Trails are what people leave behind, both visibly and through the values that they pass on. Some of these trails are trodden gently into the natural environment, while some are more aggressive—such as state-led construction and agribusiness—which destroy both the ecosystems of animals, plants and insects and those individual human tracks too.
In 2006, Hsu Jen-Shiu, Xiao Yeh (Li Yuan) and Huang Wu-Hsiung launched the Thousand Miles Trail Movement in Taipei, which invites people to discover and create nature trails in their local areas, to excavate the narratives that live within them and therefore gain a more in-depth understanding of the land they live on. To date, this public movement has generated an unbroken track reaching almost 3,000 km through Taiwan.
The Association has also initiated the Eco-Craft Trail Campaign in Taiwan, which is inspired by the experiences of volunteers on the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, a track in the USA. The track could not exist without its volunteers, who communally contribute over 240,000 hours each year in their stewardship which comprises maintenance, guiding, and greeting guests at each visitor centre. Bringing this model to Taiwan, the Association have built in opportunities for working holidays and outdoor education—also reviving Taiwan’s history of cooperative movements and traditional trail construction. Additionally, the association’s plans for the future also include a ‘National Greenway Network’, which combines grass-roots thinking with the aims of the International Satoyama Initiative: a global partnership of 184 organisations who have agreed to collaborate in the conservation of sustainable human-influenced natural environments. This will enable the Taiwanese public to work with private companies and local government to develop cultural trails which utilize existing linear structures such as irrigation waterways, and former sugar and passenger railways, therefore restoring these spaces and enabling local tourism. Two of these routes will be completed in 2019, the Tamsui-Kavalan Historical and Cultural Routes and the Raknus Selu Trail.
For the Biennial, the Association are exhibiting the research that they have accumulated over the years, their plans for the future, and hosting walks and seminars throughout the duration of the exhibition.
Established in Taipei in 2006
Each walk is limited to 20 people
Route 1: From Kuo Hsueh-Hu’s Scenery Near Yuanshan (1928) to ‘There’s Paradise in Yuanshan’(1987) —Jiantanshan Trail and Yuanshan Water Shrine Walk
Meeting point: Taipei Fine Arts Museum main entrance
Online registration: https://bit.ly/2QfLZ03
Route 2: Rescue the Urban Natural Island—Jingmeishan Xianjiyan Coast Guard Administration Section of Eco-Craft Trail Walk
Meeting point: MRT Wanfang Hospital Station
Online registration: https://bit.ly/2qsoXYF
Route 3: Enter Taipei City through Century-Old Danlan Trail—Fuzhoushan to Zhongpushan Walk
Meeting point: MRT Xinhai Station
Online registration: https://bit.ly/2SJqgiX
A Person that Walks with the Eyes, Ears, Nose, Body, Mind, Hands and Feet—Join Us on the Grand Dream of Thousand Miles Trail 2.0
Speakers: Chou Sheng Hsin (Executive Director of Taiwan Thousand Miles Trail Association), Hsu Ming Chien (Deputy Executive Manager of Taiwan Thousand Miles Trail Association)
Venue: Ecolab 2F