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Fri, Jan 28, 2000 - Page 2 News List

OFF THE BEAT

The art of `virtual' noise

The Bureau of Environmental Protection in Taipei has come up with a novel way of making the art of noise more environmentally-friendly -- sort of.

The bureau has produced 6,000 cassette tape recordings of firecracker explosions for free distribution in the run-up to the Lunar New Year and the March 18 presidential election.

Each of the tapes will play the auspicious sounds of firecrackers for 60 minutes -- non-stop!

Taiwanese people traditionally set off the noisy pyrotechnics at weddings, temple festivals, opening ceremonies, seasonal festivals, and almost any other auspicious occasion.

Apart from the noise and the potential danger of physical injuries, however, firecrackers are also an annoying source of trash -- littering the streets with the debris they leave behind.

Apart from free public distribution, the bureau also plans to send some of the tapes to the Taipei campaign offices of the major presidential candidates.

Readers who wish to get a free copy of the tape may do so by visiting the bureau's offices, or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope (with NT$29 in postage) to: Bureau of Environmental Protection, Section 1, 1 Shihfu Road, Taipei 110 (台北市信義區市府路一號東北區七樓環保局第一科)

Urban camouflage

Have you seen those two huge public art pieces at the intersection of Tunhua North Road and Chunghsiao East Road? Ever wonder what they are or what they're for?

Well, it turns out that the city's Department of Rapid Transit thought it might be a good idea to "cover up" two large ventilation buildings near the underground subway station there.

The solution? Commission a public works artist to come up with some nice urban designs for the ugly ventilation houses and call it "public art for public spaces."

Enter Tsai Shu-ying (蔡淑瑩). An artist with experience in urban design, she created two massive art works, titled "Tree River" (樹河), and deserves applause for a "cover up" well done.

The art works were unveiled yesterday by city government officials, with Tsai in attendance. Now you know what they are.

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