Taiwanese artist Xiao Qing-yang (蕭青陽) and his team joined the 2016 Burning Man Festival on Aug. 28 in Nevada, with their work burning down in the desert on Sept. 5 when the festival came to an end.
The artwork “Buddha’s Palm (如來神掌)” that took inspiration from the traditional culture of Taiwan received positive feedback and bolstered cross-cultural exchanges in the festival.
Xiao thanked his team members as well as local volunteers for their support and noted that despite a limited budget, they built a temporary housing unit to create the Buddha artwork and tackled difficulties in the dessert such as extreme weather and sandstorms.
Xiao also explained why it was such a special experience to join the festival. With 2016 marking his second consecutive year of participation, the team has gradually built a transnational network that will attract more Taiwanese artists and volunteers to join the event next year.
The program was initiated by Taiwan’s Dream Community, an independent arts group dedicated to self-expression and community empowerment. Founder Gordon Tsai (蔡聰明) gathered 28 volunteers from several countries in Asia to team up with Xiao. The team first joined the Burning Man Festival in 2015, creating “Mazu Temple (蓮花媽祖廟)” that amazed participating artists from around the world.
The Burning Man Festival is an annual art event that takes place in the Black Rock Desert. The festival follows the principles of self-expression, independence, community collaboration, and civic responsibility. At the end of the festival, all artworks created for the event are burnt, leaving no trace behind.
2015 - “Burning Mazu”
2016 - “Buddha's Palm”