SHEN Chao-Liang, STAGE series, 2006-2011

Shen has been broadly recognized by his sophisticated style of image creation and commitment to documenting the evolution of Taiwanese society.

Shen’s recent STAGE series, in which he documented a unique Taiwan entertainment culture in a surrealistic and colorful style of image, was exhibited in the 2008 Deagu Photo Biennale, Korea, and the 2009 GETXOPHOTO, Bilbao, Spain, and in a solo exhibition in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, New York, US, and Toronto, Canada.

放狗屁 狗放屁 放屁狗 / Releasing a dog-fart, Dog farting, A farting dog

When it comes to word games, Xiao Yan Zi is not concerned! Sure, her scholarly friends might try to trip her up but she always has a few clever ones up her arsenal.

(The wordplay is inevitably a bit lost in translation!)

Overview of the Taiwan Academy

Overview of the Taiwan Academy

Stumbled upon this link from facebook. Apparently the Taiwan Academy is creating a library of Taiwanese movies to lend out for educational purposes and ~spreading culture~ or whatever, which is pretty cool, I guess. It would be great for people to get to know more about Taiwan.

But then I went to the Overview section of the Taiwan Academy page (because I’ve never heard about it before), and ughhh.

  • Number of times “Taiwanese culture” shows up: 3
  • Number of times “Chinese culture” shows up: 11

Taiwanese culture is not simply some preservation of Chinese culture, which has thousands of years of history blah blah blah. Taiwan has its own fucking culture, and it should not be an afterthought to the aspects of Chinese culture that exist in Taiwan or simply a unique “Taiwanese twist” on Chinese culture. Taiwanese culture is just Taiwanese culture. Period. 

Though I suppose this is a government sponsored project, so I really shouldn’t expect anything better.

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Kano (2014)

Kano is the name of a Taiwanese baseball team during the Japanese Occupation of Taiwan in 1931. A rag tag team composed of Taiwanese aboriginals, Han settlers, and Japanese settlers, Kano began as the worst baseball team of the time. Under the guidance of their new coach, however, they were able to unite and make it to Koshien, the esteemed Japanese national high school baseball stadium, becoming the first ever foreign team to do so.

I am so so so so so excited to see this movie. I’m hopefully going to see it tomorrow at a theater before my mom and I go back to the states. The movie is very highly rated right now. Once I see it I’ll write a review :)

Diexian | 碟仙

Diexian, literally “plate spirit” (also known as the “Chinese ouija board”), is a divination tool or game possibly derived from the practice of fuji (扶乩) used in Taoism.

First, one lays out a sheet of paper full of numbers and Chinese characters, and then a die (small plate) is placed on top of the sheet. There is usually a small arrow painted on the plate to indicate which character or number it points to.

The user then puts a finger on the plate and thinks “Come, plate spirit!” (碟仙快來) several times.

Usually then the plate starts moving, allegedly the work of the plate spirit. Users can then start asking questions and the plate will answer by turning the arrow towards different characters or numbers. Most believe the plate spirits are actually the spirits of the dead, and thus their accuracy isn’t actually very high, or usually pertains to unfortunate events.

Diexian was widely practiced in schools in Taiwan in the 60s, leading the game and production of diexian materials to be banned by the government, which decried it for being superstitious and unscientific. 

The game has appeared in several Taiwanese and Hong Kong horror films. Due to its banning and alleged reports of users being affected with both physical and psychological trauma, it has remained mysterious to many.

I have a semi-interesting life

Now that I think about it, I can see why some people go “if your life were a tv series, I’d watch it”

I have dramatic family members, eccentric friends, and I tend to try everything once.

I overheard my grandma setting me up with this military guy who’s going to america over the phone. “Heyyyy angelaaaa just introducing you two as friends”


Anyway, meeting this guy should be a fun trolling event. We’ll either end up friends or he’ll be so freaked out by me that he cancels all plans to go to America :D

Wanderlust Taiwan- Taipei City Sights and Cultural Insights. Don't be Lazy!

Wanderlust Taiwan: Taipei City Sights and Cultural Insights. Don’t be Lazy!

Japanese casual/bath robes in Uniqlo. Taiwan is highly influenced by the Japanese culture. Taiwan was colonized by the Japanese 1895-1945.

A store that sells only water bottles. What are the margins of these things that they can afford the city center rent?

The heat and traffic congestion in Taipei

Self-explanatory. Fine varies by the degree of offense.

Represents hills of mountains and flowing…

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Wish I lived in Taiwan… I want to be much more immersed in my heritage and culture than I am now. Of course for the food, and maybe also so that I can go to fan meetings for Taiwanese dramas and collect those magazines with my favorite actors/actresses and buy Asian music CDs (I can never seem to get into English-speaking shows and music for a long time anymore). But more importantly, I’ve been really interested lately in being able to read more Chinese characters than I do now and speak it better. Whenever I go to Taiwan every couple years or so for break I never want to leave… Sometimes I wonder how life would be different if my parents had never decided to move to the US. 

Wanderlust Taiwan: People Watching from a Jog

Wanderlust Taiwan: People Watching from a Jog

Always neat to people watch in a new place. The observations can tell you so much about a culture. I left at 5:40am for a jog and saw:

  • No one runs on the sidewalk
  • All female runners wore more than I did; I was in a tank and shorts. It was 75% humidity and 84 degrees but felt like 90.
  • A female runner had a prom updo
  • A female runner had beige sparkly tights on.  See below.
  • A female pedestrian…

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PHOTOS: Widow Hires Strippers For Coffin Dance At Husband’s Funeral

PHOTOS: Widow Hires Strippers For Coffin Dance At Husband’s Funeral

A widow decided to give her husband the last gift to her deceased husband by hiring two St rippers to perform a s exy coffin dance at his funeral.

In the midst of the funeral ceremony two s exy half-na ked St rippers entered the hall, leaving family members and friends in a state of shock. The women got up to gyrate alongside the coffin and performed at least three dances, while others were…

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In Taiwan: Gaining Perspective

Greetings from Kaohsiung, Taiwan!  As I write this, I am sitting in the tile-floored living room of my friend Jenny’s home using her dad’s laptop.  Outside, the sun is shining, the weather warm enough for shorts (in my opinion).  Inside, the four of us (Jenny, her dad, her grandmother, and I) sit quietly reading, writing, and posting pics online. 

Quite a contrast to the three-and-a-half days I just spent in Taipei sight-seeing, eating, catching up with friends, drinking bubble tea, celebrating the New Year, eating, and taking pictures of absolutely everything.  (When I get back to my apartment and laptop, I’ll post some of the pics.)  I had a lot of fun in Taipei, but the gloomy weather was starting to wear on my spirits, so looking out the window at a scene full of sunshine is a most welcome change.

This trip has already been so much more than I expected.  It’s been a wonderful opportunity to take a step back from my life in Korea and everything that has been happening and gain some perspective.

First of all, I’ve realized how comfortable I’ve gotten in Korea.  As soon as I got here, the new smells, sights, language, and culture jolted me a bit, and I found myself missing Korea.  (Even the red bean buns here taste different!)  While talking to my friends, I caught myself saying, “In Korea, we do this” or “we have this," and whenever I automatically bowed to someone while thanking them or after bumping into them (which they don’t do here), I felt so Korean!  

When I scheduled this trip several months ago, I thought it would be a nice, needed getaway in the middle of my 10-month stay in Korea.  I thought I would be hungry for a new adventure and desperate to see familiar faces from home.  Little did I imagine that by the time I reached this four-month mark, I would already have come to think of Korea as my new home.

Okay, more later.  Off to the night market for more food and more boba!