Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Ten-Ten Day in Taipei

Emma Steiner with one of Jane's maps

Jane at the opening of her show

Sculpture decorated with Jane's art

Early Friday morning I got a taxi to the train station in Taichung where I met Tim and Jane to go to her show in Taipei that afternoon. Her show was called "Made in Taiwan" and consisted of hand-made paper "maps" of many Taiwan counties. The paper was made by Jane from plants indigenous to those areas and then she made the sheets of paper into maps of the areas and either included in the paper or painted on it to show some of the characteristics of the flora and fauna of the areas. They are beautiful, beautiful, and difficult to describe. My photos will give you some idea but are not really like the experience of seeing the work. It's like trying to tell someone about the Grand Canyon in Arizona, or showing photos of it. Just not like being there at all.

Later that evening we found a good Thai restaurant and had a really enjoyable dinner with lots of laughing and funny stories. Lee Steiner, also an artist and paper maker, and Julie Hu, who makes things work in the Fulbright office, joined us for the evening. Lee and Julie went with me to check into the Jade Garden hotel and then we met the others at the restaurant. Here's a picuture of Julie and Lee on the street before we got to the restaurant.

This is Lee on the street with lights and cars and lots of evening action . . .

And here we all are at dinner.

The Ten-ten celebration, which is Taiwan's national birthday, like July 4 for us, was on Monday evening. I went to the celebration with the Regans, Peter and Arlene, who live in Yilan, over on the east coast of Taiwan. The event was a reception given by the foreign minister in the Taiwan Guest House, and all I can say is I would love to be a guest in that house! It was beautifully decorated inside and out with lights and Chinese gates and many kinds of ethnic food, as well as Haagen-Daz (my ethnic group, in case you didn't know. . .). I'm including some photos of that here to give you an idea; the whole area was like Disneyland at night, or being in the middle of fairyland.

Me above, and Arlene and Peter below, at the street entrance to the celebration.

Entrance to the guest house

A map of Taiwan made of native fruit

A taiwanese pumpkin carved decoratively

The reflection pool behind the house, part of the feng shui of any important Taiwanese or Chinese edifice

The back of the house seen from in front of the pool

And at last, the Chinese characters say Taiwan Go!

After an hour or so I had to run like Cinderella to catch my train back to Shalu so I could teach today, and the train got in late and I was locked out of my house and didn't get in it until about one a.m. For which I was not a very happy camper. But now I'm going to catch up on my sleep, and all will be well tomorrow!


At 2:00 PM, Blogger K. A. Laity said...

Wow, Pat! Great pictures. Those maps really look amazing. You're seeing so much great stuff -- I'm really envious.

At 7:10 AM, Blogger Patricia Golemon said...

How was Salem? Meet any witches? Did you get out of Slytherin? You and Gene need to come here during the winter vacation. It's interesting and cheap and I'd love to see you. Batman is coming in November and you could come then, too.

At 5:06 PM, Blogger K. A. Laity said...

Salem was great -- I decided to make the most of my Slytherin connections and be nefarious. We'll have to see how our economy goes for visiting -- it sure does look wonderful! While in Salem I finished the first act of the play I've been working on. You can download it here: kalaity.com/Fiasco.doc -- hope you find it fun. I'm just relieved because I don't have another paper to give until December!


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