The Losheng Sanatorium was built in 1929 by Japanese government when Japan colonized Taiwan. It was originally named Rakusei Sanatorium for Lepers of Governor-General of Taiwan (台灣總督府癩病療養樂生院）. During the Japanese colonial period, leprosy patients were forced to live in the sanatorium for quarantine and treatment. Ironically, it has become their only home after all these years of isolation. However, due to the construction of the Taipei Mass Rapid Transportation, many buildings in the sanatorium were forced to be removed, and the residents dislocated.
The action of saving the Losheng Sanatorium has not been as successful as many people hoped. Many buildings in the sanatorium have been and are still being torn down. Yet, many still try very hard to keep the Losheng community together and preserve their memory of their dear home. Masao Okabe's frottage workshop is one of the initiatives.
The demolished Losheng Sanatorium. Photo courtesy of Chyng.
The Japanese frottage artist, Masao Okabe (岡部昌生; ヴェネチア・ビエンナーレ) heard the story about the Losheng Sanatorium, and he decided to hold a frottage workshop to help people preserve their memory of Losheng. The frottage workshop was held on 3/22, for the sanatorium residents and their supporters. There are a number of carry-on discussions about the workshop.
about_fish talked about what she thinks about frottage.
This is the question I want to ask myself most after watching the photos that present how Japanese frottage artist, Masao Okabe, rubbing a crayon over a piece of paper.
Masao Okabe demonstrated the making of frottage art. Photo courtesy of loshengschool.
Photo courtesy of loshengschool.
In a forum held in the National Taiwan University, Masao Okabe and his fellow Japanese artist, Chihiro Minato (港千尋; みなと ちひろ), talked about why they held the frottage workshop in the Losheng Sanatorium. Chihiro Minato said it is about we losing the memory of our past:
Masao Okabe talked about why he chooses frottage as the medium to preserve our memory:
Annpo shared her experience of this frottage workshop.
Chihiro Minato described how the sanatorium residents participated in the workshop.
Masao Okabe talked about what he had learned from working with the sanatorium residents:
A sanatorium resident was watching the frottage art made in Losheng. Photo courtesy of Annpo.
In the workshop, the sanatorium residents shared their thoughts with other participants.
A workshop participant, Annpo said her feelings were complicated because
Uncle Lee chose the words he loves. Photo courtesy of loshengschool.
Gaea, another workshop participant, talked about how she was comforted by the frottage art created by Uncle Lee, a sanatorium residents:
More photos about the frottage workshop are online.