Tomorrow commences the 20th edition of Taipei Children’s Arts Festival (台北兒童藝術節), a two-month, family-friendly program of theater performances, workshops and exhibitions that celebrate the notion of differences. The festival encourages an awareness of the diverse relationships around us and the uniqueness of every individual, writes the festival in a press release. A total of 24 art groups from Taiwan and abroad make up a rich lineup of theater, dance, variety show and music. There’s No Big Bad Wolf Here (這裡沒有大野狼) is a new production by Taipei Performing Arts Center (台北表演藝術中心) based on the classic story of Little Red Riding Hood. To attend Riding Hood’s birthday, the audience must traverse through the forest where the Big Bad Wolf lives. The production involves a series of body movement and percussion activities staged in an interactive setting. World Images by Danish company Theatre Madam Bach integrates sound, music, words and movement to represent various sites of wonder around the globe. From the rhythm of underground trains, the formation of white salt deserts, to northern lights dancing in the sky, the production is a celebration of the world we live in and the incredible planet that we call home.
■ 19 venues around Taipei City. For more details visit www.tcaf.taipei
■ Through Aug. 4
Photo courtesy of Bamboo Curtain Studio
The Songshan Cultural and Creative Park (松山文創園區), established in 2011, is a thriving, cultural hub for exhibitions and performances located in a former Japanese era government-run tobacco factory. Once the largest tobacco factory in Southeast Asia, the operation was at its peak a company of almost 2,000 workers who lived and worked on the factory premises. In honor of its legacy, the cultural park presents 80th Anniversary of Songshan Tobacco Factory (松菸八十), an exhibition that looks back at the factory’s history via a presentation of archival material, including films, documents, package designs and furniture that remain from its heyday. The show features over 100 old photographs that offer insight into the daily life of the factory workers, as well a comprehensive display of 200 original architectural drawings that reveal the design and construction of the compound.
■ Songshan Cultural and Creative Park (松山文創園區), 133 Guangfu S Rd, Taipei City (台北市光復南路133號), tel: (02) 2765-1388. Open 10am to 6pm.
■ Through Aug 18
Courtesy of KHAM
Chen Yu-jung (陳昱榮) is a Taiwanese artist with a background in multimedia music composition. He creates experimental and improvisational performances as well as mixed media installations that focus on the interaction between sight and sound in space. Chen’s works often incorporate ready-made objects and other collected material that accentuate the subtle details of daily life through an emotional narrative. In his current solo exhibition Sound Interstice — Scape of Flow (音間隙—流動的風) at Taipei Artist Village, Chen presents a body of new works that extend from Scape of Flow, a project that he had begun during his residency in New Zealand last year. He explores the complexity of city spaces and how they are built through layers of memories, histories and transformations. “Memory is redundant: it repeats signs so that the city can begin to exist ... an invisible landscape conditions the visible one,” Chen quotes the 20th century Italian writer Italo Calvino in his exhibition preface. Inspired by the idea of invisible cities, Chen takes recordings of city soundscapes collected during his residency and attempts to translate them into images. Objects presented in the show act as carriers of sound that detect their physical relationship with the gallery room.
■ Barry Room, Taipei Artist Village (台北國際藝術村百里廳), 7 Beiping E Rd, Taipei City (台北市北平東路7號), tel: (02) 3393-7377. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 9pm
■ Until July 21
Photo Courtesy of Theatre Madam Bach
BCS Summer Open Day & Recipe About Art (竹圍工作室夏季開放日＋《藝態食譜／補》食物藝術影像展) is a series of workshops, screenings, talks and exhibitions at Bamboo Curtain Studio with an emphasis on environmentally conscious works. The exhibition title includes the Chinese term Pu (譜), which is associated with visual notation of music as well as cuisine recipes. Drawing from this cross section between sound and taste, the show seeks to explore cultural expressions that embody unique local knowledge and traditional sensibilities. Chen Jen-pei’s (程仁珮) The Next Meal (下一餐) is an installation based on Keelung, an important harbor where many local industries depend on the resources of the ocean. The work includes interviews with local fishermen as well as field studies of the area’s environmental conditions and its relation to food production. Chen extends her observations of Keelung by creating a narrative about the future of food that brings out global issues we may face in the future. Lo Sheng-wen’s (羅晟文) TUNA is a video game in which the player is encouraged to catch as much yellow fin tuna fish as possible. The work seeks to draw attention to the nearly threatened status of the tuna species and issues of ecological sustainability in human food production.
■ Bamboo Curtain Studio (竹圍工作室), 39, Ln 88, Jhongjheng E Rd Sec 2, New Taipei City (新北市中正東路二段88巷39號), tel: (02) 8809-3809. Visit bambooculture.com/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=149 for more information.
■ Through June 30
Photo Courtesy of Taipei Artist villlage
An exhibition of the legendary American comic strip Garfield is currently on view at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂). Created by Jim Davis in 1978, Garfield is the world’s most widely syndicated comic strip in history, according to the Guinness World Record. Starring a witty, mischievous domestic cat and his companions, the series has won the hearts of many readers around the globe. The international popularity of the comic remains strong throughout the years, spawning a series of films in the early 2000s and a creatively dubbed version for broadcast in Taiwan via Cartoon Network in 2010. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the comic strip, the exhibition features original drawings from Davis, a replica of the author’s studio and 20 action figures based on characters in the story. In addition, 20 Garfield-inspired works by Taiwanese and Hong Kong artists have been specially commissioned for the show.
■ Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂) 21, Zhongshan S Rd, Taipei City (台北市中山路21號), tel: (02) 2343 1100. Open daily from 10am to 6pm
■ Until Sept. 15
With most of his village preferring to converse in Mandarin, opportunities are scant for 81-year-old Kacaw to use his mother language of Amis. But things are changing in his household — one day the family was having an animated discussion when his plucky four-year-old granddaughter Nikal bursts into the room: “You should talk in the mother tongue,” she tells them loudly in Amis. Another time, Nikal’s uncle Yosifu, a well-known artist, overheard her arguing with her grandmother over rights to the television remote — “in our mother tongue,” he tells me excitedly. “With such visible change, I can see hope
Deaths, economic meltdown and a planet on lockdown: the coronavirus pandemic has brought us waves of bad news, but squint and you might just see a few bright spots. From better hygiene that has reduced other infectious diseases to people reaching out as they self-isolate, here are some slivers of silver linings during a bleak moment. WASH YOUR HANDS! The message from health professionals has been clear from the start of the outbreak: wash your hands. Everyone from celebrities to politicians has had a go at demonstrating correct technique — including singing Happy Birthday twice through to make sure you scrub long enough, and
Within 10 minutes of the train pulling into Chaojhou (潮州) in Pingtung County, I’d retrieved my bike from a paid-parking compound and initiated the fitness tracking app on my phone. Just one thing bothered me: The color of the sky. I cycled southeast, passing the shuttered Dashun General Hospital (大順醫院). Given everything that’s going on in the world, I couldn’t help but think: If the government needs extra facilities to handle the COVID-19 epidemic, this sizable building could perhaps be brought back into service. After crossing Highway 1 (台1線), I skirted a settlement established after 2009’s Typhoon Morakot disaster, during which
Over a million people flooded Kenting National Park over two weeks in 1986 to see Halley’s Comet, massively boosting the area’s tourism industry March 30 to April 5 About 30,000 disappointed visitors lingered on the streets of Kenting National Park on the evening of March 28, 1986. Established just two years earlier, Taiwan’s first national park had never seen so many visitors — all hotels were full, hundreds of tents cramped the campgrounds and the latecomers slept in their cars. Most had traveled here just to catch a glimpse of Halley’s Comet, which only passes by the Earth every 76 years or so. That year, the comet was more visible the further to the south, and Kenting’s location at Taiwan’s southernmost tip made