Laboratory Gallery was founded by artists Lafin Sawmah and Heidi Yip in 2012. Located on the east coast of Taitung, our studio collaborates with interdisciplinary artists for exhibitions and performances taking place on the platform near the Pacific each year.
Born in Hong Kong and raised in Canada, Heidi studied at Ontario College of Art & Design and majored in painting. As a globetrotter, she enjoys backpacking around various sites of ancient civilization to learn about the indigenous arts including weaving and totem of each place. After coming to Taiwan by chance in 2007, she was deeply attracted by East Coast Taiwan for its wide-ranging geology, and coastline, as well as its diverse and ancient culture. She eventually met Lafin, an Amis artist, got married, and became a real practitioner of arts, living unfeignedly in this mountainous seaside. From a world traveler, she has turned inward, embarked on a journey to fulfill her soul, and further created a series of works fully infused with spiritual and cosmic imagination. She said, “Being here, I have to work with the land and the sea to explore the relationship between nature and me.”
Lafin is Amis from Zhang-Guang Village, Zhang-bin. He grew up in a city in Western Taiwan due to his parents’ work and eagerly looked forward to going back to his hometown in Taitung for summer and winter vacation every year. He finally returned home to live in Taitung when he was 26. Having always loved working with wood, Lafin has since found out what he wants to do most in his life after he met Siki, an artist from Dulan Village, due to serendipity. In addition to wood sculpture, he also started creating large-scale outdoor installation works in 2014 and has participated in the 2016 East Coast Lane Arts Festival. In recent years, Lafin has been devoted to a boat-building project, which came from his return to Taitung for the longing and searching of his mother’s culture. His quest continues as the Amis, a large ethnic group of the Austronesians in Taiwan, test the water for their return to the high sea navigation.
Steel, Wood, and Bamboo
This space is shaped like a sea urchin. It’s like a space shuttle moving toward the inner universe in the spiritual dimension. This is an installation that allows travelers to relax for a moment on their journey. In this quiet moment, instill all the sounds of ocean waves, the ambiance of the village, and the surroundings of our heart and body into the memories of this journey, and then transform it into the power of self-healing. Meanwhile, he provides a quiet space for the villagers to relax, take a break from their daily oceanic activities, or for playing croquet.