Tai­wanese artists hail Year of the Rooster

The Georgia Straight - - Lunar New Year - > BY TAMMY KWAN

Haven’t got any idea of how to ring in the Year of the Rooster? We sug­gest check­ing out the an­nual Lu­nar­fest.

This year’s event will be cel­e­brat­ing the Year of the Rooster through two dif­fer­ent com­po­nents: a three-day fes­ti­val at the Queen El­iz­a­beth The­atre Plaza from Fri­day to Sun­day (Jan­uary 27 to 29) and an art ex­hi­bi­tion at Oakridge Cen­tre un­til Fe­bru­ary 5.

Or­ga­nized by the Asian-cana­dian Spe­cial Events As­so­ci­a­tion (ACSEA), the three-day out­door fes­ti­val has re­lo­cated this year due to on­go­ing ren­o­va­tions at the Van­cou­ver Art Gallery plaza.

Its high­lights in­clude rooster win­ter games (mini sports ac­tiv­i­ties), a song­writ­ing work­shop led by Juno nom­i­nees Gi­nalina and Michel Bruyere, mu­si­cal per­for­mances by Lan Tung and Volodymyr Bedzvin play­ing the Chi­nese erhu and Ukrainian cello, and lu­nar crafts (think lan­terns and origami), among many oth­ers.

“What we are do­ing is mak­ing sure that it [Lu­nar New Year] is be­ing cel­e­brated as widely as pos­si­ble through­out the city,” Char­lie Wu, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of ACSEA, told the Ge­or­gia Straight at the Lu­nar­fest press con­fer­ence at Oakridge Cen­tre’s au­di­to­rium.

The sec­ond com­po­nent of Lu­nar­fest 2017 is a se­ries of rooster-themed art­works that are be­ing show­cased at Oakridge Cen­tre.

The ex­hi­bi­tion, Art of the Roost­ers, this ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures the work of emerg­ing artists from Tai­wan. Many of these young tal­ents are stu­dents at the Na­tional Yun­lin Univer­sity of Science and Tech­nol­ogy in Tai­wan, who have in­ter­preted the zo­diac rooster and its char­ac­ter­is­tics that tie in with Lu­nar New Year.

“The rea­son why we brought these stu­dents in is be­cause they cel­e­brate it [Lu­nar New Year] dif­fer­ently than what we cel­e­brate here, in terms of re­sources and cul­ture,” said Wu. “Van­cou­verites will have a chance to see how Lu­nar New Year is cel­e­brated in Tai­wan through the cre­ativ­ity and imag­i­na­tion of these young de­sign­ers, so you can vi­su­al­ize your­self in Tai­wan and share that cul­ture.”

One of the fea­tured art­works is New Year “Dao”, cre­ated by Wang Hsin-yi and Chu Yu-ting. The piece show­cases an up­side-down tra­di­tional Tai­wanese home in the 1970s, with a ta­ble set for din­ner and the Chi­nese char­ac­ters “Spring” and “For­tune” also flipped up­side down.

It is tra­di­tional for the Chi­nese char­ac­ters to be in­verted dur­ing Lu­nar New Year as a way of wish­ing for the spring sea­son and luck.

“It is up­side down be­cause it means that har­mony has ar­rived,” ex­plained Wang. “We turned the works up­side down to rep­re­sent New Year and that for­tune is com­ing.”

For a com­plete sched­ule of events and ac­tiv­i­ties at Lu­nar­fest, visit www.lu­nar­fest.org/.

Na­tional Yun­lin Univer­sity of Science and Tech­nol­ogy stu­dents cre­ated roost­erthemed Lu­nar­fest art, which is at Oakridge Cen­tre. Tammy Kwan photo.

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