Stories of Independence

Perforrmace 2022 TAIWANfest Vancouver Harmonia Archive

Stories of Independence

Harmonia String Ensemble

 

The songs that define our heritage and our struggles tell stories rooted in the people and the community. More than politics, more than history, music is an experience of culture and identity that continues to echo across oceans. What is the sound of independence? Some of the familiar tunes Taiwanese people thought were their own turned out to have originated from Indonesia; many Malaysian-Chinese artists have their careers kick started in Taiwan.  Let’s listen together as we kick off our Dialogue with Indonesia and Malaysia.

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VANCOUVER

Air Date on Sep 5th

© 2022 The Society of We Are Canadians Too

Homewards: The Children of Immigrants Searching For Their Roots

08 Hope Talk 2022 TAIWANfest Vancouver Sisi Chang_

Homewards: The Children of Immigrants Searching For Their Roots

Sisi Chang – Lecturer of Southeast Asian Cultures / Author

 

Sisi’s family is a reflection of ethnic Chinese immigration history. Although she was born and grew up in Taiwan, her memory of “homeland” is always linked with “going abroad.” There are always tough challenges—every family gathering means buying tickets, applying for visas, and submitting documents to governments.

Memories replay while looking through old photos one by one. Sisi and her cousin took pictures in front of a house—jokingly known as the “High-End Resettlement Area ”—that was purchased by middle class people who sought refuge in Hong Kong during the war. They also took other pictures in Central, Hong Kong with another cousin. In these photos, the mark of the Hong Kong Urban Council from the British colonial period was clearly visible. Sisi found her missing childhood in Malaysia, discovered those of shared ancestry in Australia, and found the year “1975” as the shared connection between her and the local people of Cambodia. However, no matter where Sisi is, Taiwan is always a home that she can go back to.

Object Introduction

Object 1: Family map stamps

Long-distance calls were extremely expensive in the past. Due to the time difference, Sisi had to connect with relatives and friends through letters. The printed stamps on the letter envelopes became Sisi’s window to the world.

Object 2: Vietnamese silver brooch

This brooch was in a white paper box inside Sisi’s mother’s drawer. Sisi was not aware until she grew up that the brooch might have been made by a top crafts manufacturer in Vietnam that provided items to the Vietnamese royal court during the country’s feudal era.

Object 3: Indonesian Batik fabrics

When Sisi’s mother was in university, she would ask her fellow overseas Chinese classmates to bring back fabrics from their hometown. Her classmates used those fabrics to make trendy clothes, such as skirts, dresses and shirts. These fabrics have become one of Sisi’s teaching aids in Taiwan now.

Object 4: Malaysian Kebaya

The kebaya is a traditional piece of clothing in Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and Singapore that combines cultural elements from places such as India, Java, Europe, and China. It is a type of formal dress in the ethnic Chinese community in the region and its popularity has spread outwards from Malacca (Melaka), a diverse city in what is now Malaysia. The kebaya reflects Sisi’s southeast Asian research and the diversity of the “ethnic Chinese” identity.

Object 5: “Hong Kong Add Oil (an expression of encouragement in Cantonese)” head band

“Going back to Hong Kong” has long been a dream for Sisi. After the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement, however, she realized that the meaning of “hometown” she had in her memory no longer existed.

FREE ADMISSION

In Partnership with 2022 TAIWANfest

Venue / Time

VANCOUVER

Sep 4th / 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Granville 700, Downtown Vancouver 

© 2022 The Society of We Are Canadians Too

Insomniac Nights and An Aesthetics of Passivity

Hope Talk 2022 TAIWANfest Vancouver Elizabeth Wijaya Archive

Insomniac Nights and An Aesthetics of Passivity

Elizabeth Wijaya – Assistant Professor of East Asian Cinema of the University of Toronto

 

Tsai Ming-liang’s eight-part Walker series (2012–2018) traverses performance art and film, internet video, and film festival-oriented cinema, held together by the itinerant figure of Lee Kang-sheng dressed as a monk. Tsai’s work carries the sense of the cinematic, as experiential encounters, into arenas outside the cinema theatre. Through the post-retirement Walker series, I consider Tsai’s ever-further alienation of cinematic conventions and expectations and a continued pursuit of an “aesthetics of passivity” within the illusory form of the moving-image. Guided by Levinasian themes of passivity, fatigue, and insomnia, I read the ethico-political possibility of on-screen passivity and passive spectatorship through scenes in the series and the 2016 No No Sleep exhibition at the MoNTUE in Taipei. From a pandemic time where self-isolating is a passive action and form of responsibility for the other, waiting together becomes a temporal practice of the will that has collective, political potential.

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VANCOUVER

Air Date on Aug 27th

© 2022 The Society of We Are Canadians Too

The Pursuit of Ideas: What You Can Find In Taiwan is the Clash of Civilization or Hope of Civilization in Taiwan

13 Hope Talk 2022 TAIWANfest Vancouver Joshua Wang

The Pursuit of Ideas: What You Can Find In Taiwan is the Clash of Civilization or Hope of Civilization in Taiwan

Joshua Wang – Editor of Gusa Publishing

 

As an immigrant from an empire whose historical glory was denied growing up in a country whose identity as a state is denied, Joshua has always had trouble in answering the question of “Who am I?” either to foreigners or even to my fellow citizens, some of whom tend to see his family, who moved to Taiwan from the mainland in 1949 as waishengren, pathetic refugees, or oppressive colonizers, as enjoying a lot of political and cultural privilege. However, while some Taiwanese view the complexity of their identity and history as a tragedy, he likes to take it as an opportunity.  For the past 30 years, Taiwan has evolved to a vibrant democracy and a strong economy, which allows it the freedom to critically explore the problems that lie in the past, the obstacles it is currently facing, and the opportunities it needs to grasp. The special political situation of Taiwan deprives the country of a dominant political power and instead allows it to navigate between two huge civilizational and geopolitical spaces. “What we lack and what we long for is exactly what empowers us.” However, to fully realize Taiwan’s potential, it still needs to be more optimistic and assertive. In this Hope Talk, Joshua will use his personal story to explain this bizarre journey.

Object 1: Shandong steamed bun

Family is from Shandong, can not speak the Taiwanese dialect, is not familiar with Taiwanese religion and customs, yet has relative cultural capital. Joshua does not like this steamed bun, which represents a transformation of recognition from other waishengren.

Object 2: 《Lao Zi》& 《Four Books》

The two books that symbolize Chinese culture. Can Chinese culture have modernity? Can China integrate freedom and democracy? This discussion is ongoing……

Object 3: University of Utah Sports Uniform

The most interesting thing about America to Joshua is that it is a conflict-filled nation; it was once a moral compass, but it is now a declining force.

Object 4: Computer

The success of the Taiwanese model is reflected in the development of its electronics industry: combining American and Western technology with the massive labour force in China. In the midst of the trade war between China and America, does Taiwan plan to decouple from China?

Object 5: Steel coffee mugs/hiking supplies

Not only is hiking a way to appreciate Taiwan’s natural environment, it is also self-challenging, stress-relieving exercise. Most importantly, to go far, you must have a companion!

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In Partnership with 2022 TAIWANfest

Venue / Time

VANCOUVER

Sep 5th / 1:45 pm – 2:45 pm
Granville 700, Downtown Vancouver

© 2022 The Society of We Are Canadians Too

The Things That language And Dialogue Taught Me

10 Hope Talk 2022 TAIWANfest Vancouver The Things that Language and Dialogue Taught Me

The Things That Language And Dialogue Taught Me

Kai-Chun Huang – Translator / Author

 

Kai-Chun has loved learning languages since she was young. Languages have also brought her to many unexpected places.

Born in Tainan, she grew up in a Taiwanese speaking family. In high school, she visited many Indigenous Taiwanese tribes because of an Amis language course, which surprised and gave her different thoughts as someone who grew up in the city, but opened her eyes to learning about other cultures. In university, Kai-Chun learned to speak Arabic and went to Egypt to further study the language, leading her to fall in love with Islamic culture. The topic of the hijab also inspired her thinking on feminism, rethinking for her what it meant to be a woman.

After graduating, Kai-Chun entered the publishing industry, her current job—book translation—is still related to languages. Language allows Kai-Chun to break the boundaries between herself and other ethnic groups. Travelling and communicating between two cultures brought infinite inspiration and possibilities to Kai-Chun, and from it she learned more about others and herself.

Item introduction

Item 1:Taiwan Culture Team uniform

Clubs in high school were the key to changing Kai-Chun’s life. From that point on, she was not just a top-tier student who only studied for exams, but she learned to “return to the start”: to witness the beauty of different cultures and change her perception of Taiwan.

Item 2:Sikau crochet backpack and “graduation certificate”

During university, Kai-Chun went on a hiking trip to learn about mountains and forestry with the Indigenous Paiwan people. After their first training, every participant was given a branch and were told it was their “graduation certificate.”

Item 3:Ticket from Egypt

One of the little traces of Kai-Chun’s first time living in a different cultural environment for a long period of time

Item 4:Hijab

Among the different styles of hijabs she has collected, the most important one to Kai-Chun is a khimar that was made when an Egyptian friend took her to a fabric shop. 

Item 5:Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time

Kai-Chun’s first independent translation work. Being able to be in a line of work where she can connect two different languages and cutlures always makes her feel lucky and blessed.

Item 6:Taiwanese textbook

Hoping to gain a deeper understanding of her original culture, she started to re-learn Taiwanese in 2022. 

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In Partnership with 2022 TAIWANfest

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VANCOUVER

Sep 4th / 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Granville 700, Downtown Vancouver

© 2022 The Society of We Are Canadians Too

Nothing But Culture

05 Hope Talk 2022 TAIWANfest Vancouver Nothing but culture

Nothing But Culture

Tsung-Te Tsai – Ethnomusicologist

 

Economy and technology can improve the standard of living momentarily, but only culture and art can build up national identity and confidence—a distinct phenomenon especially observed in an immigrant society. 

When immigrants leave their home country for a brand new land due to economic, political, religious, or other reasons, they usually bring their customs and rituals, religion, language, culture, and arts along with them. They also try to gain acceptance in their new country by blending in with local society, speaking the local language, adapting to native foods, and learning local arts and culture. They work hard to build a cultural identity that belongs to the immigrant. 

Dr. Tsai will attempt to compare the immigration process of early Chinese immigrants in Indonesia to recent Indonesian immigrants in Taiwan, exploring what role performance arts plays among these immigrants and how it is used to construct their cultural identities.

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In Partnership with 2022 TAIWANfest

Venue / Time

VANCOUVER

Air Date On Sep 4th

© 2022 The Society of We Are Canadians Too

Taiwanese Social Activism in Indonesia

11 Hope Talk 2022 TAIWANfest Vancouver Taiwanese Social Activism in Indonesia

Taiwanese Social Activism In Indonesia

Eden Liu – Soesmans1866 Co-founder

 

Eden is the co-founder of Soesmans1866 and also has a full-time job as a manager in a traditional manufacturing factory in Indonesia. Despite his studies in business management, he discovered his passions as a heritage renovation consultant or entrepreneurship coach. At first, his job was to assist the local government in renovating historic buildings based on the case studies of Dihua Street and Huashan Creative Park (both successful renovations in Taiwan). In the blink of an eye, he has worked in Indonesia for nine years. 

Soesmans Kantoor is a heritage site more than 150 years old left by the Dutch in central Java, the biggest island of Indonesia. Semarang is the third city he has been to in Indonesia. It is here that Eden wants to share why such a charming city would be a good base for a new startup company, with its unique cultural value and potential market opportunity.

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In Partnership with 2022 TAIWANfest

Venue / Time

VANCOUVER

Air Date On Sep 4th

© 2022 The Society of We Are Canadians Too

Making Taiwan Relevant in Canada

2022 TAIWANfest Hope Talk - Making Taiwan Relevant in Canada_800x1000

Making Taiwan Relevant In Candad

Charlie Wu – Managing Director Of ACSEA / Author

 

After over 20 years managing TAIWANfest, how does Canada help Charlie Wu find his Taiwanese identity?  Other than Indigenous peoples, most Canadians can trace their roots to another heritage or culture in the world; for some people, it could be multiple cultures. An event like TAIWANfest has evolved over the years and the lessons learned have contributed to the publishing of this book recently published in Taiwan. 

Reflecting on the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics experience, Charlie Wu felt that this was such a game-changing experience for the TAIWANfest team.  What did the team discover that has so much impact on the vision and direction of the organization and the event?  

In Canada, there are more than 200 languages spoken and each language can be attached to a culture or heritage.  While this is an important asset to Canada, how do Canadians move forward together?  The state of multiculturalism must be advanced beyond respect and acceptance; Canada needs a bolder approach to bring people together for future generations.  Seeing and being seen are not enough to cultivate changes in perspectives; touring artists is not about taking a trip to a new place for the first time; purpose and meaningfulness need to be clearly identified to allow sustainable dialogues. 

For Charlie Wu, Making Taiwan Relevant in Canada is the beginning of “Taiwan Can Help!” 

FREE ADMISSION

In Partnership with 2022 TAIWANfest

Venue / Time

VANCOUVER

Sep 5th / 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
ANNEX, Downtown Vancouver

© 2022 The Society of We Are Canadians Too

Kanatal

Kanatal TinT-Music Featured Image

Kanatal

Taiwanese Indigenous Band

Kanatal [ga-na-dal] means “island” in the Amis language, referring to the small island of Taiwan. The coastline surrounding us is at once an entrance and an exit: different ethnic groups live together on the island and connect with the world through the ocean. Four talented Indigenous musicians come together with their multi-ethnic backgrounds, the epitome of an island society, creating explosive harmony that boldly crosses borders.

The core of Kanatal’s creative direction lies in the relationship between people and nature. From self-identity to ethnic integrity, music allows them to break through the constraints of language, race, and geography. The members explore their own ethnic backgrounds from an international perspective, discovering new dialogues with the world.

There’s no rigid work division in Kanatal—everyone can be the lead singer. With a flexible formation, Kanatal not only experiments with musical genres, they also tell stories informed by their own complex identities and lived experiences. Each member is good at combining electronic music, rock, pop, and other genres with traditional elements. They are committed to creating world music that can be mainstream yet remain unique. The concept of Kanatal is not just limited to the “island”; it encompasses all human beings.

Venue / Time

Aug 26 - 28, 2022

Sep 3 - 5, 2022

© 2022 The Society of We Are Canadians Too

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