TOFUD #Trolley 0504 WanHua
TOFUD # Trolley 0504

As long as trade moves

The historic Dutch Fort Zeelandia (TW) plays a crucial role in the design of the central object that is moved on the electric trolley through Taipei and its markets. Using the map of the fort as cargo, Frank Havermans moves through the metropolis, interweaving the interplay between small-scale everyday trade and large-scale geopolitical trade. Reactions while driving around; the conversations, anger, cheerfulness, curses, are absent. Did it also happen like this in the 16th century: strange people come by ship and build something unknown. I turns out to be a defense structure, and then a few years later it is determined from this place what you should do and how you should think. Extended to the present day: Can you ignore an unknown element?

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WanHua is the oldest district in Taipei. The local, informal and sometimes a bit rough but charming character makes it perfect for my ongoing urban research project on the use of space.

On the streets of Taipei, I notice small electric trolleys used as the basic tools of market traders. These trolleys are an essential part of the urban trading and transportation system. Allowed in a limited radius around the covered market halls, the trolleys are legal, but for me it becomes interesting when they are tolerated beyond this restriction.  The markets and traders are so important in distributing food in the city that this parallel layer of anarchic acts is tolerated blindly. Like the Chinese BangBang, they constitute an important alternative practical layer in the city.

During the period between my first and second stay in Taiwan, I created a project plan using the trolley as a basis. On the back of the trolley, I design an installation based on the original floor plan of Fort Zeelandia in Tainan. It is not a literal echo of the former fort, but an autonomous reinterpretation; a reference to the unscrupulous ideology of world trade turning into politics. The market trolley and the distorted fort together form a unity that contrasts with the daily reality of fruits and vegetables, of people buying and selling in the markets.

The reactions he expected while driving around: conversations, anger, mirth, curses remain absent. It is seen, even though there is sometimes physical contact in the crowded markets, but any reaction is avoided. The trolley is recognizable from the neighborhood, but the cargo is so strange that it is better not to react to it, is my interpretation.

Small trade is a beautiful and essential survival mechanism; world trade is a power system. A question that comes to my mind is whether this is how it happened in the seventeenth century: a strange ship docks and builds something unknown, it turns out to be a fortification, and then a few years later it is dictated to you from this place what you should do and how you should think. Extended to the present day; can you ignore an unknown element?


year: 2023
artist in residence: July 16 – August 18
exhibition: August 12 – September 10
venue and organization: Waley Art
location: 322 6 No.6 Ln. 322, Wanda Rd, Wanhus Distr. Taipei City
director: Peng Tsai-Hsun
curator: Michelle Lin
photography & video Production|三月影像 aquamarinefilm: 許博彥Po Yen Hsu
assistent photography: 蔡宗勳Tsung Hsun Tsai
editor 葉偉傑 Jacob Yap W. J.
production assistance: Waley Art interns: 江恒鎮Heng Zhen Chiang、陳禹彤 Yu Tung Che

實習生|劉庭慈Ting Tzu Liu、陳意舒I Shu Chen、李侑霜You Shuang Li、邴于軒Yu Hsuan Ping、林星彤Xing Tong Lin、李家瑄Chia Hsuan Lee、林暐婷Wei Ting Lin (photography opening)

project support: Mondriaan Fund the public fund for visual art and cultural heritage

special thanks to Mr. Wu


Fort Zeelandia Anping (tainan) 1660 Dutch East India Company

   Fort Zeelandia and the town of Anping (Tainan), trading post of the Dutch East India Company, 1660


historical drawing Fort Zeelandia


outline Fort Zeelandia


day market with electric trolley

Studio Frank Havermans Tofud WanHua Taipei Waley Art_1

day market with electric trolley

Studio Frank Havermans_model_Tofud WanHua_2

installation on elctric trolley with Fort Zeelandia, model

Studio Frank Havermans_model_Tofud WanHua_1
StudioFrankHavermans_Tofud_WanHua-Taipei_14© Frank Havermans
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