The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) is to implement a program for the home care of prematurely born babies, after more than 10 percent of babies born in 2019 were premature or underweight. Data from 2019 showed that 10.24 percent of newborns weighed less than 2.5kg, while 10.4 percent were preterm births, the HPA said yesterday, adding that it has produced a booklet for parents of premature and underweight babies, and that it is planning to offer a home-care program. When babies are born prematurely their organs are not fully developed, which can lead to heightened risk of respiratory distress syndrome, patent ductus arteriosus, periventricular leukomalacia and other conditions, the HPA said. Babies born prematurely can also develop health conditions later in life, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetic retinopathy, slow development or hearing problems, it said. The HPA has produced a booklet for parents of premature babies, but it has found that they are having difficulty coping, HPA Deputy Director-General Wu Chao-chun (吳昭軍) said, adding that he hopes the government can do more to help, including when parents have to deal with related problems later in the child’s life. “We plan to have doctors visit families at home to give more detailed advice,” he said. “The program is to be implemented at five hospitals nationwide in the coming year.” Resources for parents of premature babies are concentrated in major cities, but the new program would make more resources available in rural areas, as well as outlying islands, Wu said. The majority of premature babies are twins or triplets, or are born to mothers who are more advanced in age or who have pre-existing medical conditions, Taiwan Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology secretary-general Huang Min-chao (黃閔照) said. The number of women having babies after the age of 35 is on the rise, which has led to an increase
STANDING BY ALLIES: A music festival would also feature Taiwanese punk band Fire Ex, as well as performers on traditional Japanese instruments
An exhibition and music festival are to be held later this month in Taipei to commemorate the 10th anniversary of a devastating earthquake and tsunami that killed an estimated 20,000 people in Japan, the country’s representative office in Taiwan said yesterday. The exhibition, running from Wednesday next week to March 21, would feature photographs of scenes immediately after the disaster in the northeast of the country and pictures of what those areas look like today, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association said. It would also feature signature boards, signed by Japanese comic artists, expressing gratitude to Taiwan for its assistance after the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, the association said in a news release. In a special section of the exhibition at Huashan 1914 Creative Park, a display of books about the disaster, by Taiwanese and Japanese writers, would highlight the friendly ties between the countries, it said. Other events include a fair and a music festival on Saturday and Sunday next week at the park plaza, it said. The festival would feature musicians playing traditional Japanese instruments such as taiko drums and the shamisen, a three-stringed lute, as well as Taiwanese indie band Fire Ex (滅火器), winner of the best band prize at last year’s Golden Melody Awards. Taiwan-based Japanese YouTuber Keigo Mihara would also participate, the association said. The magnitude 9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck northeastern Japan, causing a meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, and resulting in billions of dollars in losses in the Japanese economy. In the aftermath of the disaster, Taiwan’s government and private sector donated a total of ￥25 billion (US$234.26 million at the current exchange rate) in aid, and sent search and rescue teams to Japan, earning the country’s eternal gratitude, the association said.
The Taiwan Creative Content Agency is seeking opportunities for international coproductions and investments of Taiwanese films at this year’s European Film Market, the agency said yesterday. This year’s European Film Market, which started yesterday and runs until Friday, is being held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said in a statement. The agency’s participation in the trade fair is aimed at increasing international visibility of Taiwanese films, creating opportunities for international coproductions and investments in them, and connecting Taiwanese projects and film professionals with the international market, it said. In addition to releasing an online catalog to recommend original and adapted works from Taiwan to international audiences, the agency would introduce its international coproduction and cofunding program to industry players from around the world at the fair’s Berlinale Co-Production Market, it said. This year, a total of 39 Taiwanese films — ranging from feature films to documentaries, animations and virtual reality projects — signed up to participate in the European Film Market, the agency said. They include director Giddens Ko’s (九把刀) latest film, Till We Meet Again (月老), starring Gingle Wang (王淨) and Kai Ko (柯震東); Man in Love (當男人戀愛時), which was adapted from a South Korean film of the same name and stars Ann Hsu (許瑋甯) and Roy Chiu (邱澤); and As We Like It (揭大歡喜), which retells William Shakespeare’s As You Like It and was selected for the International Film Festival Rotterdam’s Big Screen Competition, it said. Sounds of Taiwan (聽見臺灣), which traces the process behind composer Bao Yuan-kai’s (鮑元愷) creation of Sketches of Taiwan (臺灣音畫), and City of Lost Things (廢棄之城), which was directed by Yee Chih-yen (易智言), produced by Lee Lieh (李烈) and won the Golden Horse Award for best animated feature last year, were among the other films highlighted by the agency. To help more projects reach the international market,
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday released a pamphlet describing correct and safe methods of applying cosmetic and care products, regulations and the science of how products achieve their effects. The illustrated booklet contains about 80 pages and six chapters, including an introduction to the Statute for Control of Cosmetic Hygiene (化粧品衛生管理條例), as well as information on cosmetic and care product labels and how to read them. It also explains how to safely test, apply and preserve cosmetic products to prevent spoilage and contamination. The fourth chapter describes the mechanism behind how 10 types of common cosmetic and care products work to achieve their advertised effects, and how to choose products and apply them safely. The fifth chapter addresses more than 40 common myths about face, hair and body products, as well as folk prescriptions, and the regulations that they are required to follow, while the last chapter comprises six comics to warn readers of common mistakes made in purchasing or using care products. One of the myths is that washing hair with just warm water is enough to clean it, but the pamphlet says that this is “not totally correct,” as warm water only removes water-soluble substances, but not oil-based substances. Rinsing hair with warm water without using a cleansing product can make hair feel even greasier or stickier than unwashed hair, it says. The comics also remind people that they cannot purchase more than 12 units of any type of specific-purpose cosmetic products for personal use, and no more than 36 in total, in other countries to bring back to Taiwan. The e-book version is available on the FDA’s Web site, while the printed version is sold on the Web sites of National Bookstore (國家書店), Kingstone Bookstore and San Min Books, as well as Wunan Bookstore branches and National Bookstore’s shop in Taipei’s Zhongshan
The National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts is this month to present La Traviata, one of three operas it plans to stage this year, its general and artistic director Chien Wen-pin (簡文彬) said. The center, also known as Weiwuying, centered the productions around the theme of rediscovery and creating something new from the classics, he said. Chien, who conducted the Kaohsiung Symphony Orchestra for the 2016 version of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, said that he is looking forward to restaging the production from March 18 to 21, because Italian-based Taiwanese soprano Keng Li (耿立) would take the lead role of Violetta Valery in two of the four performances, on March 19 and 21. This would be the first time that Kaohsiung-born Keng, who studied in Italy and won first prize and two other awards at the 2018 International Antonin Dvorak Singing Competition in the Czech Republic, has performed in a full opera in Taiwan, Chien said. In a predominantly local cast, Taiwanese soprano Huang Li-chin (黃莉錦) would share the role with Keng on the other two dates, Weiwuying said. Chien said that the other two operas are Maria de Buenos Aires by Astor Piazzolla, which would be presented to mark the late Argentine musician’s 100th birthday, and Norma, which was performed in 2004 by the National Symphony Orchestra, with himself as conductor. Maria de Buenos Aires would be a coproduction between Weiwuying and its counterparts in Hong Kong and Macau, Chien said, adding that it would be directed by Hong Kong choreographer Helen Lai (黎海寧). Chien said that he would once again be working with Li Huan-hsiung (黎煥雄), who directed the 2004 production of Norma. No dates have yet been given as to when the two productions would be presented.
RELIANCE ON CHINA: The amount of fruit exported to HK, Japan, South Korea and the US grew last year, and Taiwan now has approval to ship pineapples to Australia
The government would continue to diversify export markets for Taiwan’s agricultural products, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday, after China on Friday announced that it would suspend imports of pineapples from Taiwan. Taiwan has exported 6,200 batches of pineapples to China since last year, but China only reported finding scale insects among the fruit 13 times, while 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China passed customs testing, council data showed. “We have been helping farmers explore markets with high-export potential to avoid the risks caused by having a single export market,” the council said. “We have offered different incentives to boost exports to target markets, assisted agricultural associations in participating in international and domestic agricultural product exhibitions, and worked with supermarket chains in Singapore and other countries to set up Taiwanese produce sections.” Some of Taiwan’s farmers have secured halal certification with the council’s assistance, allowing them to export their products to Muslim countries, it said, adding that these measures have not only led to a significant increase in agricultural exports, but have also helped diversify export markets. Over the past three years, Taiwan exported an average of about 91,000 tonnes of fruit per year, 80 percent of which went to China, the council said, adding that the amount of fruit exported to Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and the US grew by 68 percent, 37 percent, 75 percent and 210 percent respectively last year. Exports of pineapples, wax apples and pomeloes to non-China markets rose by 164 percent, 77 percent and 147 percent respectively last year, it said. Pineapples exported to Japan reached a record 2,160 tonnes last year, the council said, adding that Taiwan has been given approval to export fresh decrowned pineapples to Australia after years of effort. The council said it would ensure that Taiwanese fruit can be exported
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) would use its online platforms to help promote sales of domestic pineapples, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said yesterday, as a Chinese ban on imports of the fruit from Taiwan took effect. China’s suspension of pineapple imports from the nation has had a serious effect on the domestic pineapple industry since it was announced on Friday, Chiang said while meeting pineapple growers in Tainan. Besides pineapples, many other local fruits, such as wax apples, are exported to China, he said. “Taiwan’s fruits have always been very high-quality, and we certainly hope to sell them to more countries,” he said. However, he added that unlike exports of electronic products, fruit exports are restricted by factors such as their freshness, making the Chinese market important for domestic farmers. He urged Taipei and Beijing to discuss technical and inspection-related issues, and proposed that inspections be performed in batches, with only the problematic imports returned, adding that this would mitigate the losses experienced by pineapple growers. Chiang said he has asked the 14 KMT mayors and county commissioners to join forces to help support domestic pineapple growers and other farmers with any available resources. The KMT would also use its online platforms to help domestic growers sell pineapples, he said. The Democratic Progressive Party had promised farmers that it would help them develop new markets besides China, Chiang said, urging the government to fulfill its pledge. Encouraging Taiwanese to consume domestic pineapples is a short-term fix, KMT Legislator Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) wrote on Facebook yesterday, adding that the government cannot encourage people to eat every food product that China bans. Lin also urged Beijing to enter discussions with Taipei to find solutions to pineapple export-related issues, saying that negotiations between the US and China took place even amid their trade dispute. “Optimistically, perhaps this is an opportunity
RISKY PARTNER: After the technology used to raise giant groupers was handed to China, the price of the fish went from NT$1,500 per 600g to less than NT$250 per 600g
Agricultural experts yesterday urged the government to reduce reliance on China, which is the nation’s largest export destination for agricultural products, by finding other markets and seeking patent protection for some of Taiwan’s unique plants. On Friday, China announced that it was suspending imports of pineapples from Taiwan on the grounds that it had found scale insects among the fruit. The same day, Chinese media promoted Hsuwen pineapples produced in China’s Guangdong Province, which are actually a variety of pineapple from Taiwan. Wu Rong-jieh (吳榮杰), an honorary professor at National Taiwan University’s Department of Agricultural Economics, said it is no secret that some people have transferred agricultural technology to China. “Some consider personal interests above national interests and take the technology with them to China because of the short-term benefits. Others do not even consider China a hostile nation and even think of it as a motherland. Technology transfer becomes inevitable when you confuse political and economic issues,” Wu said. For example, Taiwan was once known for its giant groupers, which would take three years to grow, he said, adding that the market price went as high as NT$1,500 per 600g at one point. In 2008, after the technology used to raise giant groupers was given to China, many large indoor grouper facilities were built in China’s Fujian Province. Taiwan and China signed an economic cooperation framework agreement in 2010, which listed giant groupers as one of the tax-free items, and by 2014, the number of groupers produced in Taiwan reached a record 26,000 tonnes, 80 percent of which were exported to China, Wu said. However, groupers from China began to be sold in Taiwan in 2012, with the market price sliding to NT$500 per 600g, he said, adding that by then eight times more groupers were being produced in China than what was being produced in
A notification received by a farmers’ group in Kaohsiung from a Chinese trade company suspending one shipment of wax apples was an isolated case and would have no effect on cross-strait trade in the fruit, Taiwan’s agricultural authorities said on Sunday. The Liouguei Farmers’ Association in Kaohsiung’s Liouguei District (六龜) said that on Sunday it received a notification from its Chinese trade agent that a shipment of wax apples to China scheduled for next week had been suspended. The notification came three days after China told Taiwan that it was suspending imports of its pineapples, starting yesterday. Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said that the decision of one Chinese trade agent does not affect cross-strait trade in wax apples. If Taiwan or China decides to suspend trade of any agricultural produce, a bilateral agricultural trade agreement stipulates that a notification should immediately be sent to the nation in question, he said. The council has received no such notification, he added. Chen also urged local media to check their facts before filing sensationalist reports that could affect the prices of farm produce. Wang Cheng-yi (王正一), acting director-general of the Kaohsiung City Government’s Agriculture Bureau, said that the suspension involves one Chinese trading agent and one fruit shipment. The shipment was expected to contain about 300 to 400 cartons of wax apples, the bureau said. The Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine said that the farmers’ association has exported 7,648 tonnes of wax apples since last year, all of which passed Chinese inspections. Kaoshiung exported 1,331.5 tonnes of wax apples last year, with 99.5 percent going to China, the council said. There would be reduced output this year due to fruit being damaged by cold weather, with the wax apple harvest expected to begin in the middle of next month, it said. Kaohsiung
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) late on Sunday night finished his one-day cycling trip from Taipei to Kaohsiung, where he was met by protesting Taiwan Statebuilding Party members, who said Ko was using the 228 Incident to turn the spotlight on himself. Ko, who is also the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) chairman, embarked on his third cycling trip to southern Taiwan at nearly 1am on Sunday, arriving at Changhua behind schedule at about 11am. He then returned to Taipei by high-speed rail to attend a 228 Incident memorial event, before traveling to Tainan in the afternoon to continue the trip. He originally planned to arrive at Kaohsiung’s Dayi Junior High School in Kaohsiung at 9pm on Sunday, but his cycling team arrived just before 10pm. Ko was greeted by about 200 cheering supporters, as well as about 50 protesters. Holding signs that read: “Stop taking advantage of the 228 Incident, we refuse to let pain become entertainment,” the protesters had a brief incident with police, who blocked them from approaching Ko. The protesters said the purpose of Ko’s annual cycling trips on Feb. 28 is not to commemorate the Incident, as he allocated more city government funds for the cycling trip than for the memorial event in Taipei, adding that they suspect Ko’s real aim is to attract attention. Ko said that Taiwan is a democratic and diverse society with many voices, so there is nothing unusual about people protesting against him. Asked whether he was exhausted from the trip, Ko said he began the trip at 1am, rode for about 160km, returned to Taipei and continued for another 56km — adding up to almost 220km in one day — so he was tired and just wanted “to get a good night’s sleep.” TPP spokesperson Yang Bao-zheng (楊寶楨) later yesterday said that “instead of criticizing another opposing
A petition aimed at launching a referendum against a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal project near an algal reef off the coast of Taoyuan has passed the second-stage threshold for official consideration, having collected 296,697 signatures as of Sunday. Enough signatures had been collected to pass the threshold of 289,667 required by the Central Election Commission, the Rescue Datan’s Algal Reefs Alliance said yesterday. Alliance convener Pan Chong-cheng (潘忠政), who initiated the petition last year, said that organizers could collect more than 350,000 signatures by today to ensure that there are enough votes to take the referendum proposal to the final stage. The alliance said it hopes to collect 450,000 signatures by Wednesday next week and draw attention to the issue ahead of a referendum on Aug. 28 on the state-run utility CPC Corp, Taiwan’s LNG project off the coast of the city’s Guanyin District (觀音). The project endangers the 7,000-year-old algal reefs there, the alliance said. Based on the Referendum Act (公民投票法), the second stage of a proposed referendum requires the signatures of 1.5 percent of eligible voters in the most recent presidential election. For a referendum to pass, 25 percent of eligible voters must vote “yes.” Last year, 19.31 million voters were eligible to vote in the presidential election.
WEATHER Mercury to drop in north Seasonal northeasterly winds are expected cause temperatures to drop 6°C to 10°C in northern Taiwan today, forecasters said. Daytime temperatures are forecast to fall below 20°C in the north, about 6°C to 7°C lower than yesterday, the Central Weather Burea said. However, meteorologist Daniel Wu (吳德榮) said that temperatures in the north might plunge today by about 10°C from a day earlier due to the seasonal winds. In central and southern Taiwan, the effects of the weather system would be less severe, with daytime highs hovering around 26°C and 29°C respectively, the bureau said. The wind system would bring not only cool air, but also occasional showers in the north and east of the country, the bureau said. DIPLOMACY Thai newspaper lauds Tsai President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was named as one of the world’s 24 extraordinary women by a Thai newspaper yesterday. The English-language Bangkok Post cited her leadership in containing the COVID-19 outbreak in Taiwan and her government’s promotion of gender equality. It praised the Tsai administration’s quick response following the outbreak of the disease at the beginning of last year. The article titled “Tsai’s leadership makes its mark in Taiwan,” attributed the successful containment of the virus to the government’s launch of “one of the world’s most effective pandemic response protocols.” Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) yesterday said that Tsai thanked everyone in Taiwan for working together to combat COVID-19, adding that being named on the list shows again that Taiwan has been recognized by the world. SPORTS Wang’s record made official Taiwanese Eddie Wang (王冠閎) has been officially recognized by the International Swimming Federation (FINA) as the holder of the junior world record in the men’s 200m butterfly short course, the Chinese Taipei Swimming Association said in a news release on Sunday. The association said that on Thursday
Tourists walk through a tea garden with cherry blossoms in Nantou County’s Renai Towhship yesterday, the last day of the three-day 228 Peace Memorial Day long weekend.
Visitors at Taipei Zoo watch cranes yesterday while enjoying the sunny weather. Temperatures in northern Taiwan rose to highs of around 26°C to 27°C, the Central Weather Bureau said, while in central and southern Taiwan it was 28°C and 30°C respectively.
Canoeists unfurl banners at Lingjiao Waterfall in New Taipei City yesterday after the city government announced it would prohibit watersports at the waterfall, citing safety concerns. The protesters say there is no need to introduce a ban on watersports, and that safety can be improved through education and information campaigns.
READY TO GO: The ministry said it expects to choose the company that would create the platform in April and have the system online at the end of the year
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) plans to open bidding this week for the creation of a smart transportation rental platform for more than 1,700 vehicle rental companies nationwide. The ministry on Saturday said that the system is expected to go online at the end of this year. A mobile platform would facilitate vehicle rental services not only for locals but also foreigners who visit the country, the ministry said. Working with the National Joint Association of Rental Car of the Republic of China, the ministry said it has obtained letters of intent from more than 600 companies. If the platform is created, renting a vehicle in Taiwan would be as easy as logging in to a mobile app, the ministry said, adding that services would also include chauffeurs. The platform would be listed among package deals offered by tourism agencies or the Taiwan Pass program, the ministry said. The Taiwan Pass is an electronic ticket offering time and location-specific discounts for different modes of travel and destinations recommended by local governments. The platform would hopefully provide more flexibility regarding travel packages or programs, the ministry said. Taichung, and Miaoli, Changhua and Nantou counties have been selected to test the platform, it said. The platform would also enable users to pick up a vehicle at one location and return it at another, the ministry said. The ministry said it would be opening the bidding online this week and would be holding an information session on March 10, adding that it expects to choose a candidate in April. The company that wins the bid would be tasked with managing the platform, integrating existing rental company services into the system and charging rental companies for joining it, while the ministry would levy a fee on the company running the system, it said. The company would be expected to provide data on the platform
HOPE? There are no treatments that can reverse the damage caused by pulmonary fibrosis, but experimental stem cell therapy has helped mice that have the disease
A National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (NYCU) research team has transferred the technology for its experimental stem cell therapy for pulmonary fibrosis to two biotech companies, the first step toward beginning clinical trials, it announced on Friday. The team led by Fu Yu-show (傅毓秀), a professor in the university’s Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, first published details of its therapy, which involves transplanting stem cells collected from umbilical cord fluid into lungs affected by fibrosis, in the international medical journal Theranostics in 2019. At a ceremony on Friday, Fu and her team said they have agreed to transfer the research to two local biotech firms, Fuhwasheng Regenerative Medicine Co and Taiwan Bio Theraputics Co, in preparation for domestic clinical trials. Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease characterized by the progressive scarring and thickening of tissue in the lungs, which can be caused by factors such as smoking, air pollution, infection or aging, Fu said. Because the scarring is permanent, and there are no medications to reverse the damage, treatment has typically focused on easing symptoms and improving quality of life, she said. The team found that umbilical stem cells transplanted into the lungs of mice with the disease not only survived, but also secreted growth hormones capable of reducing inflammation, Fu said. Aside from its anti-inflammatory effects, the therapy also promoted the degradation of collagen, a protein in scar tissue, and stimulated the regeneration of alveoli, the tiny sacs in the lungs responsible for the intake of oxygen, she said. Mice that were given the therapy experienced higher blood oxygen saturation and lower respiratory rates, indicating deeper and less strained breathing, Fu said. After publishing the results of the study, the team received inquiries from a number of pulmonary fibrosis patients and their families from around the world, leading them
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began more than a year ago, Taiwanese consumers have developed a penchant for sanitation products and cosmetics that has led to unexpected opportunities for some businesses, retail sources said. During the pandemic, consumers have been buying larger amounts of cleaning supplies, such as medical-grade alcohol, antibacterial soap, disinfectant sprays, wet wipes and hypochlorous acid cleaning solution, a Watson’s Personal Care Stores official said. Demand for these items grew several times and shortages of 75 percent alcohol solution were particularly acute until Watsons took measures to maintain adequate supplies, the official said. A Pxmart spokesperson said sales of bleach, liquid and bar soap, and alcohol hand wipes remained high, while a Carrefour spokesperson said sales of washers that utilize steam or hot water for better sanitization had gone up during the pandemic. A spokesperson for smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi Corp said that sales of its previously unsuccessful automatic soap dispenser had increased since the virus’ outbreak. Meanwhile, the requirement to wear masks in public has seemingly led to an increased interest in eye makeup. Online retailer Momo.com said that sales of eye makeup had nearly doubled last year, with eye shadow palettes being the most popular. Drug chain Cosmed said that sales of waterproof mascara, eyeliner and eye shadow had surged, claiming the top three spots for its most popular items. Department store Shin Kong Mitsukoshi said that consumers have become more interested in skincare products that protect the skin against irritation and allergies, which might be caused by prolonged mask wearing. Ointments featuring plant extracts that are billed as environmentally friendly and capable of protecting the skin are fast becoming one of the company’s best sellers, while breathable and hydrating foundations are becoming more popular, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi said. As Taiwanese reduce unnecessary contact with others by cooking at home, supermarkets across the country are
The Taiwan International Light Festival, which opened on Friday at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in Taichung, seeks to “illuminate the dark world shrouded by the [COVID-19] pandemic,” the Ministry of Culture said. The exhibition, in its second year, is themed “Silver Lining” (黑暗之光) and showcases light installations by eight artists and collectives from Taiwan and abroad in the museum’s outdoor space, the ministry said in a statement on Friday. The participants from Taiwan include new media artist Tsai Yi-ting (蔡宜婷), the duo Hsieh Yu-cheng X Wang Chung-yuan (謝佑承 X 王中原), the multidisciplinary collective UxU Studio (有用主張) and the studio Peppercorns Interactive Media Art (黑川互動媒體藝術), the ministry said. Their works are featured alongside those of Groupe LAPS from France, Yasuhiro Chida from Japan, ENCOR from Switzerland and Kou Tak Leong (高德亮) from Macau, it said. “Through their light artwork, the artists lead the public to reflect on the positive meaning contained in negativity and darkness, and hope to break through the barriers [created by] national borders and the pandemic to illuminate the dark world shrouded by the pandemic,” the ministry said. The artists have created pieces including a light sculpture controlled by a computer program, a site-specific installation engaging with the museum’s surrounding environment and an interactive work of art incorporating 5G technology, it said. “Over the past year, the world has been shrouded in the shadow of the pandemic, and finally, it has seen some light in recent days,” Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te (李永得) said at the opening, expressing the hope that the combination of light and art at the festival would “shine a beacon for us and lead us away from the shadow of the pandemic.” Light art is one of the best ways to combine art and technology, he said, adding that the ministry has also been promoting the art form
Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara is to hold a solo exhibition in Taipei this month as scheduled, as well as at two new locations in southern Taiwan after people there expressed an interest, one of the event’s organizers said. The free exhibitions are to take place at the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts in Taipei from March 12 to June 20, the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts in July, and the Tainan Art Museum in November, the General Association of Chinese Culture said, adding that this would be the first time that Miss Moonlight, a painting Nara finished last year, would be displayed overseas. The painting, which made its debut at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo last summer, features a girl — a regular subject among Nara’s works of art — in a yellow top with her eyes closed. Viewers would also be able to see the artist’s paintings on canvas and wooden boards, objects made of a variety of materials, and other works previously exhibited at the Mori Art Museum. Nara, who was trained in Germany, is now in Taiwan to prepare the exhibition, the association said. The association is organizing the exhibitions with the Yoshitomo Nara Foundation and the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts.