Cai Rongxing was born into a famous Yilan woodcarving family. His father, Cai Huotu, was the winner of a Folk Art Heritage Award, and Cai learned his superb craftsmanship directly from his father and elder brothers. Besides sculpting temple furniture like his father and brothers, Cai is especially skilled at making cake molds and rice-cake molds. He insists on carving them by hand, and hopes to pass down cake-mold making far into the future.
DEBE faces a wall on a street in Long Beach, California, pointing a can of spray paint at it. A graffiti artist from Taiwan, he was invited to participate in the annual street art festival POW! WOW! Long Beach, which sees some two dozen walls across the city decorated by artists from around the world.
Taiwanese society has long put academic education on a pedestal, while undervaluing vocational skills. This bias is not only evident in the education system, it also appears in all corners of the job market. But in truth people with professional skills are the foundation and central pillar of society. From baking to plumbing to electrical installation to welding, each profession requires its own special skills.
While many people make a living from the sea, there are few who speak out on its behalf. Many people know how to exploit the sea, but don’t understand the problems of overfishing and marine trash that are making the once beautiful oceans a scene of devastation. Wang Ming-hsiang loves the sea with a passion. He is both fisherman and diving instructor, but also a great spokesperson for the sea.
Cars whiz past Tiaoshi in New Taipei City’s Jinshan District, on the coastal highway linking Jinshan with Danshui. Beside the road, a desert-colored, anthill-shaped home draws the eye. Viewed from above, the unusual structure looks a bit like a sea turtle crouched near the shore. Neither cafe nor B&B, owner Hoch Ho calls the home “dugu wu” (“dugu house”).
Taiwan made history in May 2019 when it became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. Governments and media around the world praised Taiwan for its pioneering role in defending human rights, freedom and democracy.
In the Japanese sport of kendo (fencing with bamboo swords), the term ippon refers to a valid strike that scores one point. But it has a deeper meaning, for it also refers to a competitor’s energy, fencing style, and body control. What every fencer seeks is that magic moment—kikentai ichi—when energy, sword, and body are as one, and a perfect strike is executed.
Time flies. In 2019, the Presidential Office Building celebrated its hundredth birthday. Once the tallest building on the island of Taiwan, and still the unshakeable center of political power today, the structure continues to inspire awe. In recent times, it has quietly acquired an added sense of intimacy.
Creating unforeseeable, fantastical works of art via kiln firing—this is Sun Chao’s great accomplishment. Recipient of a National Award for Arts in 1987 and a National Craft Achievement Award in 2018, he has devoted his life to perfecting the art of “crystalline glaze,” and thereby established his reputation worldwide. From conventional ware to large painted porcelain panels, he has generated countless works over a period of 60 years.
In Taiwan, more than 100 original tabletop games are published a year. Beyond pure entertainment, the games are used for a variety of purposes, from government agencies and civic groups using them as a means to communicate with the public (to explain long-term care policies, for example), to businesses using them to train their staff in negotiating skills.