Fri, Nov 28, 2003 - Page 19 News List

`Welcome to Taiwan'

By Jules Quartly  /  STAFF REPORTER

DJ Chozie is back in town and doing a Ministry of Sound tour of the country.

PHOTO: MAX WOODWORTH, TAIPEI TIMES

A map of Taiwan manipulated to look like a woman's vagina, with the pubic hair spelling out, "Welcome to Taiwan," has been doing the rounds and causing Carnegie's a big headache with local media, who were quick to accuse the bar of sending out the offending e-mail as part of an advertising campaign.

Though the e-mail does have a Carnegie's logo in one corner, it's clearly not the real version and Carnegie's has vehemently denied being behind it. It is also quite different in terms of production values, style and the fact it was not made into a flyer.

"I can assure everyone that no one here has sent out the e-mail," said Bob Marshall, Carnegie's general manager. "It's vicious. It taps into prejudices against foreigners and Taiwanese women and I wholeheartedly condemn it."

Marshall said he had contacted the foreign affairs police and lawyers with an IT background to try and trace the person behind the e-mail, who he suspects is either a competitor, or a local with a grudge.

"This person's vanity will ensure that he gets caught. And when we do catch him, we will press criminal charges and seek damages. If he's got a house then he'll have to sell it."

The e-mails were primarily sent out to locals, rather than foreigners, just over two weeks ago and Carnegie's sent out a rebuttal the day after.

Despite the popular bar's denials a campaign by locals to boycott the club has been started up through e-mail, alleging the bar demeans Taiwanese women.

"The intent is to damage our business, I guess. I don't know why, maybe someone was thrown out, maybe it's their idea of a joke. Somebody has taken their time to do this, maybe they are resentful of foreigners. Maybe it's a rival. We can't say at the moment."

Business has not been affected so far, Marshall added.

DJ Chozie was one of Taiwan's best DJs in the two years he was here. But unlike other foreign players that are plying their trade and who are most often seen at LUXY, Chozie broke into the local scene to quickly become the mainstream face of dance music in this country.

Which is kind of cool, considering he's a "Chinese-Australian" and only first came to Taiwan two years ago for the Channel V party on New Year's Eve 2001. He left three months ago for China, took a two-month holiday in front of the DVD player and now he's back at work and was set to return to Taiwan yesterday for some high-profile gigs over the next month.

It was an odd time to leave in some ways, as he had released what has turned out to be the definitive dance album of the year, 18 [after Room 18, the club] which was getting serious local TV and radio play, in shops and at clubs. Then, he left his girlfriend and the country.

His relationship with Momoko Tao (陶晶瑩) -- who dominates pop programming on TV -- gained Chozie column inches of sex appeal in the local media, so everything he did had an extra shine. Both seemed to benefit from their relationship. Her singing career got a lift from his productions. But when the end came, Chozie left for China.

"I got to the point where I wanted to think about a new direction and my relationship was fizzling out, so I started to tour to keep myself busy, and then production was tying me down. And, I guess, I just didn't want to settle down yet, I wanted to extend my DJing."

"It was the best thing for me, really. I was getting lost in the system. I recently did a little tour and have met up with my old contacts in China. There are a lot of new clubs."

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