More than 1,000 people yesterday attended Nuit Blanche, an all-night art gala in the Taipei Railway Station area featuring installation art by local and international artists, as well as sound and light shows.
Nuit Blanche originated in Paris in 2002, the Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs said, adding that it is observed internationally on the first Saturday of October and is aimed at making art more accessible to the public and allowing residents and tourists to see their cities in a new light.
Following a performance by a jazz group, a group of foreign delegates joined Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) to launch the event in the plaza in front of the National Taiwan Museum.
Photo: CNA, courtesy of the Taipei City Government Department of Cultural Affairs
“Taipei is the second major Asian city to host the event, after Kyoto [Japan]. The French representative to Taiwan told me that he finds Nuit Blanche in Kyoto boring, because the city is too quiet,” Ko said.
Ko said he did not know how well the event would be received, but he hoped that all participants would have a “sleepless” night of fun, in reference to the event’s slogan, “No one sleeps tonight.”
“Taipei has set numerous records today,” Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Wu Chih-chung (吳志中) said at the event.
“Taipei is the first among ethnic Chinese communities to hold the event in sync with the world. Due to the time difference, it has also become the first city internationally to start the event,” Wu added.
He said he hopes Taiwan and France will be able to forge deeper ties through the event.
European Economic and Trade Office head Madeleine Majorenko said she believes any city that is ready to reinvent itself and explore its artistic possibilities can host Nuit Blanche successfully, and that she believes Taipei is ready for this challenge.
French Office in Taipei Director Benoit Guidee said the Paris mayor came up with the idea of Nuit Blanche because he wanted Paris residents to have an opportunity to enjoy art in a casual setting.
He said he believes the event would help further relations between Taiwan and France.
Ko later arrived at the historic North Gate on Zhongxiao W Road to enjoy “light sculptures” being projected on the building, which changed to the beat of electronic dance music being broadcast live.
Performers danced pas-de-deux to Vaudeville music in front of the historic Taipei Beimen Post Office.
The event ran from 6pm last night to 6am today and cost the city NT$9.2 million (US$293,311).
The department said that some artworks featured in the event would continue to be displayed at suitable locations after the event.
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