Sun, Oct 15, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Festival showcases Dadaocheng

RETRO STYLE:At yesterday’s Datung March, part of the third annual Tua-Tiu-Tiann International Festival of Arts, visitors revisited a 1920s Yongle Market and Dihua Street

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, second right, poses with visitors to the Tua-Tiu-Tiann International Festival of Arts at the city’s Dihua Street yesterday.

Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

A series of art performances and presentations by artisans celebrating the cultural history of Taipei’s Dadaocheng (大稻埕) area was held yesterday afternoon as part of the third annual Tua-Tiu-Tiann International Festival of Arts.

At the event, called the Datung March, visitors watched a variety of theater, dance and music performances, as well as a 1920s costume parade, while vendors decorated their stores in a 1920s theme, a time when Dadaocheng was a bustling commercial area. The performances were staged on the plaza and inside historical buildings near Yongle Market (永樂市場) on Dihua Street (迪化街).

Dadaocheng was the origin of the new Taiwanese cultural movement and the beginning point of the city’s cultural history, Taipei Department of Information and Tourism Commissioner Chien Yu-yen (簡余晏) said, adding that the department planned the series of events to promote tourism in the area, hoping to attract more young people and foreign visitors seeking to learn about its rich history and culture.

Decorated in the retro style of a traditional fabric market, a Green 17 bus — a bus line that takes passengers to the city’s popular tourist attractions associated with traditional tea, Chinese medicine and traditional fabrics — was also introduced yesterday.

The tea, Chinese medicine and traditional fabric industries are the prominent features of Dihua Street, said Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who attended yesterday’s event dressed in a 1920s-style outfit.

The fabric vendors of Yongle Market have kept the traditional aspects of their trade while incorporating new and creative elements, he said, adding that the whole area would hopefully become the city’s best public museum after renovation projects at the market are completed.

Responding to a question from the media about a report that the city government was spending more than NT$60 million (US$1.99 million) to refurbish the market building while water leaks remained unresolved, Ko only said “we will locate the leaks and repair them.”

The Taipei City Market Administration Office said that the building, which has been standing for more than three decades, has tiles that are crumbling off its exterior walls, and, although a refurbishment project began last year, a preliminary inspection last month found 122 mild defects that must be fixed.

The department has set a deadline of Oct. 17 for the contractor to fix the problems, including the water leaks, with another inspection being set for between Oct. 18 and Oct. 20, it said.

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