February 2 2022 – The streets and night skies of Kaohsiung will be bathed in light as the city stages the 2022 Taiwan Lantern Festival, with this year’s event drawing on both tradition and modern innovation to mesmerise visitors to the city.
The Flying Phoenix lantern will light up Kaohsiung in 2022 Taiwan lantern festival. The festival, which will run for 28 days from February 1, will for the first time provide a model for collaboration between artisans who use time-honoured methods to construct traditional lanterns and cutting-edge artists from around the world.
Spread throughout the National Kaohsiung Centre for the Arts at Weiwuying and the city’s Love River Bay district, the festival will provide interactive experiences for visitors to learn about how traditional lantern art can be passed down to modern generations at the same time as harnessing advanced exhibition technology, such as high-speed, low-latency 5G for remote artistic displays.
First staged in 1990, the annual lantern festival is inspired by traditional folk celebrations on the fifteenth day of the first month, according to the lunar calendar, and to mark the end of the Lunar New Year. For centuries, people from China have marked the arrival of the New Year by carrying paper lanterns through their darkened streets, with the designs becoming far more elaborate and adventurous in recent years.
This year, Kaohsiung will be aglow with works by artists keen to put forward their own interpretations of light.
The event’s signature work is a cross-border collaboration that brings together lantern designer Benson Lu and renowned calligrapher Dong Yangzi. Together, they have created a work that transforms the Chinese character “feng,” which means phoenix, into an illuminated pheasant that is native to Taiwan spreading its wings atop a mountain.
Lighting up Kaohsiung, the Flying Phoenix lantern will use the aesthetics of lighting to communicate the message of effective urban governance, and increase awareness of Kaohsiung City around the world.
The artists and organizers of the festival hope visitors will be able to put the difficulties of the last year behind them, at least temporarily, and enjoy an occasion that will be a unique feast for the senses.
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