Thu, Dec 27, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Bureau picks Taipei 101 display

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Tourism Bureau yesterday shows messages, including the winning entry on the left, that were considered for display at the Taipei 101 New Year's Eve fireworks.

PHOTO: HSU MIN-JUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

After much speculation, the Tourism Bureau yesterday finally unveiled the message that will be displayed on the Taipei 101 building on New Year's Eve, with "2008 Taiwan" getting the nod over "UN for Taiwan."

The final design has the year "2008" on top with the name "Taiwan" appearing below it. Between these two lines will be a pink heart, replacing the dot in the letter "i" in Taiwan.

Wayne Liu (劉喜臨), director of the bureau's international affairs division, told the Taipei Times that the "2008" will appear right after the fireworks are set off. The name "Taiwan" will then be displayed after the fireworks explode. Following that, the heart shape will appear gradually.

The New Year's Eve display will take a total of 188 seconds, he said.

Designer Aaron Chen (陳俊良) is in charge of the project. Chen said the design was chosen from more than 100 proposals submitted by his students at Fu Jen Catholic University and National Taiwan University of Arts.

In yesterday's presentation, Chen also showed other designs that had been considered, including using the Chinese character for mouse (鼠) written in ancient script. Next year is the year of the rat in the Chinese zodiac.

Chen said the team had to abandon those ideas because of the building's limitations. For example, the team could not install lights outside rent-control floors. Window panes also come in different sizes.

"It [the final design] was picked because it could convey, in a very simple way, the concept of Taiwan-ese embracing the world with their warmth and passion," he said.

Chen also said that since the Chinese character for love () sounds like the letter "i," the design also portrays the idea "I love Taiwan." Tourism Bureau Deputy Director General Hsieh Wei-chun (謝謂君) said yesterday that the Taipei 101 fireworks display would cost NT$21 million (US$646,000).

Hsieh said funding would come from three organizations. The bureau will provide NT$13 million, while the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Chunghwa Telecom would contribute NT$5 million and NT$3 million respectively.

Hsieh said people may want to take the opportunity to see the design, considering that Taipei 101 may no longer be the tallest building in the world next year after the Burj Dubai is completed.

"We hope that this will be a chance for Taiwan to shine," he said.

In related news, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday that a cold front was expected to arrive on Saturday. The low temperatures will continue until Tuesday, it said.

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