Art and Entertainment

Days – first look review

Taiwanese master Tsai Ming-liang returns with a profound, meditative poem on the human need for connection.

Little White Lies
Date: 29 FEB 2020
By: Greg Wetherall

Tsai Ming-liang has spent the best part of his 31-year career honing his unique blend of slow cinema. Seven years after announcing his intention to retire from 35mm narrative feature filmmaking after Stray Dogs (which won the Grand Jury Prize at Venice in 2013), the Taiwanese master makes a welcome return with Days.

Those already acquainted with Tsai’s work may be pleased to find that his time away exploring the capabilities of VR with the likes of The Deserted and Your Face has not changed his mode of style. Many of his trademarks remain, including long takes from fixed camera positions as well as the theme of alienation.

Lee Kang-sheng, the director’s proxy since 1991’s Boys, lives alone in a big house. Non (Anong Houngheuangsy) resides in a small apartment in town. Kang acquires the services of masseur Non in a hotel room. They inhabit each other’s lives for a small window of time before parting ways.

Plot is a nebulous concept in Tsai’s universe. Conventional pacing and story structure are substituted for ambience. Scenes can last for what feels like an age as Tsai focuses on a single image: Non preparing food; Kang taking a bath, or counting money in a hotel room.

Kang and Non frequently drift in and out of the established shot; the camera acting less as an active participant than a passive, indiscriminate observer. Sounds are limited to those of Kang and Non’s surroundings, such as rain pattering on a window pane, or traffic on a busy street.

Content agency to debut at European Film Market

Taipei Times
Date: Feb 14, 2020
By: Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan Creative Content Agency is to make its international trade fair debut at the European Film Market in Berlin next week, the agency said yesterday.

Founded last year to promote Taiwanese cultural content, the agency would be taking three Taiwanese films — including Chi: The Method of Breathing (氣) by director Liu Yi (劉易) — to the event as part of its IP Showcase initiative, it said.

Last year, the Golden Horse Film Project Promotion platform presented Chi with the MM2 Creative Award and the Content Digital Film Award.

The agency is expected to participate in 20 international trade fairs this year, its president, Hu Ching-fang (胡晴舫), said at a news conference in Taipei.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan singer Elva Hsiao admits she has dated more than 100 men

Straits Times
Date: Feb  2, 2020, 4:50 PM SGT
By: Loh Keng Fatt

Taiwan singer Elva Hsiao revealed in a Chinese comedy show that she has gone on dates with more than 100 men.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM ELVA HSIAO/FACEBOOK

Taiwan singer Elva Hsiao is not short of male company, with her revelation that she has gone on dates with more than 100 men.

Appearing on Chinese comedy show Roast!, the 40-year-old said she is not bothered by what others think about her love life, adding that she is not one to hole up at home and brood alone.

But she dismissed talk that she has had more than 17 boyfriends in the last 16 years, noting that "I just get photographed whenever I'm out on a date at the movies or at dinner".

Hsiao, 40, has been linked romantically to younger men, including Taiwanese actor Kai Ko, 28, Singapore businessman Elroy Cheo, 34, and Taiwanese professional golfer Michael Chen, 27.

Exhibition celebrates the ubiquitous art of calligrapher Tung Yang-tzu

Focus Taiwan
Date: 01/29/2020
By: Chao Ching-yu and Matthew Mazzetta

Photo courtesy of Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Taipei, Jan. 29 (CNA) Although Tung Yang-tzu (董陽孜) is perhaps not a household name, it is hard to go anywhere in Taiwan without encountering her calligraphy.

Her work appears everywhere, from the passport stamps at immigration control, to the logos of Taiwan's Ministry of Culture, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and Huashan Creative Park; the covers of books by renowned novelist Pai Hsien-yung (白先勇); in the main hall of Taipei Station and the arrivals terminal of Songshan Airport; even in a music video by the pop star Jay Chou (周杰倫).

Now, 94 of Tung's large-format pieces, as well as oil paintings dating from early in her career, are being exhibited at Taipei Fine Arts Museum, in a solo retrospective called "Moving Ink."

Born in Shanghai in 1942, Tung came to Taiwan at age 10, and studied art at National Taiwan Normal University. After a period spent developing her skills in the United States, Tung returned to Taiwan in 1977 to devote herself full-time to calligraphy.    [FULL  STORY]

‘The Misused 2.0’ Reinvents Taiwanese and Dutch Hardware Design

Taiwan was often referred to as the “world’s hardware store," and two Taiwanese industrial designers are retaining this part of history with an annual exhibition that provokes viewers to reimagine daily objects.

The News Lens
Date: 2020/01/24
By: Jeremy Van der Haegen

Photo credit: The Misused

Transforming a plastic door knob into a lamp holder, an air vent into a modular shelf or a flagpole holder into a vase. These are some of the charming and thought-provoking hardware revamps at “The Misused 2.0” exhibition. The exhibit is currently on view at Not Just Library (不只是圖書館), tucked away within the Songshan Creative and Culture Park in Taipei.

The previous “Misused” edition in 2018 focused on improvised hardware in rural Taiwan, often providing unexpected and even humorous solutions in daily life. For the second edition, the artists are instead showcasing Dutch hardware appliances. Some objects will be unfamiliar to the Taiwanese audience at first glance. It encourages the visitor to learn about the specificity of tools in the Netherlands, while exploring its alternate “misuses.”

Industrial designer duo Chen Liang-jung and Yang Shuei-yuan have created an intercultural study through the exhibition — they want to make the observer question the original functions of hardware and how regional differences developed.

The pair shared a clear opinion on the global usage of hardware: the intended use and “misuse” of appliances both count as correct paths to creation and technique.    [FULL  STORY]

2020 Taipei Game Show to spotlight future of gaming

'Final Fantasy' producer Shinji Hashimoto to join international lineup of keynote speakers at 18th TGS in February

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/12/28
By: Micah McCartney, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Hashimoto served as executive producer of next year’s Final Fantasy VII Remake. (Trailer screen capture)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taipei Game Show (TGS) is returning to Taipei for its 18th year to give gamers and industry players alike a glimpse into what 2020 has in store for the world of interactive entertainment.

The TGS, which is organized each year by the Taipei Computer Association, had humble beginnings. Once held in a small facility near Taipei Songshan Airport, the two-day convention now fills the sprawling Nangang Exhibition Center and has seen the number of attendees expand from 1,000 to 100,000.

The event is divided into two sections: the B2B (business to business) Zone and B2C (business to customer) Zone, according to organizers. It will also host the Asia Pacific Game Summit (APGS), which features talks by big and up-and-coming names in the industry, from founders of indie startups to producers of major developers.

On the B2C side of things, organizers promise visitors an "amusement park" — a wealth of products to try out that span the realms of online gaming, consoles, virtual reality, eSports, and even board games. More than 100 companies will be showing off their wares, with exhibitors hailing from Taiwan, neighboring Japan, South Korea, China, and Hong Kong as well as Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America.    [FULL  STORY]

Talent show gives those with hearing impairment a stage

Taipei Times
Date: Dec 15, 2019
By: Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Dozens of people with hearing impairment, along with their families, yesterday gathered in Taipei to see the results of their performances in a talent show.

The annual event is now in its seventh year, hearing aid provider and event host Clinico said.

The Performers included sisters Chen Yen-jung (陳妍蓉) and Chen Ssu-ching (陳楒晴), eight and seven years old respectively; Yeh Chun-ping (葉君萍), 40; Yang Ting-yu (楊婷淯), 13; Yeh Chun-ho (葉俊和), four; Lin Fei-yang (林飛揚), 12; Chen Yu-lin (陳宥霖), 10; and Huang Yi-chen (黃苡真), five, Clinico said.

Yeh Chun-ping lost hearing in her left ear about 10 years ago, but was initially optimistic, she said.

‘Over the Rainbow’ turns on the tears in Taiwan

There was crying in the aisles at a preview in Taipei for a biographical movie about star Judy Garland

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/12/14
By: Lyla Liu, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

“Judy” will be released in Taiwan on Dec. 20. (Cai Chang International photo)\

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The award-nominated film "Judy" starring Renée Zellweger will be released in Taiwan on Dec. 20.

Featuring the life of the legendary American movie star, Judy Garland, it focuses on the last years of her life, when she lived in London. Zellweger is best known for movies such as "Bridget Jones's Diary," "Chicago," and "Down With Love."

Garland’s life reflects the sadness behind the glamorous entertainment business, according to film company Cai Chang International. Director Rupert Goold said the script, written by Tom Edge, intrigued him by emphasizing just the beginning and end of Garland’s career.

Zellweger has been nominated as Best Actress in the category of Motion Picture Drama by the 77th Golden Globe Awards for her role in the film "Judy." Additionally, the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society Awards announced that Zellweger is a nominee for the Best Actress Award.

Q&A With KEFF, Director of ‘The Secret Lives of Asians at Night’

"The Secret Lives of Asians at Night" is a short film featured in the 2019 Taipei Film Festival. Taiwanese-American director KEFF talks about his upbringing and the inspiration for the film.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/12/13
By: New Bloom editor Brian Hioe

Q&A With KEFF, Director of 'The Secret Lives of Asians at Night'

Source: KEFF

BH: So what led you to make the film, The Secret Lives of Asians at Night? Do you think it has to do with your background?

KEFF: I moved to the U.S. when I was 10. When you’re an immigrant at that age, going to a new place, your greatest priority is fitting in. I moved to a neighborhood that was 95 percent white — in that context, it meant having to neglect and suppressing the Asian part of myself.

I remember when my Mom would speak Mandarin to me in public I would get upset at her. I would say, “We’re in America, speak English.” Or she would make luroufan for me and I would bring it to school and get made fun of. I’d ask her, “Why can't you just give me Lunchables or something standard like everyone else?”

As a result, I never really thought that much about being Asian growing up. I didn’t really think of it as a culture or heritage — just more of a statistic, like your height or eye color.    [FULL  INTERVIEW]

Documentary on late American dancer set for release in Taiwan

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 11 December, 2019
By: Shirley Lin

A scene from ChanceOperations, a work of late American dancer Merce Cunningham (Photo by Sky Digi Entertainment)

A documentary about the late American dancer Merce Cunningham will be shown in Taiwan in January 2020. The film incorporates an interview on how I-Ching, an ancient Chinese divination text, influenced his work.    [FULL  STORY]