Following Suzon’s and my visit to Taiwan last year, I was invited again this year to the Art Summit 2014 – International Art Exhibition of People with Disability in Taiwan, Oct 6-9.
Rance Linger was assigned as my assistant and interpreter. A lovely guy from Taipei who spoke English perfectly, he met me at the airport and took me to a hotel for breakfast where we were joined by Mr Chen Tu Chin, President of the China Professional Skills Association for the Handicapped that organises this yearly summit. On his recommendation, we accepted an invitation from the visiting performing arts troupe from Fujian province, China, to tour around Taoyuan county that day, visiting the Cihu Mausoleum (where we saw the change of guards of Chiang Kai-shek’s tomb), taking a boat ride on a dam, and ending the day at a BBQ where the troupe performed a dance routine.
At the National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall the next day, renowned Taiwanese artist Professor Lee, Mr Chen, Rotary Club branch leaders and other dignitaries spoke, all the exhibited artists received certificates, and a confetti-releasing paper-lantern string-pulling ceremony was enacted. We all had a good laugh when one of the paper lanterns fell on the head of Korean artist Woong Ryeol Choi. Several artists displayed their painting techniques, while others took in the exhibition. After lunch, about 10 artists, including myself, spoke and displayed media about our artistic practice in a forum, before being rushed away to visit Vice-President Wu Den-yih in the Presidential Office Building. In the evening we sang karaoke over dinner in a restaurant.
After meeting the city mayor Hau Lung-pin on day 3, we all had lunch with Mr Chen. I then went with one of Woong Choi’s assistants, and Summit volunteer Cherry, to a cultural centre to see two design exhibitions, an exhibition about water and an antique wooden furniture display.
On our official day off, I was extremely fortunate to hook up with artist Woong Ryeol Choi and his assistants the next morning and join them on a day trip to a mountain spa in Yangmingshan National Park.