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From our archives, Compass Magazine, Mar. 2002:

by Courtney Donovan Smith Translated by Sharon Yang

In March, thriving artist collective ArtseeHouse will move its show north to the HuaShan Artist Community in Taipei. Featuring musical performances, paintings, photography, calligraphy and more by local and foreign artists, it will provide an exciting cross-section of forms, styles and outlooks.
Founded in Taichung in early 2001, ArtseeHouse has grown and expanded to include artists from every corner of the planet and now holds events all around the island. Similar to other artistic endeavors originating from the active Taichung scene (where Spring Scream, the Taiwan Oyster and this magazine all hail from), this collective appears to have staying power. As co-organizer Cathy Godwin notes, “It’s doing exactly what it should be doing. It seems like there is a big gap waiting for this sort of thing to happen.”

There are three main distinctive features to ArtseeHouse. The first is its inclusiveness, from which its raw diversity flows. Co-organizer Karin Parmalee notes, “We are trying to keep it open to everyone and I mean everyone–young, old, Chinese, businessmen, Taiwanese, English teacher, foreign, alien–anyone who feels like expressing themselves in any art form.”.

The second distinctive is the locations they choose or, as Cathy notes, “the idea of taking art out of the gallery and putting it into places that are accessible to people”. Frequently this has meant social settings like pubs, where people can interact with the show and each other in a more natural way, with the the hushed, forced reverence that galleries inspire.
But the organizers’ real brilliant stroke is in their theme-based approach. Each show has a theme for works of art to be loosely connected to, creating a kind of free-flowing lattice that allows for wide expression while providing a topic or focus discussion, examination and exploration. With artists providing the brain fodder, viewers are engaged and challenged by the different perspectives and viewpoints on offer.

As Karin explains, “ArtseeHouse will put up a theme for the exhibition, ArtseeHouse will find the venue, ArtseeHouse will set the date….Everything else is open. Anyone that feels inspired just has to let us know they want to participate and then get their art to us.”
As with previous shows like “sin”, “temples” and “clash”, visitors have a broad, thought-provoking scope to dwell on with March’s theme–“recycle”. Even better, participating in ArtseeHouse shows is more than simply a “viewer gawks at artist’s work” experience. ArtseeHouse provides a work space with materials to play with, allowing on-the-spot creativity and instant artistic involvement.

For more information, or to include your artwork to this show, contact or browse for more information on upcoming shows.

“Recycle, Reuse” Exhibition
Opening Reception: March 2, 2002
Exhibition Dates: March 2-16, 2002
Location: Huashan Art District
1, PaTeh Rd., sec. 1, Taipei
Tel: (02) 2392-6180/6204/6191

Getting There:

  1. By bus: No. 25, 202, 205, 212, 232, 257, 262, 276, 299, 605 get off at Statistic Bureau.
  2. By MRT: Take Ban-Nan Line to Shan-Dow Temple or Chung-Shao Hsin-Shen. Walk five minutes and enter through PaTeh parking lot.

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Written by 石東文 Courtney Donovan Smith

Courtney Donovan Smith is co-publisher of Compass Magazine and editor-in-chief of


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