Taiwan

Upcoming Event ~ “Taiwan Fest!”

Hey Folks!  

Heard from the ACSEA (Asian-Canadian Special Events Association) and they are putting on what sound’s like a really cool event in Downtown Toronto and Vancouver! 🙂 

Each year, this organization hosts the annual TAIWANfest, and this year it’s going to be called “Dialogues with Asia” starting with “A Cultural Tango with Hong Kong.”  The event’s purpose is the “engage Torontonians and Vancouverites in a cultural dialogue to better understand Asian cultures.” But I’m sure they’d love for people of all locales to stop buy and participate! Sounds like a great opportunity to learn more about not only Taiwan (an awesome place – most of my students say that it is actually more like old-style, traditional China than even the mainland) but also other countries in the Asian sphere.

You can see the schedule for August 26-28 here and September 3-5 here. Special events include an International Pan Asian Culinary event and “A Cultural Tango with Hong Kong Symphony” Check it out!

Who:  ACSEA (Asian-Canadian Special Events Association)

When: August 26-28, 2016 (in Toronto) &  September 3-5, 2016 (in Vancouver)

Where: 

Harbourfront Centre
235 Queens Quay W
Toronto, ON M5J 2G8

The Centre / Granville Street / QE Theatre Plaza
Vancouver Playhouse Annex

More Information: Here.

“TAIWANfest returns to Harbourfront Centre and Downtown Vancouver this summer and begins its “Dialogues with Asia” series with “A Cultural Tango with Hong Kong.” One of the great ways to experience the culture is to take part in the Friendship Picnic – a program designed to cultivate new friendships over food. Mark down the dates and get ready to meet someone from Taiwan or Hong Kong. If you’re a little more adventurous, try the Hakka nutritional beverage called Lei-Cha, made from ground up seeds and nuts. For some great stories, check out the full Experience HAKKA! Redefine your understanding of Asian cultures with exhibits and films August 26-28 at Harbourfront Centre and September 3-5 in Downtown Vancouver.”

 

 

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TaiwanFest showcases culture, art, and paper cranes

“TaiwanFest showcases culture, art, and paper cranes”

by Alison Shouldice via “The Star

Harry Chen folded 2,345 paper cranes while recovering from kidney cancer.

For Harry Chen, a folded paper crane is a hope for many things: freedom, democracy, world peace — and his own good health.

Chen, a Taiwanese-Canadian, has recently made a habit of folding small origami paper cranes.

He has also spent the last two years living with kidney cancer.

“When I was in the hospital, I started to fold those things,” he said, but it’s a skill he’s had for some time. At six years old, his kindergarten teacher first taught him origami to stop his crying.

After undergoing surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, Chen’s cancer is now under control. In July 2014, when he was out of the hospital but still recovering, he began folding more cranes in his spare time: on the bus, in the doctor’s waiting room and while out shopping with his wife.

He was inspired by the story of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who famously attempted to fold 1,000 paper cranes in 1955 for good health. Sasaki developed leukemia after she had been exposed to radiation from the Hiroshima atomic bomb as a young child.

With Sasaki in mind, Chen kept folding, and just 10 months later, he stopped at 2,345: a representation of Taiwan’s 23.45 million population.

Chen is displaying his cranes, attached onto mobiles, at TaiwanFest this weekend at the Harbourfront Centre. On Friday evening, a crowd had already gathered around Chen’s display.

Organizers expect up to 50,000 people to pop in between Friday and Sunday for the festivities.

In addition to Chen’s mobiles, there are several other art and cultural pieces on display throughout the Harbourfront grounds. The festival is multidisciplinary, incorporating art, music, culture and food.

It’s held for two weekends back to back: this weekend in Toronto the next in Vancouver. The guests tend to be Taiwanese-Canadians coming from all areas of the city, according to the festival’s managing director Charlie Wu.

But the event is also for Torontonians who may not know a lot about Taiwan.

“It’s important for TaiwanFest to be in downtown venues,” Wu said. “We always feel that Taiwanese-Canadians and Asian-Canadians like to share their cultures in a more mainstream environment where other Canadians get to see it.”

Diverse programming is the key to attracting non-Taiwanese Canadians to the festival, he said. For instance, this year, they are hosting a fashion designer whose heritage is of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples, who dwelled on the island for thousands of years before the now-predominant Han Chinese began arriving in numbers in the 17th century. It’s hoped that presence of the designer, known simply as Andre, attracts Torontonians with a general interest in fashion or indigenous peoples’ culture and art. . . . .

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Coming Exhibition: A Parallel Tale ~ Taipei in 80s X Hong Kong in 90s

“A Parallel Tale ~ Taipei in 80s X Hong Kong in 90s”

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Who:  

Comic Home Base
Hong Kong Arts Centre
Dala Publishing Company

When: June 25, 2014 – Aug. 31, 2014 (Sat.-Sun 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.)

Where: 

Comic Home Base
North Campus Drive
Provo, Utah 84602

How Much:  Free!

More Information: Here and Here.

Participating Hong Kong Comics Artist: Fung Chi-ming, Ho Ka-fai, Seeman Ho, Li Chi-tak, Justin Wong 
Participating Taipei Comics Artist: 61Chi, Sean Chuang, Amin Lee, Push Comic (Ah Tui), Ahn Zhe (Tu Tse-Wei) 

Comics artists from Hong Kong and Taipei set out on a fascinating time-travel trip with their drawing pens, taking a stroll down the memory lane to trace the footprints they left in the two cities in the 80s and 90s. Stories and scenes that pop up in the artists’ minds as they revisit the old times are transformed into pages of original comics – some light-hearted and some thought-provoking – to illuminate their memories of the people and things from a few decades ago, and even the social and cultural phenomena at that time. 

Featuring 10 comics artists and 10 comics works loaded with nostalgia, the exhibition takes everyone to travel backward in time, returning to the Hong Kong and Taiwan in the sweet, old past. The exhibition was held in Taiwan as one of the programmes of the “Hong Kong Week 2013@Taipei” and received overwhelming response. The exhibition will be shown in Hong Kong in this summer. In addition to the exhibition, there are also a series of side events aiming to offer the general public valuable insight into the comics and publishing industry both in the past and at present, as well as the startling artistic ability and creative talent of the artists from Hong Kong and Taiwan. 

Side Events

– 1+1 Live Drawing Demonstration

– Sharing Session: I Am a Comics Artist/ Publisher!

NJ Rhino Horn Smuggling Case ~ Outcome

I know I’m a little late to the table on the whole “Ivory-banning” topic, but a case was just settled on the issue, so I thought it was an interesting share.   Message To Leave With–Ivory of all kind is pretty much forboten in the States right now. So don’t try smuggling in or out anything made of Rhino or Elephant ivory; you risk a hefty fine and/or prison time.  

A little (Super-Simplified) background on the laws themselves:

Endangered Species Act (1973)–>More or less stated that protecting our “natural heritage” (as opposed to  artifacts/art/man-made heritage) was an important duty for Americans. It went on to begin outlining basic legal protections for the “native plants and animals” that were considered endangered or on the verge of extinction.  Out of this came the:

African Elephant Conservation Act (1989)–> This act acknowledged that African elephants (and because they are “indistinguishable,” Asian Elephants) were on the verge of extinction (note the link here they made to previous law). Furthermore, the “illegal trade” was a large part of the problem, and the US had a responsibility to put a stop to such trade on its own shores.  Take note: sport hunting was left out in this act as being OK. Thus, you just needed to prove that your ivory/Elephant parts came from sport hunting instead of poaching, and you were all good.  Closely linked to and resembling this act was the soon to follow:

Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act (1994)–> As with the Elephant Act, the Rhino & Tiger Act started by stating that the Rhinos and Tigers were (under the Endangered Species Act definitions) considered to be endangered.  And once again, the “illegal trade” was most of the problem, and the US had a responsibility here to stop such trade.  Exact wording:  “A person shall not sell, import, or export, or attempt to sell, import, or export, any product, item, or substance intended for human consumption or application containing, or labeled or advertised as containing, any substance derived from any species of rhinoceros or tiger.”  

 This one went a little further in that the US had signed a contract with a bunch of other countries that it would actually destroy any stockpiles of Rhino horns that it found. Personally, I think this was a massive waste of ivory that didn’t benefit the Rhinos and only boosted the black market for their horns (where there is less of an item, more and more people want it).  Whatever you believe, this was a huge situation between US and Chinese/Taiwanese wildlife exporters.  The US actually put into place a ban on Taiwanese exports of wildlife into the US in 1994 because Taiwan had not changed their rules enough to suit the US government.  Nonetheless, there was still a  loophole for sport hunting or “legally taken trophies” here.  This meant that all the little “buddhas” or trinkets made out of ivory, or even the old pianos that had real ivory keys, were still okay for transport if you could show that they weren’t poached ivory.

Everything moved along, with minor disputes arising as to what was ivory, how bad the penalties should be etc. Then the next major change actually showed up this year (2014).  

February 11, 2014, the Department of Interior announced that it was going to officially ban ALL Commercial trade of Ivory in an effort to stop poaching.  This meant that it was taking away the little “Sport hunting”/”Legal Trophy” loophole that was left by previous laws.  It would impact all ivory taken from African Elephants and Rhinos.   Their argument was that the ivory trade was increasing; I would argue that this was a direct result of the rising demand for a suddenly “rare” commodity such as the governments had created with their previous bans.  

PROBLEM: suddenly, picking up little buddha or ivory trinket during your layover in India wasn’t quite so safe as it had been.  It was now going to be illegal to trade in pretty much any type of Ivory. The only exceptions were a “narrow class of antiques” already protected under the original Endangered Species Act (see how the lawyers intertwined these laws!) and those ivory pieces you already owned. Basically, you had to prove that you were exempt and this requirement was getting fairly strict (it had to be imported into the US before 1990 for African Elephant Ivory and 1975 for Asian Elephants).

This has potentially serious impacts on a ton of cultural resources, which is why you are probably still seeing quite a few articles discussing the situation.

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Now, with that extensive background, I bring you the recently decided NJ Rhino Horn Smuggling Case.

In December 2013, Zhifei Li, a Chinese citizen and owner of “Overseas Treasure Finding, pled guilty to smuggling rhinoceros horns from the United States into China.  He apparently paid three different antiquities dealers to assist him in exporting around thirty rhino horns and “objects” made from rhino and elephant horns.  Altogether, the items were worth approximately $4.5 million.  He has just been sentenced to six years in prison and a $3.5 million fine.

Mr. Li was officially tried under the older, pre-2014 amended laws.  But now with the changes, those laws could apply to you to.  So, as I said at the beginning, don’t try bringing in or out anything made of Rhino or Elephant ivory; it’s not worth the battle.