Taiwanese poets, writer highlighted in Tokyo shows

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From left, Eslite Spectrum Nihonbashi store manager Isono, Taiwan Cultural Center in Tokyo Director Wang Shu-fang and Eslite Spectrum Japan director Wu Jo-ping hold copies of works by Taiwanese poets Yang Mu and Lo Fu.
From left, Eslite Spectrum Nihonbashi store manager Isono, Taiwan Cultural Center in Tokyo Director Wang Shu-fang and Eslite Spectrum Japan director Wu Jo-ping hold copies of works by Taiwanese poets Yang Mu and Lo Fu.

Two month-long exhibitions focusing on the works of Taiwanese poets and writers have opened in Tokyo, the Ministry of Culture announced on October 9.

The Taiwan Cultural Center in Tokyo, which has previously focused on novels and essays in its promotions of Taiwanese literature, on Wednesday opened an exhibition about the poets Yang Mu and Lo Fu, while Eslite Spectrum Nihonbashi is highlighting the works of Wu Ming-yi this month.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented the center from inviting Taiwanese authors to travel to Japan to participate in events, the center has found that videos are the most effective way to introduce Taiwanese culture to Japanese audiences, it said.

As part of its exhibition, the center is screening two documentaries: the one on Yang is titled Towards the Completion of a Poem and the one on Lo is titled River Without Banks, and both have Japanese subtitles.

It also received permission from the poets’ families to display reprints of their manuscripts and old editions of their books, the center said.

Since Eslite Spectrum Nihonbashi opened in September last year, demand for Chinese-language books has increased among Japanese and Taiwanese living in Japan, the center said.

As a result, the center has also partnered with the store to set up a section dedicated to Mandarin works that will highlight works by one iconic Taiwanese writer each season, it said.

Meanwhile, the cultural division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Spain and Homesession are holding an online exhibition to showcase projects by five Taiwanese artists who have completed residencies at the Barcelona-based organization, the ministry said.

Every year since 2015, the ministry helped arrange for a Taiwanese artist to spend two months at Homesession, including Huang Yu-hang, Wang Chun-chi, Cheng Shao-hung , Veeeky (Wu Wei-chia) and Chao Shu-jung, it said.

Although this year’s residency was postponed to next year because of the pandemic, organizers decided to hold an online exhibition, given the positive feedback from local art professionals about the program, the ministry said.

The exhibition, which went online on Saturday includes stories about the artists’ experiences in Barcelona and details of the residency program, it said.

The exhibition can be found at www.taiwan-artistinresidence.barcelona.

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