Made in Taiwan exhibition attracts appreciation from UBC academics

Two UBC academics lavished praise on a Taiwanese art show at its opening reception on Thursday (January 9).

Anna Kindler, UBC's vice provost and associate vice president academic, told the a roomful of people at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre that many years ago, Taiwan was the first country she ever visited in Asia.

Kindler, an expert in visual-arts education, returned two months ago, visiting Taiwan's famous Taroko National Park.

"If I ever wondered where the wonderful indigenous artists get their inspiration, I now have my answer," she said. "Because the beauty of the nature is certainly a tremendous environment for artistic creativity."

Kindler said that the Made in Taiwan exhibition in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre "fantastically adds and assists" the university in achieving one of its "very important priorities": promoting intercultural understanding.

The next speaker, Alison Bailey of UBC's department of Asian studies, said she has been very privileged to teach undergraduate courses covering Taiwanese culture, literature, film, and history.

She described that history as "very complicated and often very painful".

"The word that came up a lot in my students' exams and essays was the absolute resilience of the Taiwanese people—the ability to live through a great deal of suffering, a great deal of hardship—and come through in such creative, energetic, and wonderful ways," Bailey said. "You can see that energy, creativity, and resilience in the art that is downstairs. You can see the work of the indigenous peoples. You see the links to China through the porcelain. And you see the creativity of the modern or contemporary Taiwan all coming together in exciting and extraordinary ways."

She called the Made in Taiwan exhibition "a microcosm of everything that makes Taiwan such a very special and wonderful place".

The show was conceived by Cecilia Chueh, CEO of the Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Society, with the assistance of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vancouver.

Cecilia Chueh oversaw the creation of the Made in Taiwan exhibition.

It features six showcases of aboriginal designs, ancient porcelain pieces, handicrafts, and contemporary art.

Michael K.C. Chen, deputy director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vancouver, delivered the opening remarks, welcoming people to the exhibition. It continues in the main foyer of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre on the Point Grey campus until January 28.

This 1,100-year-old jug is one of the porcelain pieces on display.


People of the World was created by Taiwanese artist Yeh Ji-shung.
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