Jyou-Tian Folk, a special art group many of whose members were once dropouts or even criminals, has started its performance tour around Taiwan.
The journey inspired by spiritual renewal started on December 17 and had the Huashan Culture Park as its first stop. The group is scheduled to complete its performance tour in three months, bringing drum music and dance to the culture centers of counties and cities. The team with a dozen members travels with 40 drums and four trucks.
Among these twenty something young men, many have been playing drums for four or five years. “I see in them the passion and new spirit devoted to folk art,”said Syu Jhen-rong, the director of Jyou-Tian. “They are high school graduates, but they teach college students how to play drums.”
Jyou-Tian Folk's performance is aimed at promoting folk arts which some have assumed as an art form for gangsters or juvenile delinquents.
“This is an excellent example of how people are inspired by art and here we can see how these young men's lives are changed,” said Chen Chi-nan, Minister of Council for Culture Affairs (CCA). Jyou-Tian cultivates talents for the folk arts that are often seen in Taiwanese religious rituals. Drum playing and religious dances in Taiwan temples have been are an important part of folk culture. Unlike other art forms, Jyou-Tian represents a more original type, deeply rooted in Taiwan society and connected to Taiwanese people.
Thanks to Jyou-Tain, these art forms have taken on new ways of presentation in both domestic and overseas venues. Since 2002, the group has performed in Vancouver, Toronto, Hon Kong and Korea.
In 2004, the group's members climbed Mt. Jade with drums on their backs.
From December 17 to March 2006, everyone is invited to join their journey. You can walk one kilometer and get the opportunity to sign on one of their drums as a souvenir for having participated in this event.