Media Coverage

Eden Wanfang Center 20th Anniversary Exhibition: Illustrating My Beautiful Home—Taiwan

Christian Gospel Mission (CGM), long-term volunteer partners of Eden Wanfang Center

  The 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Eden Taipei Wanfang Center was held via the “Formosa Eden — Disabled Artists’ Art Exhibition” Opening Ceremony at the National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei City today (11th). Christian Gospel Mission (CGM)—a long-term volunteer partner of the Center—specially gathered 30 choral members to perform the deeply emotional Taiwanese folk song, “April Rain,” with their melodious voices. Lin Kuo-chang, Director-General of National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and Sun Shu Wen, assistant director of the Department of Social Welfare in Taipei City, came to celebrate the event. Along with the Eden Foundation Deputy Executive Director, Lin Wenbin, and Eden Taipei City District Executive, Liang Chiung-i, they performed at the opening ceremony by assembling the large painting, “Greenery of Taiwan,” which was a collaboration piece between six artists. Rich in diversity, the exhibition invited the public to gather and appreciate the brilliant paintings from disabled artists.


▲ The National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Director Lin Kuo-chang, Assistant Director of the Taipei City Government Department of Social Welfare Sun Shu-wen, and Eden Deputy Executive Director Lin Wen-bin assembled this large painting and completed the opening ceremony together.

  Taiwan’s magnificent mountains, rivers, and rich products are like a mother who selflessly nurtures every life. This beauty and goodness allow every single person—from the disabled painters of Wanfang to the people who live on this land—to receive endless energy and creative inspiration. As such, “Formosa” was specially selected as the central creative theme, exhibiting close to 150 oil paintings, traditional Chinese paintings, and ceramic pieces by 41 disabled students. Under the guidance of Hwang Guo-quan, six of the disabled painters not only overcame their physical limitations, but after three months of creation, they also came together to create the large painting, “Greenery of Taiwan.” Through the fluidity and liveliness of the ink, the beautiful scenery could be seen at a glance, leaving everyone in awe.

    A-hsui is one of the artists who had co-created “Greenery of Taiwan” is from the first round of disabled artists produced at Wanfang Center. In the early years of the center, it focused on art training programs for adults with disabilities and A-hsui’s father got to know of the program through the newspaper. He brought A-hsui, who had multiple disabilities, to develop some skills for the future. It was a transition point for A-hsui and her father: her father was able to breathe a sigh of relief as he did not want to send A-hsui to a public institution, and A-hsui was able to find her starting point in life through art. It is difficult for A-hsui to hold the brush with strength while she is drawing because of the sudden, uncontrollable up and down activity in her muscles and the contracture deformation in her joints. But because of her love for art, she has put in more effort, focus, and hard work during her twenty years of artistry. So, in a blink of an eye, A-hsui has already become a talented disabled artist. She has created over 100 pieces of artworks, has received multiple awards and recognition in several art competitions, and has had rich exhibition experiences.


▲ Six artists with disabilities specially created the large painting, “Greenery of Taiwan” for Wanfang Center’s 20th Anniversary Formosa Eden Art Exhibition. (A-hsui is third on the right)


  In order to provide a variety of services for people with disabilities, Wanfang Center transformed their center into a daycare in 1993. Not only does it offer daycare services, but it also offers assistance in self-care independence training, societal adaptation training, and art therapy. To foster the creative skills of those with different disabilities, it created an Arts Class and a Creativity Class for the first time. The Arts Class is divided into creative arts and pottery groups; to cater to the different function and needs, it provides Chinese painting, oil painting, acrylic painting, pottery and other classes. In twenty years, it has produced close to a thousand pieces of art.


  Currently there are ten professional disabled artists in the Creative Arts Department. Representing them at this event was artist Yifang, who has exhibited numerous times and received multiple awards. Although her hearing disability blocks her from communication with the outside world, Yifang shows her beautiful inner world through rich colors and delicate strokes. The Pottery Department also has ten members. One of the most senior members is Tun-cheng, who suffers from cerebral palsy. His inability to create with flexible strokes has instead enabled Tun-cheng’s works to be filled with fun. His pieces are widely loved and three of his works from the same series has been simultaneously bought by collectors. He is currently also the only creator of cartoon characters. With 21 members, the Creativity Class has the greatest number of people. The fun and energetic, Shuan-shuan, who suffers from Down syndrome, is one of its members. In addition to engaging in self-reliance, society adaptation classes, and other courses, Shuan-shuan also participates in the ceramics class. Unexpectedly, this class has opened up her artistic nature, and from kneading clay to clay sculpting, Shuan-shuan is filled with creative ideas, as demonstrated by the rich individuality of each of her art pieces.


▲ Disabled artists, Yifang, Tun-cheng, and Shuan-shuan, share their artwork and creative realizations on stage.


  Deputy Executive Director of Eden, Lin Wenbin expressed that Eden Wanfang Center has, on the promise of becoming the second home to disabled friends, serviced close to 80 disabled families for the past 20 years—averaging around seven years and up for each family. The longest service recipient is A-hsui, who has received over 19 years of service. Not only is the disabled recipient given detailed care, but the caregivers also benefit from peace of mind as well. The center’s long term characteristic services, “The Artistic Creation of Fine Arts,” also plan to develop further in the future: producing creative products with Eden Wanfang Center as the branding concept, creating an art gallery space and changing the stereotypical impression of the center, so that each participant can feel that the center is a warm, creative, and a high quality service space.


  In addition, the 20th anniversary art exhibition broke free from its past quiet, static exhibition style by specially inviting service users to express and introduce themselves for this exhibition. Through this interactive method, it hopes to establish deep artistic links that can provide more opportunities for cultural participation as well as increased societal awareness and attention towards the participation of disabled people in arts and cultural events.


  “Formosa Eden — Wanfang Center 20th Anniversary Disabled Artists’ Art Exhibition” assembles the creations of 41 disabled artists, collecting nearly 150 artworks, including oil paintings, ink wash paintings, and ceramic pottery. These art pieces display creative skills and techniques and demonstrate the love of the artists for their hometown and their passion for art. Furthermore, in order to implement the spirit of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)—equal participation in social life for people with disabilities—the exhibition organizer cooperated with high-tech assistive device companies and offered visitors sound-touch reading pens credited with audio descriptive functions to enable disabled people to participate comprehensively and equally in social life. Allowing disabled friends to overcome their barriers in artistry, the exhibition spans from April 11 to April 19 and invites the public to visit the National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall at Tsui River Gallery, revealing to you the very stylistic Formosa.

Referenced: Eden Social Welfare Foundation Official Website