Taipei - a friendly City 




Taipei Second Try. Actually, I was already finished with the experiences about the city - but then I had a very pleasant end, the weather changed after all that rain, one of the  mornings greeted me with a bright sun. Nevertheless, I remain convinced that Taipei belongs to those cities that impress with its charm only at second sight. 


If you walk off the beaten track and simply stroll through the streets, you will notice that the pulse of this city is certainly a little higher, but it doesn't follow the big cities of the world, but has its own rhythm very self-confidently. I find it very pleasant, not hectic, not chaotic or even exhausting. 


Taipei is a friendly city and this sums it up. Despite my lack of knowledge of Chinese, I have always found friendliness and understanding. Be it trying to order a coffee or some food. But this also belongs to it - leaving the comfort zone and drifting or getting involved in new ways and situations. 


Apparently Taiwan is a pioneer in many food trends and tries new things out and I have to say that even a soup with beef for 2 Euro was a real treat. There are a lot of small pastry shops - where you can go behind the counter and get a personal demonstration. A dream for every foodie. 



Besides I have also seen very bizarre things, like handbags and backpacks in the shape of a cat or dog, personally painted socks, great pottery, art and plastic toys for every age group and again and again in very small shops with personal touch. Annanas cake is a big thing here - something too sweet for me personally. But  people leaving the shops with huge packages, as if there are no more cakes tomorrow. 





I write these lines after my blog about Going Solo - maybe I am very relaxed right now and my synapses are set to receive. Each station of this trip has prepared me for the time all by myself - sometimes more sometimes less and certainly I enjoyed not staying in a tent or staying in a hostel. It is also a journey of the soul and the person - in this case me - is a bit indulged sometimes. I think only I myself can estimate whether this was the right way - in any case I have discovered many new things, my treasure of experience has been enriched and the eyes and the mind are open for changes. 


Beside the beautiful pictures from Taipei - I would like to invite you to a special exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum (MOCA Taipei). I had read about it before and therefore it was an integral part of my visit. This you find at the end of my time in Taipei - also with pictures. 



Almost twenty years after the arrival of the 21st century, human beings are now faced with a contradiction: on the one hand, there has been a wide range of obvious and large-scale out-of-control situations – whether it is people’s psychological condition, family, society, politics or the climate – and a new control system and operation logic have emerged, turning humans into vessels of data, i.e. zombie-like laborers and consumers in the operation of big data. This paradox not only involves political issues on a social and national scale, but also points to the changes occurred after human’s intellect and technological advancement have enveloped the entire Earth in a vortex of development, exposing the dilemma resulting from the disillusionment of “Earth as an object of development.”


Consequently, catastrophes have evolved from “natural disasters” to “man-made calamities,” and even become “shared karmic consequences” that mix natural and man-made disasters. As technology and knowledge have growing control over “nature” and “environment,” disorder has now become more frequent and part of the everyday life. In the era of total capital competition, “control” becomes a dominant approach, and “catastrophes” seem to happen on a regular basis. Due to the demand and development of democracy, “control” now extends into our lives and bodies; and “catastrophes” have changed from “nobody’s fault” to “no one’s responsibility.” It is circumstances like these that catastrophes have progressed from being the embodiment of human’s ignorant fear and imagined punishment to assume another role—the polemic Gaia: the continuation of the human race and other creatures have shaped the Earth and caused its changes. The variation of the traditional territory happens quickly and drastically, like a suddenly derailed train that scrapes and distorts the surface of the Earth, and forms strata of layered landscape, human and animal activities, electric currents and data. Perhaps, the shaking and stirring of earthquakes are to reveal that catastrophes are indeed geological layers.



The exhibition opens with Pierre Huyghe’s Cerro Indio Muerto, an image taken at Chile’s Atacama Desert, which introduces us into an apocalyptic landscape that mixes natural and man-made disasters. Students from Taiwan’s east coast (Zeng Xiang-Chi, Lo Shih-Pin and Ikong Hacii) and Hong Kong students (the TNUA Concern Group for HK Anti-Extradition Bill) respectively convey their creative responses to natural and man-made disasters as well as the strata of sensibility they have explored layer after layer. Sachiko Kazama’s woodcut prints feature how the colonial modernity has spread to the East and the trajectory of Japan’s modern development to examine the schizophrenic state entangled by colonization and development. Tuan Mami revisits his hometown, which has changed because of the mining industry, and delineates the moment when even breathing is dictated by the pulses of global capitalist development. On the other hand, Tsubasa Kato, joined by a group of people, reconstructs a symbolic landmark to nurture and cultivate the spirit that helps us embrace the future.


Chen Yin-Ju and James T. Hong rebuild the “Turner House” based on a novel, and associates it with the crucial role of White Supremacy in the development of modern history to trace the abnormal force behind the development of humanity in modern history. From their work, the audience are then led to the quiet landscape created by Zhou Tao, which speaks of the healing of life and environment. The paradoxical silence will carry the audience into a strangely intense journey of mourning—from Ai Weiwei’s lament for the lives of refugees, to Pakavulay’s red quinoa, lianas, bamboo heart that re-imagines the diasporic existence of indigenous people, to Eleng Luluan’s enwrapped, dark sculpture that visualizes the traumas caused by past catastrophes. At the end, the audience will witness an imminent tsunami that is about to overwhelm Taipei in Wu Chi-Tao’s work, which embeds the disaster in a gloomy, ethereal yet somewhat perfect state. Co/inspiration in Catastrophes is not to document spectacles with art but to prevent catastrophes from devouring the soul.



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Here is Tom. Just a creative, food loving, traveling guy from Frankfurt. Lets rock the world.