As well known for his drinking as he is for his unique lyrical style, Bobby Chen (陳昇) has been intoxicating audiences in Asia with his folksy brand of music for nearly 15 years. His lengthy tenure in the industry and his ability to endure pain and avoid alcohol induced destruction have prompted some in Taiwan to declare him the Ironman of the island's music scene. It is fitting therefore, that the theme of Chen's sell-out concert at the Taipei International Convention Center on New Year's Eve is pi -- a number that never ends. \nIn what will be his tenth New Year's Eve performance, the Taiwanese native has made a conscious effort to create a concert experience to surpass the previous nine. For starters, he will share the stage with singer Rene Liu (劉若英) for a special performance of their popular duet, One Night in Beijing. \nNT$1 million has been spent on enhancing the stage and projection screen in an effort to create a more youthful and high-tech vibe. \nThe most noticeable difference between this year's show and the previous nine however, may be the singer himself. Chen has yet to fully recover from injuries sustained in a alcohol-related brawl that left him near death in June. Although doctors were successful in removing blood clots from the left side of his brain, Chen is still left without the use of his right hand, which means he is unable to play his guitar. \nAnother integral part of the musician's act in the past -- onstage drinking -- will also be missing from this year's performance. Although the concert promoter has offered to keep the drinks flowing throughout the night, Chen has refused, presumably because he has turned his life around after the grave incident in June. \nChen will be play one concert on New Year's Eve at the Taipei International Convention Center starting 8pm.
COURTESY OF ET-ONLINE
Scott Saulters wasn’t sure if his film had just taken one of the two top prizes at a recent film competition. Although Saulters has been in Taiwan for 15 years and is proficient in Mandarin, the award ceremony for the inaugural “Bi Tian Iann” (眯電影) short film contest was conducted entirely in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), a language he can’t speak. “I thought I heard it, but I didn’t want to look too excited,” he says. Despite his limited command of the tongue, Saulter’s entry, Wu Yu Tzu (烏魚子, mullet roe), took first place in the amateur category of the
The Taiwan of yesteryear was dominated in whole or in part by the Dutch, Spanish, Qing Empire and Japanese. But is the Taiwanese name for a popular edible fish derived from the Portuguese language? Cheng Wei-chung (鄭維中), an associate research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Taiwan History, says yes. The fish in question is the narrow-barred Spanish mackerel, which was listed in early 18th century Qing local gazetteers as Taiwanese specialities alongside milk fish and mullet, according to Cheng’s paper, “Mullet, narrow-barred Spanish mackerel and milkfish: Multiple contextual developments of three certified seafood specilaities in Taiwan, from the
Since its launch in 2014, the Taiwan Season has increasingly become a “must-see” at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. So, when this year’s three-week Fringe became an early casualty of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Chen Pin-chuan (陳斌全) was determined that the Taiwan Season must continue in some form. Chen, director of the Cultural Division of the Taipei Representative Office in the UK, says that he and Taiwan Season curator and producer Yeh Jih-wen (葉紀紋) had been thinking of ways of growing and adding value to the season anyway. The crisis and the cancellation of the live performances brought those ideas forward as
I didn’t expect to spend more than three minutes out of my car, yet the sun was so brutal I put on my hat before approaching the seawall. Beimen (北門) is the flattest and most sun-baked part of Tainan. It lacks trees and people. In wintertime, the weather is often delightful. It wasn’t yet mid-morning in the hot season, however, and I felt like a leaf shriveling in the desert. Atop the seawall but facing inland, I could see dozens of the rectangular ponds which account for a significant percentage of Beimen’s “land” area. Some, no doubt, were dug to produce