A large crowd flocked to the Taipei City Hall plaza yesterday to see an outdoor art exhibition that featured 1,600 paper giant pandas.
On the morning of the opening day, the display of the 30cm paper pandas drew more than 5,000 visitors, who excitedly snapped photographs.
However, some of them complained that they were kept too far away from the display and could not get a feel for the artwork.
“I would like to experience being surrounded by the pandas,” a visitor surnamed Chang (張) said.
The display, aimed at reminding people that there are only 1,600 giant pandas remaining in the wild, also includes 200 papier-mache Formosan black bears in an effort to raise awareness of the endemic Taiwanese species.
The 1,600 Pandas exhibition is a cooperative effort between Taipei and French papier-mache artist Paulo Grangeon, who visited the city zoo last month to study the endangered Formosan black bear, so that he could vividly represent the animal in the display.
The pandas and bears are to be displayed at the city hall plaza until March 9 and then at the plaza at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall between March 14 and March 30, the organizers said.
The art pieces are waterproof, organizers say, adding that bamboo hats and raincoats would be used to protect the displays in case of rain.
The exhibition is being held in Asia for the first time after touring more than 20 countries, the Taipei City Government said.
The inaugural show was held by the French section of the WWF in July 2008 at Paris City Hall, France, in collaboration with Grangeon.