Creative Expo Taiwan opens with shows, events nationwide
Taipei, Sept. 22 (CNA) The 2023 Creative Expo Taiwan, centered in Taipei for the first time in many years, kicked off Friday at multiple venues around the country, hoping to showcase Taiwan's soft power through a variety of performances and events.
The expo will feature a variety of free and ticketed events and shows, including circus shows, dance and theater performances, hand-dyeing workshops, meetups with comic book artists and illustrators, and forums on copyrighting and brand marketing, the organizers said.
The expo's main venue will be the site of the former Air Force Command Headquarters in Taipei, now known as the Taiwan Contemporary Cultural Lab (C-Lab), but it will also be held at four other historical or heritage sites in the city that have been repurposed as cultural event venues.
The site of the planned National Railway Museum will host one of the event's highlights, a chance to take a brief spin on a Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) diesel train that has been meticulously restored to the way it was in 1984, according to event organizers.
Other event venues in Taipei will be the Huashan 1914 Creative Park, the Taiwan Expo Park Expo Dome, and the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, but the event will also be staged in other parts of the country including Tainan, Penghu, Nantou, Taichung and Yilan.
Speaking at the expo's opening ceremony at C-Lab on Thursday, Culture Minister Shih Che (史哲) said the old Air Force headquarters occupied seven hectares of prime real estate in Taipei and was later designated as a cultural venue by then-Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君).
Describing the venue as the last piece of a puzzle poised to complete Taipei's cultural landscape, Shih said he hoped the former military base would follow the recent trend of repurposing historical sites and assume a new role in the 21st century.
Commenting on two tents at C-Lab reserved for upcoming circus shows during the expo, Shih said they helped soften the edges of the former Air Force headquaters and created a brand new aesthetic for the venue.
Cabinet Secretary-General Li Men-yen (李孟諺) said that when he assumed his current role four years ago, a discussion was held on how to utilize the former military base.
At the time, some people suggested that it be set aside for office buildings to house technology companies, Li said.
Development alone, however, does not make a city great while culture does, Li said, and in hindsight, he believed that transforming the space into a cultural venue was the right decision.
The expo has come a long way since it was first held in 2010 as evidenced by its ever-growing scale, Li said, and he hoped that this year's event would help boost the international visibility of Taiwan's cultural and creative sectors and create business opportunities.
The expo will run until Oct. 1. For more information, visit the expo's English-language webpage.
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