TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The 2019 Taiwan Creative Expo officially opened in Taipei on Wednesday morning (April 24), coinciding with the inauguration of a new cultural corridor, which stretches along the defunct Civic Boulevard railroad from the Railway Ministry Park to the Taipei Pop Music Center.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) were among several honorary guests to speak at a launch ceremony hosted by comedian Mickey Huang (黃子佼).
Cheng thanked the artists, performers and cultural representatives for their contributions to the project. She stressed that their joint efforts have birthed a platform that will grant people a profound understanding of Taiwanese culture, from its beginnings within indigenous societies to its modern day manifestation.
The theme of this year’s Creative Expo is “Culture on the Move,” centering the ideas of movement and progression, which run through each element of the project.
Wednesday’s launch ceremony began with an ensemble of performances from drum and theater group U-Theatre. The theater’s current troupe and founding performers were united in a display of traditional story-telling.
The U-Theatre orchestra accompanied a palanquin procession that carried a modern artwork, said to symbolize the confluence of Taiwanese tradition and modernity, through the hall on to the stage.
The U-Theatre drum troupe (Image by Taiwan Ministry of Culture)
Following the performances, Su and Cheng switched on the palanquin’s inbuilt lights to symbolize the beginning of the 2019 Creative Expo.
The honorary guests then toured Huashan 1914 Creative Park’s “city pavilions,” which explore the local identities of four regions of Taiwan: Taoyuan (桃園), Tainan (台南), Pingtung (屏東) and Taitung (台東).
Places on the Move
The city pavilions compose a sub-exhibition entitled “Places on the Move,” for which creative minds were invited to procure artwork, artifacts and other objects emblematic of each region’s local characteristics. The landscapes, ceremonies and food cultures of each place are showcased through exciting, interactive displays.
The Taoyuan pavilion. (Taiwan News image)
Industrial development and design take center stage at the Taoyuan pavilion, which showcases some of the city’s emergent architectural triumphs alongside longstanding industries. Visitors can watch movie clips that turn the sounds of factories into songs, and make their own music via soundboards.
Tainan is generally regarded as the culinary capital of Taiwan, and as such, the Tainan pavilion focuses on food and the insight it gives into people’s lifestyles. Memoirs of Tainan are displayed alongside dining tables laid with traditional crockery and products, where visitors can listen to audio excerpts of conversations from the city.
Art installation at the Pingtung pavilion. (Taiwan News image)
The Pingtung pavilion features video introductions to the lives of several local people, including popular singer-songwriter HUSH (陳家偉). Interactive projections showing the processes behind local crafts sit before a moving Jacob’s ladder installation, on to which contemporary theater and dance performances are projected.
The Taitung pavilion features a display in which objects from the everyday lives of 12 people, including natives and new immigrants, are amassed to exhibit “authentic living experiences” from the city. Visitors are invited to sit amid a thatch plaza and enjoy lectures and performances. The pavilion also features an installation inspired by Puyuma construction techniques.
An exhibition dedicated to traditional Taiwanese craftsmanship associated with tea culture accompanies the city pavilions.
Premier Su at the tea pavilion. (Image by Taiwan Ministry of Culture)
Places on the Move is one of five sub-exhibitions held at different locations across the new cultural corridor. Huashan 1914 Creative Park, Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-Lab), TRW Railway Museum, Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, and Taipei Expo Park - Expo Dome will host a range of fairs, exhibitions and performances until May 5.
A full schedule of events can be found on the 2019 Creative Expo Taiwan website.