Recently, the Flaming Lotus Girls were invited by a Taiwanese group, Dream Community, to create a flame effect for a mobile art installation, for the Dream Community April parade in Taipei. For this project, we sent Dave X., and Yasi to Taipei for two weeks to live within the Dream Community, in Taipei, and collaborate in making fire art. Here is Yasi’s blog documenting her experience working with the Dream Community, and the creation of the fire art.
June 9, 2008 –
Today I was wide awake at 5am, thank you jet-lag. My mind was racing with all the things I needed to get organized for beginning the building process. I tossed and turned and finally decided to get up and make some plans…
I made a general to-do list, a materials list and a tools and equipment list. Gordon wants me to set-up a mini fabrication space in a covered outdoor area, where other artists usually make the paper mache floats and large puppets, to build the sculpture. The space is full of wood, paper and other highly flammable materials. Basically, it’s a fire hazard nightmare for metal work. I have explained this to the community organizers and they say that they can move some of the things out of the way but I can still work there…they have a very different relationship to the word “flammable” here. So I created a general list of the things I will need to make this sculpture.
Soon after, I got on the scooter and set out to meet Nina, one of the girls that works at the office, for a swim at the local gym/spa. Nina had drawn me a map and she forgot to mention that the street I was supposed to turn right on was waaaaaay down this main street. So I kept turning right on every street along the main drag and could not find the “spa”! I was late to meet her, but I kept on moving. It was really funny. Finally I got to the road I was looking for and it was one of those main avenues full of traffic and madness. Riding a scooter in Taiwan is a little different from riding in SF. You cannot hesitate, you just have to go. Best to follow the lead of other riders. Anyways, I get to this crazy intersection that goes everywhich way and I have to make a U-turn. I move into the intersection and am waiting for the traffic to lessen so I can make my move, when the cop on the corner whistles at me and starts shouting at me! I just shrug my shoulder and point to him that I want to make a U-turn and I don’t know what the hell to do. So he actually whistles to me and gestures that I should go now! Apparently, being a girl in traffic has its advantages with the cops. Ha ha!
After an amazingly refreshing swim in the pool, I headed back to the Dream Community to have some coffee and toast and continue my outline. Throughout the day it rained like there was no tomorrow. Downpour. Lighting and cracks of thunder louder than I have ever heard. It was wild! I was also waiting a long time to meet with JJ.
Finally, I meet with JJ in the late afternoon to discuss materials and equipment. A manager, or “boss” as they lovingly call people in charge here, from one of the local fabrication shops or “factories” shows up and we speak with him to discuss the plans for the flatbed that needs to be made for the back of the truck. He assures us that it will be delivered on Thursday morning.
I spent the rest of the evening finding pictures of plumbing fittings, wrenches, tig guns, angle grinders, plasma cutters etc. to show JJ so he knows what I am talking about when I say, “I need a 3/8″ to 1/4″ reducer,” or doesn’t get the worng idea when I say, “We need some 1/4″ nipples.”