An advertisement displayed in the corridor of the underground Taipei City Mall has caused contention online with social media users saying that it depicts Taiwanese bears as servants of Chinese pandas.
The advertisement — which imitates the style of an ancient Chinese painting, but replaces people with bears — shows a scene in imperial China, with Formosan black bears laboring, while pandas relax and enjoy beverages.
“The development of the tourism industry is important, but this type of targeted advertising is extremely disrespectful — and it makes people uncomfortable,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chen E-jun (陳怡君) said.
Photo courtesy of Taipei City Councilor Chen E-jun
The advertisement, under the purview of the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA), intended to promote tourism, but it “denigrated the Formosan black bear,” which is Taiwan’s “national animal,” Chen added.
Given the Chinese military’s increased activity near Taiwan, the public is particularly sensitive about such depictions, she said.
Originally painted in 2014 by artist Chuang Hsin-tang (莊信棠), and titled Bears Along the River (熊熊上河圖), the painting is styled after Along the River During the Qingming Festival (清明上河圖), a work by Song Dynasty painter Zhang Zeduan (張擇端).
Chuang himself once said that the painting depicts the “current situation in Taiwan.”
The painting also shows foods that are typical in Taiwan, such as chicken cutlets, bubble tea, braised duck heads, glutinous rice cakes, Alishan tea and pig feet.
Asked for comment, the TRA said that the painting was a non-commercial advertisement placed for tourism purposes, and had been in place for two years.
Chuang in 2014 told the TRA that the painting showed common culture in Taiwan at the time, but given public concern, it has looked into replacing the advertisement, it said.
SUICIDE MOTIVE PROBED: The 50-year-old woman had a boyfriend in Taiwan and police entering her apartment found no signs of forced entry, but they did find charcoal Taipei police yesterday found a Spanish woman dead in her COVID-19 quarantine accommodations, although the cause of death is yet to be determined. The 50-year-old entered Taiwan on Oct. 2 and was due to leave quarantine today, police said. After officials failed to contact her yesterday morning, officers were dispatched to the apartment on Chengdu Road in Wanhua District (萬華) at 4pm, they said. Officers wearing full protective gear entered the apartment, where they found charcoal, but no signs of forced entry, they added. Police said they were investigating a possible motive for suicide, as there was no note at the scene. The woman had
FEW REMAIN: Conservationists tried to stop the demolition, but to no avail, and the owner cannot be fined, as the structure was not listed as a historical building One of the few remaining Japanese colonial-era granaries in Taiwan was dismantled by its owner on Friday, prompting outrage from conservationists. The granary, which was at No. 16, Lane 11, Hangzhou S Rd Sec 1 in Taipei, belonged to Taiwan Takushoku Corp during the colonial era, conservationist Chang Wan-lin (張琬琳) said, adding that she and others had been collecting information to reapply to have the building protected as a historical structure. During the colonial era, the granary served the area from Monga (艋舺) to what is now Songshan District (松山) in the north, she said. “Back then the eastern part
TROUBLEMAKER: The missiles, capable of striking up to 2,000km away, would likely be used to deter other nations from coming to Taiwan’s aid, a legislator said The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has reportedly deployed advanced hypersonic missiles along China’s southeast coast, which Taiwan’s missile defense system might have difficulty intercepting, an analyst said yesterday. Citing an unnamed military source, the South China Morning Post said that the missile bases on the coasts of China’s Fujian and Zhejiang provinces have been upgraded and are stocked with DF-17 missiles, equipped with hypersonic glide vehicles. “The DF-17 hypersonic missile will gradually replace the old DF-11s and DF-15s that were deployed in the southeast region for decades,” said the source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic. “The
SEEING THE POSITIVE: A majority of respondents in Taiwan said that they favored Trump because they think Taiwan-US ties would improve with him Among eight Asia-Pacific countries and regions, only Taiwan prefers US President Donald Trump over his challenger, former US vice president Joe Biden, in the upcoming US presidential election, a survey released on Thursday showed. According to the poll published by UK-based market research firm YouGov, 42 percent of Taiwanese favor Trump in the Nov. 3 election, while 30 percent back Biden and 28 percent have no opinion. In contrast, respondents in Malaysia favor Biden over Trump 62 percent to 9 percent, and in Singapore by 66 percent to 12 percent, the survey showed. Biden also led Trump in Australia (60 percent to 21