I do have distaste for mainstream culture. But I have changed my outlook as I go further into the arts and realize how hard it is. I have respect and sympathy for everyone in the arts, even if they are doing something that I don’t really like.

White Fungus started life in Wellington, New Zealand. It was initially a one-off publication put together by brothers Mark and Ron Hanson in 2004. The first edition of the magazine was made in protest of an inner city motorway being built through what was then an area home to a vibrant arts community. As the story goes, Mark and Ron produced the magazine on a photocopier, before wrapping it in Christmas paper and throwing it through the entrances of local businesses.

Thirteen years later, White Fungus is produced in Taichung, central Taiwan. The magazine is sold in more than 20 countries. The brothers, along with their team of collaborators, have also curated art shows and hosted events around the world.

Ahead of the next installment of their Depopulate series in Taipei on June 24, The News Lens traveled to Taichung to interview White Fungus editor Ron Hanson.

In a wide-ranging interview, Hanson discusses: the process of putting together the diverse and constantly evolving art magazine; the benefits of being based in Taiwan for pursuing creative projects; and, how White Fungus has managed to connect to a niche audience around the world. He also talks about the avant-garde art and alternative music scenes in Taiwan, including his beloved, and surprisingly popular, “noise” music.

White Fungus founders Mark Hanson (left) and Ron Hanson (right).

Today’s guest:

Ron Hanson is the editor of White Fungus, an acclaimed arts publication, produced in Taiwan and distributed around the world.

Noise artist Wang Fu-rui (王福瑞) performing.

This podcast is available via the SoundCloud, Stitcher and iTunes apps.

Editor: Olivia Yang