Being Nomad and on the Road
The concept of Yunjie Liao’s residency project originated from her personal life on the road, her past interactions with the homeless, vagabonds, nomads and peripatetic workers, as well as her experiences of field research. In the past twelve years, she had encountered different states of flow—talked with people sleeping under Sanying Bridge in Taipei and the piers in Prague, looked for the Roma in Eastern Europe, documented the homeless in Wanhua district of Taipei, co-habited with Taiwanese indigenous who lost houses in a devastating flood, talked with squatters in Europe and the US, experienced daily life with Palestinians and illegal residents, listened to children who left their homes into the desert and accommodated couch surfers in her own place.
During her residency period, Yunjie is going to revisit the urban yet unseen corners of Taipei such as Taipei Main Station and Manga Park, in order to continue interacting with the people with no fixed abode, or the nomads. She aims to tell stories from their perspectives and to consciously explore the core meaning of home, the similarity of lives, and the possibility or incompetence of mutual understanding.
“I finally understood that what she/they needs is after all not a shelter, a room on all sides, a bowl of hot meals, soft bedding, nor a stack of thick red envelopes. What makes her/them straddle most, however, in such cold and crowded world, is that there is never such kind of understanding (even our so-called understanding is arrogant), recognizing their favorite choice among all limited choices, recognizing their paranoia to keep on wandering. All the projected eyes are from such outer space, not fellows… The very few people, like S, who made Y feel lucky to be truly understood, always made her yearn for the next reunion- in the middle of the road, in the corner of the park, in her sleep, or where? I will never forget those stories she(they) shared with me, no matter whether those are called love, or not. ──First day of Lunar New Year 2016, Diary in Manga Park”
By continuing to keep track of, explore and listen to the stories around being loved, recognized and understood in various states of flow, Yunjie collects stories of people “on the road,” exploring the mental status of people with different identity backgrounds and social roles — their escape or pursuit of a home, the things they/we regret to leave behind, and the things they/we always carry around. She combines these discoveries with her observations of the urban space of Taipei, her own interpretation of this city where she grew up in, and the life patterns of its residence, to weave them into different yet similar narratives.
With the expectation of the nomads, she transforms her explorations into works that allow the nomads to carry on the road (for example, a professional picture of a homeless with her/his lover.) On the other hand, Yunjie’s works resonate with other residence artists’ stories and enrich the diversity.
- Taipei Artist Village, TW
- 9 April 2021 - 6 June 2021
- Taipei Artist Village, TW
- Barry Room
- 20 August 2021 - 19 September 2021
- Taipei Artist Village
- Cultural Diversity and Inclusivity Residency Programme