A Far Corner: Life and Art with the Open Circle Tribe

A Far Corner: Life and Art with the Open Circle Tribe

A Far Corner: Life and Art with the Open Circle Tribe

A Far Corner: Life and Art with the Open Circle Tribe

Excerpt

Far is a relative term, based on a conception of a center. in 2002, after living and playing music in Taipei for some years, I received an advance from a local record label and moved to Dulan, a village on a remote stretch of Taiwan’s Pacific coast. There, fifty miles south of the Tropic of Cancer, I joined a community of aboriginal artists, the Open Circle Tribe, and built a recording studio in an old farmhouse above the sea.

The Open Circle Tribe was acephalous and amorphous. It was anarchic in the original sense of the term, having no internal ruler or authority, no one to say what was right or wrong, no administration or hierarchy. It had no phone tree, no newsletter or list of members, or even a concrete definition of itself. It was a loose confederation of woodcarvers, painters, and musicians, splitting apart and reconverging to work on collective projects that came up periodically. These artists cultivated a living connection to their indigenous heritage, and to their ancestral landscape, while navigating the social and economic terms of the Republic of China. They were not primitive or “pure” in maintaining past tradition—they used chainsaws and drove four-wheel-drive trucks, and they never dreamed of boycotting the products of the government-run Taiwan Alcohol and Tobacco Monopoly. But within the terms of their creativity, their distance from centers of authority, and this landscape of mountains and the sea, my friends in Dulan . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.