Over the centuries, through urbanization and economic development, humankind has lost touch with Nature. But more recently, with the rise of environmental consciousness, people are growing more willing to go outdoors and personally experience Nature’s majesty and beauty.
“Certainly, as a foreign subject, I may not claim the longest residency in Taiwan, but 30 years—no parole—is not too bad. In comparison, Robinson Crusoe left his fictional island after only 28 years.”—Rolf-Peter Wille, Formosa in Fiction
If they didn’t grow up in a farming family, or study agriculture in school, most people have little chance of learning about seeds. But seeds are a source of life, and their lives can be astounding: they can fly through the air, they can drift on the ocean, and they can remain dormant for years, all in order to carry on life into the next generation.
Ukrainian artist Ivan Yehorov moved 8000 kilometers to Taiwan thanks to his marriage of destiny to his Taiwanese wife, Marie Lin. Once here, Yehorov, a friendly Slav with brown hair and deep-set blue eyes, brought elements representative of Taiwan, such as old red-brick homes, temples, bananas, and fields of ripening rice, into his work. His paintings leave deep impressions of the Taiwanese countryside in people’s minds.
Not far from Taipei City, Taiwan’s North Coast has been shaped over the millennia by orogeny and volcanic activity, as well as erosion wrought by ocean waves and wind. That combination has made for a winding coastline, varied and intermixed geologic strata, and marvelously shaped rocks. Like a crown atop Taiwan that is inlaid with many jewels, the North Coast makes for a special cycling experience.
Originally from the Turkish city of İzmit, Rifat Karlova has had a number of identities. Better known to Taiwanese by his Chinese stage name Wu Feng, he has been an exchange student, a TV extra, a husband, a Golden-Bell-winning travel-show host, and now, a card-carrying Taiwanese citizen. Through his eyes and his experiences, Rifat has helped Taiwanese better understand their homeland, and alongside them he continues to uncover the true beauty of Ilha Formosa.
Qimei, an island of the Penghu archipelago, a placee where the sea and sky merge into one, has strong sunshine in summer and powerful monsoon winds in winter. These attributes provide opportunities to develop both solar and wind power, and through storage and distribution via a smart power grid, Qimei can be transformed into a low-carbon green energy island.
Because they share a common language, Taiwan and Singapore have enjoyed frequent cultural exchanges. Exhibitions of Taiwanese painting, dance, or literature are held in various locations in Singapore, and always attract a great deal of attention from the general public.
Jinguashi’s procession for the goddess Mazu is a century-old tradition that embodies the collective memories of generations of residents. The procession passes through the steep alleys of the mountain town, treads its stairs and crosses its bridges, walking through the pattering spring rain. In former times, its route would take in the mines, where it would pause to pray for blessings. Modern Jinguashi continues the tradition, spreading wellbeing wherever the palanquins roam.
In August and September All Is Well, the first television drama coproduced between Taiwan and Singapore, will hit the airwaves. In it, two storylines are tied together by an international bank robbery, and viewers will get to watch as Singaporean actors venture through Taiwan’s charming scenery and Taiwanese actors showcase their acting skills in Singapore’s urban jungle. This intersection of cultures and settings is certainly something to be eagerly awaited.