瓠果神山閱覽室 / Gourd Guardian Mountain Reading Room – a reading room and talk by Ingrid Burrington and Ann Chen

Østre, Østre Skostredet 3 09.11.2022 18.0013.11.2022 17.00


As part of the symposium The Only Lasting Truth is Change, artists and researchers Ingrid Burrington and Ann Chen present 瓠果神山閱覽室 / Gourd Guardian Mountain Reading Room, sharing materials of their ongoing research. 

Reading room opening: 9 November, 18:00 
Reading room opening hours: 10–13 November, 12:00–17:00
Venue: Østre, Østre Skostredet 3

Talk: 12 November, 16:30
Venue: Østre, Østre Skostredet 3

瓠果神山閱覽室 / Gourd Guardian Mountain Reading Room collects archival research materials, artifacts, and reflections based on Ingrid Burrington and Ann Chen’s ongoing research into the environmental and sociopolitical impacts of semiconductor manufacturing. Although recent supply chain crises have brought computer chip manufacturing back into the news, there’s a much longer history of environmental and health harms in the industry starting with its origins in California’s Silicon Valley (home to more federal Superfund clean-up sites than any other region in the United States). Today much of the industry is concentrated in Taiwan where chip manufacture has become an aspect of national security, framed as a key bulwark against Chinese imperialist aggression. 瓠果神山閱覽室 draws on research in California and the Taiwanese city of Hsinchu, the “Silicon Valley of Taiwan.” In both regions, grassroots organising has produced bottom-up understanding of a highly secretive and complex industry and sought justice and accountability in the face of political pressure.

瓠果神山 hú guǒ shén shān (“Gourd Guardian Mountain” or “The sacred mountain that protects the gourd”) is a word play on 護國神山 hù guó shén shān (the sacred mountain that protects the country). The phrase “護國神山”, which usually refers to mountain ranges, is increasingly used in Taiwan to describe chip foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). “瓠果” hùguǒ, more commonly known as 葫蘆 húlu, is a type of gourd. Gourds appear frequently in Chinese literature and culture. When dried, gourds’ hollow shape allows them to act as a storage container for water, alcohol, medicine, or magic potions and spirits. The first character of gourd, (hu) sounds similar to the word for protect or guard “護” hù and also the word for blessing “祜“ hù.

Burrington and Chen will be presenting their research in a talk on Saturday 12 November, 16:30, at Østre. 


Ingrid Burrington writes, makes maps, and tells jokes about places, politics, and the weird feelings people have about both. She is the author of Networks of New York: An Illustrated Field Guide to Urban Internet Infrastructure.


Ann Chen is a Taiwanese-American New York based interdisciplinary artist and researcher making work that reflects upon environment, ecology, technology, diaspora and colonialism.

Photo credits: 1) Ingrid Burrington, 2) Ann Chen, 3) SCCOSH and SVTC Archives, San Jose State University.

Return to the full symposium programme