Posts Tagged ‘Stock 20’


January 8, 2011

A metal artist and good friend of mine – Esther (廖幸玲), who lives here in Taichung – has signed up for a competition created by a big Taiwanese book publisher. The company has asked people to submit an innovative idea which will inspire people to start reading very old Chinese classics. My friend has an amazing idea and has been accepted into the voting stage. So now she needs your vote to win!

Actually, the idea reminded me a bit of Singaporean artist Michael Lee’s book sculptures.

'Every Architecture is a Banana', 2008, book sculpture, found book, 42 x 29.7 x 15 cm. Edition of 1 Collection of the artist. Image from

'Every Architecture is a Banana', 2008, book sculpture, found book, 42 x 29.7 x 15 cm. Edition of 1 Collection of the artist. Image from

Here’s a bit about her proposal from the artist herself:

In my proposal, I wrote out an idea related to a book called “Dream of the Red Chamber” (紅樓夢) which is one of the top five Chinese literature classics. It’s about the ups and downs of a super big family and is set around 300 years ago. Over 300 figures appear in the book and there are lots and lots of superb and beautiful words and poems as well as an amazing descrition of how people lived at that time. It also presents a comparison between the poor and the rich, the higher, lower and lowest classes, love and hate, dream and realities, the powerful and the weak…

However, such a book has been dying in the readers’ market as the language is too hard for most people to read and understand. So I want to try my best to tell the story in a way people would understand – using modern language, metal work and other media. I would like to create a pop-out story book to give back to the world the beauty of this old classic and hopefully evoke some further discussion and sharing of it and interest in it.

At the moment I am at the second reviewing stage, trying to get into the final ten. To give me a better chance at getting there I need lots and lots (and lots!) of votes from Internet supporters. It would be highly appreciated if you could give me a vote by clicking on the link below. You can even vote more than once by voting from different computers because the voting system works by recording your IP address. It would be 3009% appreciated if you could spread the news to other people for me as well.

Go on… vote!

Click here to vote and show your support for Esther, reading and art. The page is in Chinese, so once you click through, you will see Esther’s name, (廖幸玲), and a number which shows the number of votes she has already. Just above the number you will see a little blue rectangle with the words “投他一票”. Simply click on the blue rectangle to show your support and record your vote.

As Ether herself says, “Thank you soooooooooooooooo much for your kind patience of reading this mail. And I would like to thank you for all the effort and care you have given me on this matter.”

Esther currently trains with and works part-time for Taichung-based metalwork studio Zamama. I wrote about them in them and the other inhabitants of Stock 20 in the winter issues of GuanXi.

Important update! Voting ends this Friday, 15 January, 2010.

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critique: is taichung soulless?

March 22, 2010

Can we really say that Taichung is a soulless city? Well, I kinda think yes.

A recent article is doing the rounds of all the English language newspapers in Taiwan. It discusses the possibility that Taichung is a soulless city, a city searching for it’s identity. After having lived here for a year, I must say that I think it is. It seems that there was once potential for it to become a culturally active city, but I feel that it has let those opportunities pass, or hasn’t promoted what it already has.

Stock 20

Being an inland, centrally positioned city often has its disadvantages and Taichung is not quite near the coast and not quite near the mountains. While the Dakeng Scenic Area is only a short scooter drive from Taichung’s Beitun District and is a really nice hiking trail area, the coastal areas near Taichung Port are underdeveloped and lacking promotion. In the same regard, central Taichung (the area around Taichung Train Station) has fallen into disrepair: “it would take at least five to six years to complete urban regeneration of the downtown area, the city’s earliest developed region which has lost its luster after business activities had moved elsewhere as Taichung developed into a multi-core city.”

Art Street

The article in the China Post goes into more detail regarding the past, present and future-planned developments of Taichung so I’ll let you read it for yourself here.

There are really only a handful of great places to eat, drink, view art and listen to music but overall, I feel there is a slim picking of cultural events, particularly public cultural events, to choose from each year. Perhaps I feel this way because I can’t access information in Chinese but I feel that after living here for a year and a bit I would know about at least the big events.

Sunday movies at Cat Lair

Of course, I don’t think the city is completely without soul. Here’s a quick list of my cultural, soul-growing spots and events:

Cat Lair (I just discovered that on Sundays they play movies outdoors just after the sun sets)
Stock 20
National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
Art Street – particularly the shop Hukurou
Taiyuan Flea Market
Taichung Jazz Festival
Taichung International Food and Music Festival

Let me know if you know of any other eateries, bars, galleries or events by leaving a comment. I’d LOVE to learn more about the city. Prove Taichung’s soul to me!

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