Mon, Jan 20, 2020 - Page 2 News List

Kaohsiung draws fire over publication cover

PROMOTION:A borough warden said the image was unsuitable, but a city official said it suited the issue’s theme, which echoed Kaohsiung’s image as a port city

By Chen Wen-chan and Dennis Xie  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Taiwanese TV talk show host Li Jing is featured on the cover of the December issue of the Kaohsiung City Government’s monthly publication.

Photo: Copied by Chen Wen-chan, Taipei Times

The Kaohsiung City Government on Saturday drew criticism from city residents for its use of a photograph of Taiwanese TV talk show host Li Jing (利菁) on the cover of a monthly publication.

“At first glance, I almost mistook the publication for an erotic photo album, because Li is nearly naked, with only a thin piece of cloth on her body,” said Liao Chun-hua (廖春花), warden of Nansing Borough (南興) in Fengshan District (鳳山).

The publication should feature policies, development projects and tourism in the city, rather than an image of Li covered in sheer fabric, which is irrelevant and inappropriate, Liao said.

Neither the magazine nor the celebrities who had been chosen to promote city tourism over the past few months represent local culture, New Power Party Kaohsiung City Councilor Huang Jie (黃捷) said.

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) has failed to promote culture in the city since he took office in December 2018, and turned it into a “cultural desert,” Huang said.

She cited the Megaport Festival as an example, saying that the organizer of the popular annual music festival scrapped the event in September last year due to pressure from Han’s administration.

The Kaohsiung Lantern Festival, held near the Love River, has been mocked for resembling a Buddhist assembly due to the design and presentation of religious lanterns, she said.

However, the Pingtung Lantern Festival, which also displayed religious figures, won public praise rather than criticism, because the presentation was “fine and exquisite,” she said.

This shows the city government’s lax attitude toward culture and creativity, Huang said, adding that culturally rich Kaohsiung has more to offer as long as the city government values the traditions and local culture.

Kaohsiung Information Bureau Director-General Lincoln Ting (丁樂群) said that while aesthetics is subjective and diversified, featuring celebrities is one way to promote the city, especially when the theme of that issue was water, which echoes the image of Kaohsiung as a port city.

However, the city government would reflect on constructive criticism from the public, he added.

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