The trendsetter restaurants and emporiums of the East District (東區), the Taipei neighborhood surrounding Zhongxiao East Road Section 4 (忠孝東路四段), have new neighbors: more than 40 pieces of art, including a bird’s nest made from silver spoons, floating sculptures made of neon light tubes and a giant slice of wax cake.
Very Fun Park (粉樂町), an outdoor art festival organized by Fubon Art Foundation (富邦藝術基金會), aims to introduce contemporary art into everyday life by encouraging the capital’s inhabitants to wander the winding alleyways behind the area’s main shopping drag for paintings, installation art, toys and video art on display at 30 locations, including clothing, design and toy stores, restaurants, bus stops, a church and an MRT station.
A colossal image of Dongguri, a cheery childlike character created by South Korean artist Kwon Ki-soo (see story above), that adorns Fubon Financial Center’s (富邦金融中心) glass facade encapsulates the festival’s ethos: contemporary art should be fun and should put a big smile on people’s faces.
Very Fun Park festival celebrates the East District’s shopping culture. Wang Chung-kun’s (王仲) sound and movement sculpture pays tribute to the silversmiths behind the accessory store Koolook, while Lin Tai-fong’s (林慶芳) traditional Taiwanese playing cards, with their depictions of betel nut girls, glorifies Hot Dog Toyz, a store specializing in capsule toys, action figures and collectables.
Large, bright-colored paper airplanes and boats hanging in the Popmart clothing boutique invite patrons to revisit childhood dreams, while a series of sketches titled Monkey Kids (猴崽) draws a humorous comparison between naughty children and the teenage shoppers at Leftfoot, which sells footwear.
The festival offers an excuse, other than shopping or chowing down, to head over to the East District for a leisurely stroll. For more sedentary art lovers, there are 30 “texicabs” plying the area. These are special taxi cabs bearing the characters kuaile huangbaoche (快樂黃包車), in which passengers can enjoy old Hoklo and Mandarin ballads, write a note on a message board for the next fare, and receive a receipt printed with a happy short story.
WHAT: 2008 Very Fun Park (2008粉樂町)
WHEN: The outdoor art festival runs through Aug. 31;
the indoor exhibition at Eslite Bookstore Dunnan Branch
(敦南誠品書店) opens on Aug. 3
WHERE: The area bounded by Dunhua South Road Section 1
(敦化南路一段), Zhongxiao East Road, Section 4 (忠孝東路四段),
Civil Boulevard Section 4 (市民大道四段) and Lane 223, Zhongxiao East Road Sec 4 (忠孝東路四段)
ON THE NET: www.fubonart.org.tw/veryfunpark2008/index.html