Rock the Dream is the theme for this year's biennial Hualien's International Stone Sculpture Festival (花蓮國際石雕藝術季), but activities are not limited to stone and include rock music (get it?), stone carving, prehistoric fossils, crafts and Ami cuisine.
The grand opening, which was postponed because of Typhoon Krosa, took place last Saturday and included ballet performances, Aboriginal folk dances, speeches by local politicos, introductions of the local and foreign stone sculptors and a spectacular fireworks display.
A free shuttle bus runs between the festival's different events. On Seashore Boulevard, 12 stone artists from around the world can be seen in action as they carve marble into minimalist works. The creations will become part of Hualien's urban landscape as public street art.
Nearby, Hualien County Stone Sculpture Museum charts the importance of stone from prehistoric times to the present day. The Evolution of Eolith exhibition exhibits stone tools and axes made by the prehistoric peoples who lived along Taiwan's East Coast over 7,000 years ago. The International Sculpture Masterpiece exhibition features small-scale modern pieces from artists such as Takashi Murakami and Yayoi Kusama along with sculptures by local artists.
Additionally, rose stone, local jade, designs for public stone furniture and stone teapots from the Ming and Chin Dynasties are on view. Taken together, the exhibits provide visitors with a broad perspective of the unique history of stone and its many uses.
In the open-air plaza, stalls for DIY handicrafts from 27 local communities allow you to try your hand at jewelry making, weaving and painting. The Culture Affairs Bureau has organized family activities geared for those with small children plus weekend cultural and tourism tours to see the various local sites. The event also has free nightly performances by groups such as the Orange Fire Dance Group, Centro Flamenco Taiwan, A Capella Vocal Band from Germany and the Contemporary Legend Theater.
What: 2007 Hualien International Stone Sculpture Festival (花蓮國際石雕藝術季)
When: Until Nov. 4; daily from 9am to 9pm
Where: Hualien County Stone Sculpture Museum, 6 Wenfu Rd, Hualien City (花蓮市文復路6號)
For more information: Call (03) 822-7121 X502 or visit www.hccc.gov.tw
Besides being educational, there's a chance to win some money. Enter the iStone Photography Competition fro a chance to win the NT$15,000 grand prize. Submit your festival theme photo to the Cultural Bureau Gallery of Hualien County, 6 Wunfu Rd, Hualien City (花蓮市文復路6號) before Nov. 5 to claim your shot at the prize.