Thu, Nov 22, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Township residents take issue with abstract park art

By Liu Pin-chuan, Tseng Nai-chiang and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

An abstract iron sculpture is pictured near railway tracks at Shueili Train Station in Nantou County on Tuesday.

Photo: Liu Pin-chuan, Taipei Times

Residents have complained that the sculptures at a new park established in a vacant lot near the local railway station in Nantou County’s Shueili Township (水里) are too abstract and impractical.

The township authorities placed 10 large abstract iron sculptures in a public park near a pair of warehouses formerly belonging to the Taiwan Railways Administration in an effort to revitalize the area, sources said.

However, a number of township residents on Tuesday said that while they applaud the authorities for establishing the park, they are not happy with its emptiness or the strange art.

The open space is appreciated, but the park does not have a slide or a jungle gym, so there is nothing for children to do during a family outing, one resident said, adding that they feel the sculptures are “too high-concept” for the average park-goer.

The township office said it got the sculptures free from a local art group and that they are supposed to represent the painted faces seen in traditional opera.

At the moment, the focus is on renovating the warehouses for tourism and the pieces are only meant to decorate the park, which is still under construction, the office said.

The township has plans to build facilities for children early next year and erect a plaque explaining the art, it said, adding that the pieces would be removed if they are incompatible with future plans.

In other news, the Siraya National Scenic Area in Chiayi County on Tuesday unveiled a bell and an arch — both decorated with red roses — that it said would make the park more attractive to couples looking for a romantic outing.

The rose-themed structures and installations are located in the Red Flower Garden, which is inspired by a tale about an affair between a young Han man and a Tsou maiden named “Red Flower,” scenic area tourist center chief Lin Hung-wei (林宏緯) said.

The garden was established and the greeting center refurbished after floods damaged the original structure last year, he said, adding that the project cost NT$7.64 million (US$247,249).

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