paul Ardenne in his book《 Ecological Art - The Human World and the Creation of Form》?

  • Working in Natural Spaces with the Development of Landscape Art

  • Documenting ecosystems in a state of crisis

  • Situational (contextual) artists, utilising their own talents and denouncing the abnormal relationship between human activity and the space in which they live.

  • Care-driven artists, caring for others and their relationship with the environment.

In short, the attitude towards caring for the ecology in their creations is a basic criterion. When the ecology becomes the artist's attitude, it manifests itself as a perception on ecological observation. It is a gesture that inspires future generations to actively intervene in society, to change the environment and people through art for the benefit of the public. Lucy Lippard, a famous American art critic, once said:

"The word 'ecology' in Greek means 'home'. It's hard to find a place that feels like home these days because so many people in the world don't feel at home. Can we use interactive, process-based art to bring people back home?" (Lucy Lippard: Look Around, 《Measuring the Shape》 p. 140)

The call for content

In 2024, we want to make a clearer statement and emphasise the reconstruction of the relationship between people and the environment, and seek the concept of sustainability. What attitudes and actions shall we take towards the ecology, and what values shall we convey to the people involved? When the ecology becomes the artist's attitude, the presentation is a perception on ecological observation, a gesture that inspires future generations to actively intervene in the society and change the environment and human beings through art for the benefit of the public. Therefore, the curatorial theme of 2024: "Ecology, a perception " is an invitation to artists and the public to think about the real environment together, and to take an ecological care as the starting point of the road back home.

Creative Goal

The format of creation is unrestricted and may include interdisciplinary contemporary art, visual art, installation art, etc. The use of natural materials is preferred for media, and the creative process must comply with environmentally friendly principles. The works created should convey the values of habitat creation and biodiversity, the connections between the ecology, birds, and human interactions surrounding Guandu, and should trigger awareness of ecological conservation. The creative concept and presentation of the works should emphasize their artistic nature.


Field Study


Aug. 22

Artists arrive in Taipei; Hotel check-in

Aug. 23

Venue Tour、 Field study

Aug. 24

Field study 、Selecting Artwork Venue & Environmental Q&A

Aug. 25

Artists selves field study



Aug. 27 - Sep. 21

Period of installation

Sep. 22

Opening Art Festival

Sep. 23

Artists depart



Sep. 22-Dec. 31

The artwork exhibition

  • Off days: Aug.26、Sep. 02、Sep. 09、Sep. 16

  • Any change to the current timetable will be made in accordance with notifications from the organizer, and will be announced on the official website of Guandu Nature Park and Guandu International Nature Art Festival.


1) Email:

2) Phone: +886-2-28587417 ext. 230 (Ms. Evonne Yeh)

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