Sun, Jul 15, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Taipei promotes arts via festival

THE POWER OF ART Artists and customers alike would benefit from the creation of regular art markets, while participating cities would gain in creativity and life

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

With over 60 booths showcasing handmade items by street artists in Ximending's Red Theater, the Taipei City Government invited the public to join its creativity carnival as part of its plan to promote the city's cultural industry by turning the carnival into a regular art market.

The "Creativity Carnival -- KUSO Ximending" event, which runs through today, features non-brand-name clothing and accessories, glassware and various creative products made by artists and designers in the Red Theater, which, except for a few scattered shops, has mostly been abandoned.

Addressing the carnival, Lee Yong-ping (李永萍), commissioner of Taipei City's Department of Cultural Affairs, promised to put greater efforts into establishing regular art markets in the city and help more artists and designers to parlay their booths into business ventures.

"We wanted to allow new artists and designers to bring more creativity and life to the city and make art and culture more accessible with the establishment of such art markets," she said yesterday in the Red Theater.

Lee said the department will set up the municipal art market in the plaza between the Taipei Story House and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum every weekend, while seeking to set up more art markets in municipal parks.

Lining her hand-made dolls, necklaces and earrings in the booth, street designer S.P. Huang, who has been traveling around the country to participate in art markets, expressed her support for the plan.

"With regular art markets in Taipei, I won't have to travel all over the country to sell my items. It will also be easier for market-goers to find us," she said.

Hand-made items like Huang's accessories have gained popularity thanks to the nation's growing number of art markets, such as the Campo Life Art Carnival held around the country and the monthly market held at the Dunnan branch of the Eslite Bookstore.

Without a regular market, Huang said she had to spend a lot of time applying for admission to different art markets and making trips to central and southern parts of the country, making it difficult for her to keep a steady income.

Echoing Huang's call for the city government to set up a regular art market, ceramicist Hsiao Li-ying (蕭立應), who owns a handiwork studio in Pingtung County, said that the department should establish a permanent art market in the Red Theater, which would combine a historical site with creative arts.

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