TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- To celebrate Oct. 17 Taiwan Culture Day, 175 museums and cultural venues will be free and open to the public today, announced the Ministry of Culture (MOC) yesterday (Oct. 16).
To celebrate the anniversary of the Taiwan Cultural Association (台灣文化協會), as founded on Oct. 17, 1921, former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in 2001 designated Oct. 17 Taiwan Culture Day. While events tapered off during the Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration, activities were stepped up again in 2016 by Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君).
This year, the theme is "Telling Stories of Taiwan," which will include a number of cultural activities and free admission to 175 museums and cultural venues, including the Grass Mountain Chateau, Wufeng Lin Family Mansion and Garden, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, and Hualien's Pine Garden.
Among the cultural events held today are the Taiwan Culture Day film festival hosted by the National Museum of Taiwan Literature, showcasing cultural films from Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Europe, as well as discussions after the films. The National Museum of History will hold a series of exhibitions on the published works of the Taiwan Cultural Association, and through a simulation of the era when the Taiwan Cultural Association was founded, visitors can experience and understand the society at the time.
The National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra will hold a concert to celebrate Taiwan Cultural Day today. Wu Yao-yu (吳曜宇), a young conductor who won the highest award in the World Music Competition has been invited to lead the concert and violinist Tseng Yu-Chien (曾宇謙) has been invited to perform a solo. The music performed will represent different eras in Taiwan's history.
Local governments across Taiwan are planning various art and cultural activities to celebrate Taiwan Culture Day. For example, Chanhua County is organizing events such as the New Drama Festival and Literature City Day.
The Association for Taiwan Literature, Chiang Wei-shui's Cultural Foundation, Taiwan Society North, and other non-governmental organizations will also conduct related activities today.
Cheng said that he looks forward to inheriting the spirit of Taiwan's Culture Day and imagining that the overall construction of Taiwan culture in the 21st Century can form the basis from which the government can "support the development of folk culture, pursue the promotion of Taiwan through culture, and use culture to record the definition of Taiwanese people in 21st Century world history."
The Taiwan Cultural Association was influential not only in cultural affairs, but also in social movements as well as political activities at that time. The association members were known for pushing forward a movement that demanded the establishment of a Taiwanese parliament under the Japanese government at the end of the 1920s.
For more information on today's cultural events, please visit the MOC's official Taiwan Culture Day webpage.