Though I have been quiet on my blog for more than a month, much has been going on in my real life. I visited Yunlin back in early May to have a look at the traditional ritual of the Matsu Pilgrimage, which I will introduce in another post soon. I checked out Chenglong Wetlands nearby as well. The trip made me realize that I actually knew little about Yunlin County despite the fact that I had traveled there twice in the past two years.
Chenglong Wetlands, developing wetlands of over 100 hectares located in rural Yunlin County on the south-central coast of Taiwan, used to be low farmland. However, overpumping of groundwater and ceaseless floods caused seawater intrusion, which eventually turned this part of the county into wetlands.
In this season, the surface of the water is covered with seaweeds. The locals use bamboo rafts to collect them.
After the seaweeds are packed, they'll be sold to the cultivators of small abalones as the latter's food.
It's interesting that Chenglong Wetlands weren't wetland until more than a decade ago, but many wetland plants have found their home here. I had two botany tutors with me that day. Although I had the privilege of learning each plant's name on my way, to be honest, I don't remember a thing now.
Chenglong Wetlands International Environmental Art Project has been hosted for six years, which explains why the small village possesses an artistic feel. Lovely pottery designs can be found on the walls of red-brick houses. In fact, to welcome the artists every year, many villagers participate in the preparation of the project.
The roadside is the best gallery. On it children's drawings based on the theme of protecting the wetlands are displayed.
Even the indoor gallery is unique. Guei-mei said this shows that Yunlin is the poorest county in Taiwan, but I found the idea fascinating to turn an abandoned house into a gallery.
The theme of 2015's art project is "Fragile, Handle with Care." It is to call for attention to the fragile environment. The selected artists convey the message of protecting the environment with positive energy. We didn't get to see all the artworks, though. The Rainbow Boat, designed by the Japanese artist Tsuneo Sekiguchi can be seen in the center of the village.
Chenglong Village is also known for its oyster-growing industry. The locals sort through piles of shells left from the industry and find shells that can be used again to grow oysters.
This is the unique scene that can only be found here.