The arts in Taiwan have coexisted along parallel streams, often without mutual contact. At the highest, Government-funded arts cater to the elite avant-garde who glorify university fine art departments and national or municipal museums.
\nEvery two years in Venice, some of these Taiwanese artists meet other avant-gardists (again), exchange the latest ideas and then bring them back to their respective lands. Such contacts make the world a smaller place as images and concepts spread -- sometimes like a virus -- affecting Venice art participants and their associates at home yearning to "modernize." Their videos or installations, however, usually remain unknown to Taiwan's population at large.
\nAt the lowest end are the traditional "backwater" manifestations at temples and temple-markets that still exude strong regional flavors, tastes and images encountered nowhere else on earth.
\nIn between fall high school art classes and workshops teaching people to sketch from Western plaster busts, and the vast majority of Taiwan's modern public who are too urbanized to recognize local traditions, or too lacking in art education to be interested in experiencing "modern art."
\nIn recent years, however, there has been a healthy development in Taiwan bringing arts to people by way of artists colonies. The government has been funding imaginative reclamation projects where abandoned sugar factories in their park-like environs are transformed into open-air theaters, art galleries, warehouse-sized show-cases, conference sites and individual artists' housing complexes.
\nIn Taiwan's southernmost Pingdong County is the little fishing village of Fangliao. Its waterways are crammed with fishing boats and nets, and its restaurants resplendent with fish and seafood freshly caught. Fangliao is celebrated for bell-shaped "Black Pearl" bell-fruit of glowing dark crimson skin, and tiny whitebait called Burahi.
\nNow we can say that Fangliao is celebrated also for its admirable Fangliao Artists' Village (
PHOTO COURTESY OF FANGLIAO ARTISTS' VILLAGE
Otto von Bismarck once famously remarked that the “great European war will come out of some damn foolish thing in the Balkans.” We may have inched closer to that damn foolish thing in recent weeks. On Feb. 1, a new law came into effect in China, which codified Beijing’s claim that its well-armed Coast Guard could remove vessels in its waters “illegally” and use force against them if necessary. This is no more or less a “law” than any other law administrated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), since Beijing could use its Coast Guard to attack vessels from other
March 01 to March 07 There was only one Taiwanese department head in Taiwan’s first post-World War II provincial government: Sung Fei-ju (宋斐如), who served as deputy director of the department of education. Sung, who lived in China for over two decades, had close ties with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and was also allowed to start his own newspaper, the People’s News-Leader (人民導報). Aside from Sung, only a handful of Taiwanese held significant positions in the government, almost all of them banshan (半山, half mountain) like him. The term refers to those who moved
Taimali Township (太麻里) is about 15km south of Jhihben Township (知本) in Taitung County, a glorious ride along the electric blue Pacific coastline. Having spent several days scouting out the upper reaches of the Jhihben River gorge for possible camera trap locations for Formosan clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa), a friend and I decided to explore the next river drainage to the south. The Taimali River gorge is yet another remote and relatively unknown wilderness area of Taitung County that has likely never been properly surveyed for wildlife, and this is certainly the second place that I plan to search for
In the introduction to his new manual on how to live a meaningful life, Jordan Peterson sets the tone by recounting the hellish sequence of health crises that afflicted his family during 2019 and last year. They included his wife’s diagnosis with a rare and usually lethal form of kidney cancer, and his own downward spiral from severe anxiety and dangerously low blood pressure into benzodiazepine dependency and an acute withdrawal response, near total insomnia, pneumonia in both lungs, and “overwhelming thoughts of self-destruction,” culminating in his waking from a medically induced coma in a Russian intensive care unit with