Sun, Apr 15, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Japanese animator, Tainan students stage live art event

By Tsai Wen-chu  /  Staff Reporter

More than 100 students and teachers from Tainan University of Technology hold umbrellas decorated with images of smiling people in an art performance by Japanese designer and photographer Koji Mizutani at Chihkan Tower in Greater Tainan yesterday.

Photo: Tsai Wen-chu, Taipei Times

Working together with Tainan University of Technology, Japanese Animation Creative artist Koji Mizutani yesterday held a live art event in Greater Tainan that paraded his works all the way from the Chihkan Tower to the Confucius Temple.

Mizutani and students from the university’s departments of styling and cosmetology, and fashion design and management, opened umbrellas showing different smiling faces, while shouting the slogan: “Smiling is the only universal means of communication.”

The event was part of a worldwide project titled Merry that Mizutani had launched in 1999, in which he takes photographs of smiling people around the world together with handwritten notes of what happiness means to them.

Since the start of the project, as many as 30,000 people in more than 26 countries have participated.

According to Mizutani, the event in Tainan was his effort to thank Taiwanese for their generous donations to Japan in the wake of the tsunami disaster that followed a strong earthquake on March 11 last year.

While wishing for closer ties between the two countries, it was also an effort to encourage disaster victims to “get back on their feet” with smiles of hope and confidence, he added.

Director of Tainan University of Technology’s Innovation Incubation Center Ting Chih-chiang (丁知強) said that more than 150 students participated in the event.

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