The Red Room was never a room in the literal sense.
Since its inception six years ago, the nonprofit organization, which aims to provide a platform that brings together Taiwan’s creative community, took form through its array of events, held in various locations around Taipei.
“People would call and ask, ‘Hey, where’s the Red Room?’” curator Manav Mehta says. “And we’re like, ‘Sorry, the next event is in two weeks.’”
Photo courtesy of Chris Walters
Under the new name Red Room International Village, the organization opened the doors of its new space at the former Taiwan Air Force Command Center-turned-cultural park on Sept. 19 with the 71st installation of its monthly signature open mic event, Stage Time and Wine.
Red Room is only guaranteed to have the space for six months, but Mehta hopes they can extend their stay next year.
Mehta says they can now host new activities they weren’t able to before, such as the Spirits of the Night Aboriginal performance series, which debuted on Sept. 24.
Photo courtesy of Chris Walters
An art exhibition is also something that wasn’t possible without a regular venue. This afternoon, Red Room presents the opening of its first Visual Dialogues (中西對畫), a monthly art show that features a Western and Eastern artist living in Taiwan. This month’s artists, Canada’s Charles Haines and Taiwan’s Fang Yao-chung (房耀中), will be present at the event, held from 3pm to 7pm with artist introductions at 4:15pm.
Mehta says that he frequently hears about foreign artists wanting to collaborate with Taiwanese and vice versa, but that there’s something stopping both parties.
“With Red Room being a community of so many different types of people, we wanted to mix the cultures and show that there’s less of a contrast and more of a similarity,” Mehta says.
The “dialogue” will be further reinforced by not separating the two artists’ work but placing them side by side on the Red Room walls. The paintings will stay up until the end of the month.
Mehta has been involved with the Red Room since its inception, as it was started by his sister Ayesha with the help of Aveda Taiwan founder Chu Ping (朱平), who supports young entrepreneurs through his Ripplemaker Foundation. Mehta’s mother, Roma, a designer and painter, has also contributed her talents and connections to the venture.
Over the years, Red Room grew into a community with a number of regular events and collaborators, but to Mehta it was always something he did on the side.
“We always opened up shop for an event, closed down and went on with our lives,” he says.
Mehta moved to New York City about seven months ago, but when he heard that the proposal he helped write for Red Room’s new space was approved, he packed up and came home immediately.
“I grew up here,” he says. “For me, it’s like I get to come home and do my dream job.”
It’s an open space taking up the entire second floor of a building. There are no partitions, with a working table and bar to one side and a stage on the other. Much of the decorations, which include antique furniture and paintings, are provided by fellow collaborators, for example, the bar is custom made by a longtime “Red Roomer.”
“We’re sourcing our people, our friends and community,” Mehta says. “They make our space look beautiful, and we provide a platform for them. Everyone has a piece of the pie, and everyone is making this happen.”
Mehta envisions the space to be an artist hub, where people can hang out, read, paint, play music and even use it for their own events. He’s also adding more children-friendly events, such as a family art activity every fourth Sunday of the month.
In the future, Mehta is thinking of hosting workshops — ideas include the way of tea, calligraphy and cocktail mixing.
Check out their Facebook page for hours and a full list of events at www.facebook.com/redroomtaipei.
What: Visual Dialogues (中西對畫)
When: Today, 3pm to 7pm
Where: Red Room International Village, Taipei Air Force (空總創新基地), 177, Jianguo S Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市建國南路一段177號)
On the Net: www.facebook.com/events/133711173648658
It can take ice cream maker Miky Wu (吳書瑀) months to create a new flavor. In addition to using only eco-friendly and organic ingredients, her brand 1982 de glacee also eschews artificial additives, replacing emulsifiers and stabilizers with Taiwanese rice and wood ear derivatives. Wu’s non-traditional methods and dedication to capturing the essence of the main ingredient can lead to hours and hours tinkering in her “research office” in Tainan, even referencing academic papers to get the science correct. Her efforts were recently recognized for the third year in a row by the prestigious A. A. Taste Awards run by the
June 29 to July 5 With women gathering rocks and men hurling them at thousands of rivaling neighbors, ritualistic stone battles were regular affairs for people living in Pingtung during the 1800s. Direct combat and use of weapons were prohibited to avoid serious injury, with the losers hosting the winners for dinner. These “guests” often acted rudely, and faced no repercussions for smashing windows or snatching their hosts’ possessions. These battles usually took place yearly, with a significant number happening every Dragon Boat Festival. The winners had rights to the losers’ banquet prepared for the festivities. Sometimes things would get out of
Certain historical statues have been disappearing in Thailand, but they are not effigies of colonialists or slave owners torn down by protesters. Instead, Thailand’s vanishing monuments celebrated leaders of the 1932 revolution that ended absolute monarchy in Thailand, who were once officially honored as national heroes and symbols of democracy. Reuters has identified at least six sites memorializing the People’s Party that led the revolution which have been removed or renamed in the past year. In most cases it is not known who took the statues down, although a military official said one was removed for new landscaping. Two army camps named after 1932
Jason Ward fell in love with birds at age 14 when he spotted a peregrine falcon outside the homeless shelter where he was staying with his family. The now 33-year-old Atlanta bird lover parlayed that passion into a YouTube series last year. One of the guests on his first episode of Birds of North America was Christian Cooper, a black bird watcher who was targeted in New York City’s Central Park by a white woman after he told her to leash her dog. A video capturing the encounter showed the woman, Amy Cooper (no relation), retaliate by calling the police