this summer, i have been engaged in a residence project at the Cepo’ Art Center in Laeno’, one of the three villages that make up the Gangkou Pangcah Community. Nearly every day of the residence, I’ve looked at the islet Lokot. I see Lokot from the art center, in the mornings when I join people fishing for fish fry at the river mouth in Cawi’, when going to get coffee, and when coming back downstream from Kiwit or Rueisui. The islet is not just prominent, it is also a bit mysterious. Because a wall of thorny plants surround much of the base accessible from the Siugulan Bar, one cannot readily enter without a machete, gloves, hat, and long sleeves. But many people in their 40s and above tell me that they used to play on Lokot when they were children. People kept cows there, and people would go to pick wild medicinal plants and vegetables

To me the relative difficulty of entering the middle of the islet and its location at a confluence of oceanic and riparian influences made it an interesting metaphor. Sonically one finds that within Lokot the sound of the river flowing and pushing against the bar, a sound that ranges from a sibilant rush to a rhythmic slapping, balances out the sound of waves. Ecologically, the islet hosts a large variety of flora and birds. I’m not sure why there are no monkeys on Lokot: maybe not enough water?


Seeds from the Central Mountain Range and the Rift Valley wash into the Siugulan River, which carries them to Lokot; the Pacific Ocean also carries everything from trash, to driftwood, to life onto Lokot’s shore. These seeds grow together and somehow sustain each other in the islet’s interior. Lokot does not have the status of a sacred site, as do Cilangasan (Fagong Mountain) or Malataw (Dulan Mountain). Nonetheless, Lokot is also not an ordinary place. Rahic Talif calls it a place where different life forms give and take life from each other, finding harmony. We might also call Lokot the heart of the Siugulan River. The islet contains within its small space many of the qualities of the Siugulan as a mediating space, a place that mediates among ethnic groups, humans and non-humans, land and ocean, past and future


In my first piece of sound installation work derived from field recordings along the Siugulan River, I try to capture the sense of Lokot as the heart of the river. A speaker array on the outside of the space plays recordings of life on the ocean, songs and stories of people who make part of their living netting fish fry in the river mouth; it also plays recordings of the river at various points along the road toward Rueisui as the Siugulan crosses the Coast Ranges. These sounds, often confused and noisy, include cicadas, motor boats, and tourists, birds, monkeys, and storytellers. At the center of the space, another set of speakers balances out these sounds with a composite recording of Lokot

The balance of sounds there is also a balance of influences, in many ways a metaphor for Siugulan Pangcah who somehow manage to adopt and adapt a variety of influences coming from the ocean and downstream on the river. By examining the heart of the river, I also wish to ask about the forces and ethos of that dynamic interplay we might call Siugulan Pangcah culture

For this reason the spine of the sound installation is milikir a radiw a song of carrying logs and other materials downstream from Rueisui to Cepo’ at the river’s mouth. The song radiates outward from Lokot and back toward it, suggesting the movement of material, ideas, and life along the Siugulan

An initial showing of the piece will be at the Cepo’ Art Center on the 12th. More formal showings of the piece will follow, likely in January next year

Faloco’ no Taradaw, Faloco’ Niyam
A sound installation by DJ Hatfield
12 August 2017 15:00 – 19:00
Cepo’ Arts Center (in the old Gangkou Police Station, near Gangkou Elementary School), Dagangkou, Gangkou Village, Fongbin Township, Hualien County, Taiwan