About Creation

Age of Audience: 5+

Number of Performers: 5 persons

Number of tour member: 10-11 persons

Stage Size: 12m(W) x 12m(D) x 6m(H)

Special Made for: Can be adjusted to suit most spaces.

Layers of color, added stroke by stroke, representing hundreds of years, and countless people from the island nation of Taiwan. With this image in mind, Lin Yu- Ju conceived this performance to explore Taiwanese identity, from its colonial past and rigid educational system to its vibrant contemporary society and ethnic and cultural diversity. Originally developed during Lin’s artist residency at Taiwan’s National Theater and Concert Hall in 2018, this work draws from both personal and collective memories to answer the question of what it means to be Taiwanese.


In her work, Lin Yu-Ju emphasizes environment, space, time, and the relationship between land and culture. The Hualian-born performer often incorporates collage, found objects, and historical imagery into her choreography with the intention of celebrating human uniqueness and independence. She has undertaken artist residencies in France for the Treignac Project in 2010 and the Cité International Des Arts in Paris in 2015, and at Taiwan’s National Theater and Concert Hall in 2018. Her choreographed works have been featured at festivals in France, India, and Japan, and her other projects include AndFunLab, a creative workshop in Taiwan for people with disabilities.

With respect to the vocabulary of the body, were you looking for something specifically Taiwanese? What did you discover in the process of your work?

I wasn’t really looking for a Taiwanese vocabulary because there is no single way to represent Taiwan. We are all a part of it. I am more interested in reading into Taiwan’s cultural context and state of society.One thing I realized is that with regard to our bodies, in Taiwan, we are not aware of our right to be happy and at ease. Women do not commonly wear form-fitting garments, and menswear is often simple and unadorned. At parties where there is alcohol there are always signs of danger, as one will inevitably find the 95-year-old Granny who thinks women should refrain from smiling and laughing freely. It’s only on certain occasions where we can disregard the pressures and constraints of social conventions. This is where the extremes appear. For instance, we allow for emotional expressions of the body at temple gatherings, election rallies, funerals (where there are traditional displays of crying, kneeling, and crawling). These extremes point to a lack of middle ground; generally we Taiwanese prefer to project an appearance of being proper, hardworking, and tense..


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What is “Taiwan Made” hoping to convey to the audience? Why did you choose dancers with vastly different body types and backgrounds to work together? How do you and the dancers ponder identity in this work?

I wanted to create a piece of work that everyone in Taiwan could understand. We would ask each other during rehearsals: can we really present this onstage? Are we collectively being self-conscious? In mustering up the courage to start, we discussed the definitions of so-called high and low-brow, beauty and ugliness, theater, and values. Society has long trained us to conform, so I sought out people from different backgrounds to discuss how we came to be who we are. For the performance, we have dance majors, foreign literature majors, philosophy students, and even a former gang member, who left his gang because he wanted to pursue dance. He decided that at least in dance, he wouldn’t risk losing a leg. It is such differences in life experiences that I find precious and fascinating.


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Lin Yu-Ju