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Travel with Artists Encounter Local Wonder

Five Hundred Lemon Trees

Five Hundred Lemon Trees

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It was in 2013 that Po-Chih Huang began his project “Five Hundred Lemon Trees.” By planting 500 lemon trees, he created a domain of collective participation and personal realization. Over the course of two years, 500 volunteer participants joined the ranks of his patrons, with a subscription of NT$500 each. This “subscription campaign” allowed them to become “collaborators.” After two years, they received a bottle of lemon spirits concocted by the artist himself. It was as if the artist and the participants, through a ritual of faith, finally realized the dream of transforming art into a living practice.

At the end of 2016, Taipei Fine Arts Museum presented the exhibition“Five Hundred Lemon Trees,” which Huang used as an examination of the whole two-year project, displaying project plans, documents, lemon trees, 500 bottles of lemon spirits, objects (relics from his farmhouse) and documentary images. It incorporated donation, production and consumption into the narrative context of the work, merging creator, producer (farmer-distiller), artwork and viewer into a single entity. Here, Huang does not reflect the reality of society, but produces an alternative reality: a kind of cultural production and value created by the working class.

With a bottle of 56-proof lemon spirits, Po-Chih Huang fulfilled a two-year contract with 500 subscribers! During the exhibition period, the artist personally presented each subscriber with a bottle, turning the moment into a ritual. All was carried out according to specifications,from donating to growing to distilling to giving back, actively interposing a project of collective participation and art within a real-world endeavor, and extending the power of tangible matter beyond the finite world. For Huang, the foundation of the power of artistic practice has finally been returned to society’s chain of production, and the links in this chain are bound up with the world of everyday life. He has embodied self-practice within a collective whole. Discarding the purity of art, he has grafted a more animated structure of everyday life onto art, allowing it to move toward a climax that stirs up the entirety of life.

Po-Chih Huang is an artist of the senses. His work reflects the kind of boiling, roiling, sad, happy atmosphere arising from the lower strata of life. He likens his agricultural project to an “action drama,” with a script, stage, actors and lines. He says: “Robbing a bank and carrying out an art project are both like an action drama. When the lights go on, we’re all drawn forward, even pushed, urged, acting in a big hurry. When a mouthful of liqueur gently scratches the esophagus, some people say that brief burning trace left by the spirits is the sudden appearance of the fairy in the alcohol. Some people say it is the soul of the grain. I believe it is the light that resides in the wine.” Five Hundred Lemon Trees took us back to the theater of life. It was an earthy performance. Its motive force was the belief that art can connect with “life.” Only when a supremely realistic performance of life becomes an integral part of a work does the deepest expressive power of art emerge.

source: Taipei Fine Arts Museum."Five Hundred Lemon Trees"

010 - Foreword from the Director Ping Lin
013 - Preface, February 27, 2018 Pochih Huang
016 - Morning Glory Pochih Huang
020 - Halo Halo Pochih Huang
025 - Red Grouper Pochih Huang
030 - Tuba Red Wine Pochih Huang
036 - Five Hundred Banana Trees Pochih Huang
039 - Petrels Pochih Huang

046 - Five Hundred Lemon Trees: A Proposal for Museums
051 - Tree: A Proposal for Museums, December 21, 2013 Pochih Huang
052 - Letter to Subscribers, December 21, 2013 Pochih Huang
056 - Letter to Subscribers, December 31, 2014 Pochih Huang
057 - To Grow a Lemon Tree Pochih Huang

062 - The Turtledoves in the Lemon Tree Pochih Huang
068 - Second Brother’s Turtledove Pochih Huang
060 - Feral dogs Pochih Huang
074 - Death Pochih Huang
077 - Memory Pochih Huang
080 - Acacia Tree Pochih Huang
081 - Tree Killers Pochih Huang
091 - Tung Trees Pochih Huang
092 - Lauˊsanˊfaˊ Pochih Huang
096 - Ford Tierra Pochih Huang
100 - Mosquito Wars Yuehchen Hsu
108 - Farm and Factory Pochih Huang
118 - The Cat Stink Weed under the Lemon Trees Pochih Huang
119 - The Hare under the Praxelis Weed Pochih Huang
120 - Vitamin B, Hunters, Hares and Trees Pochih Huang
122 - Letter to Subscribers, August 17, 2016 Pochih Huang

124 - Five Hundred Lemon Trees: An Organic Archive
128 - An Organic Archive, October 10, 2016 Pochih Huang
134 - Letter to Subscribers, December 10, 2016 Pochih Huang
138 - Letter to Subscribers, December 21, 2016 Pochih Huang
140 - Mealybugs Pochih Huang

ISBN: 9789860551754
Publish: 2018-03
Author: Pochih Huang.Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Artist: Pochih Huang
Publisher: Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Language: Chinese.English
Cover: Paperback
Pages: 368
Size: 22 x 15.1 x 2.5 cm

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