Fri, Nov 09, 2018 - Page 8 News List

Flower expo a breath of fresh air in election time

By Lee Min-yung 李敏勇

The opening of the Taichung World Flora Exposition might be the best thing that could have happened amid the chaos, and the fabricated and confused news reports as the Nov. 24 nine-in-one elections approach.

Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung’s (林佳龍) “Rediscover Green, Nature and People” theme for the expo allows people to draw a breath of fresh air amid the chaotic campaign atmosphere.

The expo is a powerful and beautiful counterpoint as the former party-state establishment — which for so long has spread air and political pollution — is using air pollution as a means to blur the choices voters face.

Compared with the controversy surrounding the 2010 Taipei International Flora Exposition, the Taichung event is richer and more beautiful.

After Lin was elected in 2014, he changed his predecessor’s plans to create six gardens representing the world. Instead, he has relied on the high-tech, construction, cultural and arts industries to create a display of flower and garden art relating to conservation and a sustainable lifestyle at three: the Houli Horse Ranch and Forest Expo site, the Waipu Expo site and the Fengyuan Huludun Park Expo site.

In doing so, he has built an area on the outskirts of Taichung that has not only brought fresh flowers to the city, but also a new outlook.

Artist Lin Shuen-long’s (林舜龍) installation piece A Seed Fell From the Sky, a metaphor for nature, opened the expo, and the artistic brilliance exuding from his The Sound of Blooming, a large mechanical flower, combines high technology and precision mechanics.

Taichung is adopting a new aesthetic and humanist spirit that bathes Taiwan in its light, and the nation is adopting a new awareness of nature and new technological conditions to bring a unique landscape to the world.

The question is whether the accumulated effort that has resulted in the event can be wiped out by a nonsensical political war of words.

As work continues to rebuild the nation and its identity, Taichung’s efforts cannot be hijacked by destructive forces. Nor can the new politics that have followed on the heels of democratization and liberalization be left to be destroyed by the old forces remaining from the party-state era, or the forces of the Chinese Communist Party.

The Taichung City Government administration, as well as the many organizations and individuals that are part of the effort to protect the nation, have helped the city turn over a new leaf, just as they have helped the whole nation.

The efforts that Taiwanese have made on behalf of the nation after the party-state system has been left behind must not be ignored.

Go, Taiwan, go!

Lee Min-yung is a poet.

Translated by Perry Svensson

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