Welcome to the Sacred Garden. The Garden creator is the Egret Cultural and Educational Foundation with base in Taiwan. With over twenty seven years of history promoting art and culture, the Foundation has amassed a strong network of local and international artists. We are honored to bring to the Ars Electronica Festival our award winning international productions.
With Taiwan’s DNA, we have cooperated with numerous artists to bring our collective creativity together to innovate. We believe music and art should serve a higher purpose. It can purify your body, mind and soul. We look forward to presenting to you unique artistry that will trigger your inner strength and voice. May it be a light of inspiring hope, especially during the dark pandemic days. Please Indulge yourself with our sensational and touching programs.
Ars Electronica Festival Sep. 08-12, 2021
The Ars Electronica Festival was founded in 1979. Forty-two years later and two years into the Covid pandemic, the digitization of our world has intensified along with the hopes and fears we attach to it. The festival is designed to take the digital revolution’s emergence to scrutinize potential futures and to focus inquiries on the nexus of art, technology and society. Within a few years, the Linz invention has developed into one of the world’s most important media art festivals. There are symposia, exhibitions, performances, concerts, and interventions spanning a broad arc from speculative futuristic scenarios to analytical considerations, and from provocative actionism to philosophical debate. Each year the festival has been dedicated to a new topic and since 2020 the notion of the festival has been extended into an exciting hybrid format.
With its main hub at Linz, real-time events will take place at satellite locations run by our international network of partners. As we have grown over the years, we have grown with international artists, scientists, and avid Ars Electronic enthusiasts, all of whom will be connected to our festival on September 8-12, 2021. Together, over 100 locations will become one comprehensive global hybrid festival.
Ars Electronica Festival has manifested itself in more than 120 places around the world. More than 180 international partners organized programs with their “Festival Garden” that took place in remote physical locations as well as online. With a total of 944 events in 160 locations around the world, with partners from all continents, and with networks that spanned countries, the 2020 Linz festival was a success. We are proud to announce that seeds of the 2021 festival have been planted worldwide and are now sprouting into creative Gardens for all to witness online soon. Please mark the dates, September 8-12, 2021, as we will see you soon at the 2021 Linz Ars Electronic Festival.
New Digital Deal : https://ars.electronica.art/newdigitaldeal/de/
SACRED GARDEN A Higher Purpose
Plato once said “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Throughout history, people have used music and art to convey their beliefs, inner thoughts and emotions. With the oldest known musical instrument dated 50,000 years ago, and the oldest painting dated over 45000 years ago, we can say music and art are not ancient, but prehistoric and very human. Medieval times (6th-15th century) saw a renewed interest in music in monasteries and with studies in universities. Sacred music was composed for religious use and influence. Music proved to be especially powerful in its use in courtship, prayer, worship, sacrifice, divination, and primitive rituals. One can understand how music and art can be extremely robust mediums that can help accomplish goals of significant importance. Nowadays, music and art is omnipresent and in our view, diluted, through mainstream entertainment, commercials, social media, and memes. Sacred Garden hopes to refocus the unbounded potential of music and art for a higher purpose. As technology advances, we can imagine even greater possibilities to produce new innovative performing art. And we should embrace technology with a healthy blend of humanity’s warmth and meaning. Otherwise art will fall to the hollowness of AI or the shallowness of pop society. We hope to bring music and art back to its original high value and high importance state, where it may emanate profound influence and appea
Performing Art is the centerpiece of our garden. Art purifies the body, mind, and soul. Art also inspires, triggering the inner voice of creativity. Performing Art to me is like a faith or a religion. It is momentary and each live performance is never the same. And that is the beauty of it. Through post-production work, cross art performances are edited, documented, and preserved via fine art archive films for future generations to contemplate and to enjoy.
As we traverse through this dark pandemic episode, music and art are needed even more to provide intangible comfort on the spiritual level, to inspire hope and inner strength. We should elevate music and art, to soothe and to induce our inner creativity, imagination, and explosiveness.
Sacred Garden by Egret @ Ars Elctronica Festival’s Program Page:
The Egret Foundation is devoted to promoting and branding Taiwan! Over the twenty seven year history, the foundation has collaborated with numerous artists. Those at the top of their respective fields brought their knowledge and creativity, collectively innovating based on Taiwan’s land, nature and history. The results are absolutely creative! Absolutely Taiwan!
The foundation has commissioned new compositions, new media productions, creative works, research publications, dictionaries, documentaries and in-depth cultural tourism itineraries. The foundation has also participated in the identification of Taiwan’s colors and the development of art-inspired, creative and cultural commercial products. With Taiwan’s DNA as its base, the foundation integrates varying arts, performances and technologies to pursue diversity in creative works with the goal of refining Taiwan into a precious diamond!
We would like to highlight the Native Trend concept that groomed Taiwan’s subjective culture. The Native here refers to the experience, perception, concern and attitude toward life accumulated through cultural context, life style and local customs and practices. The content of the core culture is valuable and unique as it originates from the land and the people living on the land. The Trend here refers to contemporary international directions, languages and quality, meaning new concepts, new technologies, new techniques, and new ideas of the time. It conveys and upgrades contemporary living philosophy, aesthetics and ways of expression. The Native Trend has been an ongoing movement propelled by the Egret Foundation. We are humbled to have been able to create meaningful art that will become a part of tomorrow’s cultural assets of Taiwan.
As we often hear the abstract term “Taiwan’s subjective culture,” we have to be aware that it stands for the rich accumulation of creative works and research. Therefore, I always believe that as long as we continue our work, Taiwan’s subjective culture will strengthen and will be enriched. The works will be showcased for decades to come and will represent significant core values that will be assimilated into the lifeline of our national identity.
Chia-Hui Lu is a passionate artist and an active participant in the art world. She is a pioneer and award winning cross art creator, composer, music director, and renowned concert pianist. As the Chairwoman of the Egret Foundation, Ms. Lu continues on the organization’s 27 year tradition in promoting music and culture in Taiwan. Ms. Lu is a firm believer in stepping out of one’s comfort zone to cooperate and learn from experts in varying fields across continents to innovate and create art.
Her “XR Obsession” and “Butterfly Orchid” both won DNA Paris Design Awards. “Impression of Taiwan,” which was curated by her, received an honorary mention at the DNA Paris Design and won a German Innovative Architecture Iconic Award in the Communication category. Also in 2021, Chia-Hui won the following awards and recognitions for “Butterfly Orchid”: (1) Best Female Composer at the Toronto Women Film Festival, (2) Best Animation award, Best Music Video award, and Best Song award at the New York Film Awards.
Ms. Lu is a Professor at the National Taiwan University of Arts and also teaches at her alma mater, the High School of National Taiwan Normal University. She is an accomplished book author and a magazine music critic. Ms. Lu is an alumna of the Manhattan School of Music and has studied with world renowned maestros throughout the world. Ms. Lu is known for her inspirational and deeply emotional performances.
She is also a first prize winner of Taipei City Piano Competition and winner of Artists International’s Young Artists Award in New York City. Notable concerts that Ms. Lu performed at include: Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and Taiwan National Concert Hall, among others.
AMORE is an avant-garde production created to elevate the artistry of performing art. Paul Chiang’s paintings are the foundation from which 3D animation techniques catalyze the art to life. Through the combination of intense piano repertoires, multimedia technology, contemporary and abstract moving art, diverse styles are revealed to present a dramatic music-based performing art that is a banquet for the senses.
Music is timeless, immortal and abstract but invisible. Chia-Hui Lu and her team explored various mediums and styles from the romantics, surreal to contemporary. Paintings are transformed into motion pictures, intertwining and interacting in a marriage with its soul mate, music. It morphs into a conceptual, kinetic, digital and video art.
Love is heaven and hell. Amore is a brew of my worldly experience, emotional roller coaster, and multi-cultural up bringing. Of all the emotions, the most seductive and touching is Love. Love is my muse and is the most inspirational and greatest charm of all time. Though the focus is Amore, I also hope to elegantly unite all seven human emotions (Joy, Anger, Sorrow, Fear, Love, Hate, Affection) along with the five Eastern Elements (Gold, Wood, Water, Fire, Earth) to create a dramatically diverse program of Western Classical music and performing art. All in, to achieve a mutual interdependence Yin-Yang balance.
Sayion is a fantasy based on the story of a young indigenous girl named Sayion that crosses time and space. Behind the political distortion of this tale exists imagination. Sayion makes use of the latest interactive new media technologies that capture the interpretative body movement of the contemporary dancer.
During Japanese rule (WWII), the death of a seventeen year old Austronesian girl, Sayion, was manipulated and glorified with songs, paintings and movies to promote patriotism. Decades later, Keh-Hsiao Lin (Taishin Holdings GM), obsessed with Sayion’s mystery, investigated and published a book, which became the seed and DNA of our production. It is rumored that coincidentally, Lin passed mysteriously near the forbidden mountain trail where Sayion found her end.
Executive Producer Yu-Chiou Tchen called on Akibo Lee, Chia-Hui Lu, Jeff Hsieh, Po-Yu Wang, Billy Chang and Eslite Performance Hall to collaborate on this production. Sayion consists of three acts to describe the complexities of various generations: Search, Obsession, and Death. Lost in a maze and in pursuit amid a varicolored world, reality and fantasy shift and interweave to create a magical realm. With 720-degree VR positioning, a 3D real-time motion capture system, and responsive suspension equipment; dancers break free from the spatial limitations and frame of the stage. Brilliant colors captivate the audience, creating a unique sensory experience!
Is it chaos or obsession? Someone searches for her thousands of times, from the mountains and out to sea; seeing mountains that are not mountains and bodies of water that are not water. It is impossible to find one’s way out of this illusionary maze! Exactly who is the object of this obsession? Who is the reason for getting lost in this maze? Is there a way back or will you continue to fall deeper into the abyss? Life is like a dream, an obsession. Is every pursuit ultimately for naught?
It integrates a live performance with augmented, virtual, and mixed realities to mesmerize the audience with extended reality. It may be considered a performing, conceptual, kinetic, digital, video, abstract, and performance art. The beautiful ancient landscape paintings of Houei-Kuen Chen were brought to life. The production vividly traverses Taiwan history, art, and natural beauty through time and space. Dynamic volumetric capture using thirty two 360 degree cameras recorded the dancer’s movement and later fused with 3D animation. Modern expressive body language incorporate strong intertwined emotions, time traveling between realities. A real time capture of the live performance blends with AR/VR realms and is projected on a large LED wall for all to enjoy a new exciting immersive XR experience. XR Obsession was written and the music was composed by Chia-Hui Lu. Chai-Hui was the curator for the Egret Foundation and she debuted XR Obsession at Art Taipei with technological support from Po-Yu Wong’s iF+ team.
Through music and art, legendary tales are told and phenomenal sceneries come alive. We want performing art to be fun, different, and attractive. Through new interactive experiences, we successfully opened the eyes of visitors to new possibilities.
The viewers are also the participants, adding a new fun factor. As in “Alice in the wonderland”, the journey in curiosity, imagination, and adventure is what we delivered. On top of that, we provided a musical alternate reality experience without the need for AR/VR headsets.
The Egret Foundation is devoted to the preservation, research, and reproduction of Taiwan old and new music, including: Han music, aboriginal music, Hakka music, and music. The foundation commissions composers for new works and takes on the responsibility of a world premiere.
“Today’s creations become tomorrow’s cultural assets.”
The former chairwoman of the Taiwan National Concert Hall and Theater, Yu-Shiou Tchen, launched the “New Music Collection” project, to foster Taiwan’s cultural assets.
The Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) performed the works of twenty one composers in twelve albums. Diverse styles were encouraged in the compositions to showcase Taiwanese creativity where Eastern musical instruments and composition styles were co-mingled with traditional Western instruments and styles.
The Sound of Taiwan concert was a world premiere of two compositions: Gordon Chin’s Piano Concerto No.1 and Nan-Chang Chien’s Symphony No. 4. The two compositions were debuted with: conductors Günther Herbig and Wen-Pin Chien and performed by pianist Chia-Hui Lu along-side the NSO.
The Sound of Taiwan was an enormous collaborative undertaking between private foundations, sponsors, and an all-star cast of composers, conductors and musicians. Special mentions go to the Spring Cultural Foundation, Yuang-Dong Sheu’s Cultural & Educational Memorial Foundation, and the Egret Cultural & Educational Foundation for making the Sound of Taiwan concert a milestone achievement in the continued development of Taiwan culture.
Bounded to the North by the East Sea, to the West by the Pacific Ocean, to the South by the Bashi Channel and to the East by the Strait, Taiwan stands out from the bodies of water like a hidden emerald, rich and brilliant like a diamond. Once it was called Formosa by the Portuguese sailors (1542) meaning beautiful island. Through the centuries, foreign colonialism has had its influence in nurturing the island, creating the characteristics of Taiwan today. Unlike other advanced countries that evolved over hundreds of years, Taiwan’s natural and cultural development can be described as transpiring over a compressed space and time.
Compressed space refers to the dramatic limited landscape of Taiwan, where vast differences in weather may be observed from the mountains, to the forests and to the sea. Between and around the flat lands and the high mountains, complex ecosystems are born to accommodate diverse biological species. Compressed time reflects Taiwan’s leap to a modern civilization in just over a 100 years. Taiwan’s transformation from an
agricultural society at the end of the 19th century to the world’s most advanced high tech producer by the end of the 20th century is an amazing feat.
Through Eastern, Western, and Austronesian multi-cultural experiences and hardship, and through the constant endurance of the county’s harsh elements of extreme heat, typhoons, earthquakes and landslides, Taiwan’s tenacity, flexibility, courageousness, grit, and spirited enthusiasm are formed.
Inspired by “The Museum of Edible Earth”, we are calling out to our festival garden partners to contribute to a collective project called “Taste Your Soil”.
Ars Electronica Festival ask partners to send short a video documenting yourself as your garden program, to take a piece of soil (eg. from your garden, the park outside your office, the woods you go to for a walk etc.) and taste it. Those videos will be put together in a short documentary as well as be distributed throughout the festivals’ activities – online and onsite.
Your contribution to the festival will then also be included into “The Museum of Edible Earth” and added to the database.
Taiwan consists of a wide variety of soil types. The land is surrounded on all sides by bodies of water. The salt industry in Taiwan has thrived for over 300 years. The industry’s economic development and Taiwan’s culture are closely intertwined. Annually, the “Salt for Peace Festival” is held at Tainan’s BeiMen District. The festival’s purpose is to dispel evil spirits and to pray for safety and good blessings. It is also a continuation of a valuable cultural tradition.
On another note, Taiwan is known as the “Kingdom of Fruits”. There are a rich variety of fruits available year round. It is traditional to dip the fruit in sea salt to bring out the breath of sea breeze and sunshine in its taste. The delicious taste of the fruit’s sweetness lingers as the salt enhances its flavor.
Eating a pineapple may cause an allergic reaction that can make some people feel itchy. Applying sea salt can mitigate the reaction. Some even steam tangerines with sea salt to cure the cough.
Sea salt also provides benefits of beauty and health! The minerals make for great beauty baths and are also good for exfoliating the skin. The many benefits and use cases for sea salt are gifts served on a platter, provided to us all by the land and the sea.
Ars Electronica Festival want to hear the ideas, options and thoughts of our experts of the future, from your children, that are between 6 and 15 years old. They are the ones that have to deal with the consequences of our actions and we would love to hear their thoughts and share them with the festival audience. The project is organized in the frame of the Ars Electronica Future Lab, who is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
How does planet Earth of the future look like to your kids?
Please provide us with statements from your children that answer this question. Together with your kids’ contributions we can collectively develop an imagination of the next generation’s future visions.
Taiwan is a big natural habitat. It has many green trees and lovely animals
Taiwan is full of fruits and the Taiwanese people are very kind
To me, Taiwan is a big treasure. Taiwan is a safe and happy place
Taiwan integrates many different cultures and people in Taiwan are warm hearted. Different cultures living in Taiwan, each have their unique great songs
Let us sing our song for you
If we don’t protect the Earth, we will be buried by garbage in the end.
People will become smarter and I hope the environment will improve.
Global Warming in the future, might cause changes in our seasonality.
Earth will be technologically advanced in the future. Many jobs will be replaced by robots. But I suppose Art and Humanity are not replaceable. We have to protect our earth or it will collapse like a landslide.
As long as we treasure Mother Earth, it will bloom like a beautiful flower. Gen A&Z loves Taiwan and the World !
AMORE awarded in 2021
MUSE Creative Award in 2021
XR Obsession awarded in 2021
DNA Paris Design Award in 2021
MUSE Creative Award in 2021