【 局長的話 】
臺南市政府文化局 局長 葉澤山
From the Director-General of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Tainan City Government
Since its inception in 2012, the Tainan Arts Festival has continued to grow and innovate. Today, the festival extends throughout Tainan, bringing wonderful performances—one after the other—to all corners and stages of the city. In 2019, the Tainan Arts Festival entered in a new era. Curated by independent curators for the first time, it featured a renewed engagement with the city through “site-specific”, “on-site creation” and “social engagement” efforts. Taken together, these new trends gave birth to exclusive on-site productions among Tainan’s cityscape and historical spaces. This incorporation of social, ethnic, and historical dialogues and observations within performances also signaled the festival’s growing scale and scope.
For most of 2020, Taiwan, along with the rest of the world, has been affected by the fallout from COVID-19. The art world has faced unprecedented challenges, with performances cancelled and creative projects put on hold. However, from this state of affairs, we’ve come to realize the preciousness of being able to gather at art “sites” to participate, witness, and create.
The theme of Tainan Arts Festival 2020 is Encounter—Here and Now. It reflects a desire to arouse a sense of concern for the artistic medium and looks to use art to guide us towards a more hopeful outlook on the future. Through dialogues between artistic creation and our current society or world, it looks to trigger reflections at both the collective and individual level and help us find the hope to overcome this current crisis together.
Tainan Arts Festival 2020 gathers top-notch artists and troupes from all over Taiwan who are slated to bring classic remakes or entirely new productions to the performance stage. The festival’s opening show, The Legend of Island, will kick off at the Eternal Golden Castle. Performed by Ten Drum Art Percussion Group—currently celebrating their 20th anniversary as one of Tainan’s most recognized performing arts groups—The Legend of Island touches upon a wide range of Taiwanese folk festivals, folk legends, and religious ceremonies. It uses drumming, percussion, and orchestral elements in combination with dance to express the brimming vitality of Taiwan, its devout faith and rich life. The natural bamboo stage surround by castle’s red bricks presents a microcosm of the island’s form, while the lights and rituals serve as an embodiment of the island’s spirit. The performance is very much a musical poem dedicated to Taiwan and a fitting start to Tainan Arts Festival 2020.
The arts festival is more than lively performances, however. We have strived to introduce a system of dramaturgy and to promote self-produced performances by the city’s cultural centers. We look to give Tainan’s newest generation of performing arts groups a chance to shine, while pooling resources to help elevate the capabilities of cultural management at the local level. Through dialogues between local performance groups and newly embedded consultants, as well as local cultural centers and visiting performance troupes, we look to embrace new horizons and relationships and to allow these various “encounters” to birth limitless potential.
A city’s art festival should be available for everyone’s enjoyment and participation. Therefore, we have continued to develop social engagement models of art programming. By entering communities and entering lives, the artistic eye can observe the familiar and unfamiliar in daily life. Jîn-sing ê tsı̍t tiâu kua is one such example of a community-based project. It collects the life stories of senior citizens, and recounts them to the public in the space of a song. In another example, Green Green Parade, the residential dance project dives deep into school campuses as it seeks to familiarize children with expressing themselves through the language of art. The dance array that the school children practice daily is thereby transformed into a contemporary dance composition and art is allowed to speak to the future. We fully believe that such art and life “encounters” offer a strong impetus for the continued progress and development in all communities.
Tainan Arts Festival 2020! I hope to “encounter” all of you there!
YEH Tse-shan, Director-General of the Cultural Affairs Bureau