the Taiwan Lantern Festival
The Taiwan Lantern Festival is a light extravaganza being held each year since 1990 during the “Yuan Xiao” Lantern Festival period. The event has been jointly sponsored by the Republic of China (ROC) Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), Tourism Bureau, and participating county and city governments. The festival was initially held in Taipei as the “Taipei Lantern Festival,” but has since changed its name and expanded its scope in 2001 to include counties and cities around the island to become a national event.
The Taiwan Lantern Festival will enter its 32 year in 2021. A major tourism event in Taiwan, the festival has been lauded by the Discovery Channel as one of the world’s best festivals. It is also a great opportunity to showcase the local culture and traditions in Taiwan, thereby promoting the development of tourism economy while highlighting the cultural significance of the Lantern Festival.
2021 Taiwan Lantern Festival @ Hsinchu
Unlike the previous Festivals held in a big open space, the 2021 Festival will present lanterns created by talented artists from around the world in Hsinchu City to make “alleys the center stage for lanterns, and the lanterns full of the streets.” Projection mapping show will be displayed to decorate local historic sites, transforming the ancient buildings into a large artwork. Through collaborating with the Hsinchu Science Park, state-of-the-art technologies will be applied to create a one-of-a-kind lantern festival that combines fine arts, science and technology for Hsinchu City.
With an area of 104-square kilometers and a rich history that spans more than 300 years, the City of Hsinchu has a wealth of heritage, historical, and architectural sites, not to mention the talented human resources. Established in 1980, the first science park in Taiwan started its operation in Hsinchu City. Since then, the Hsinchu Science Park (HSP) has completely transformed Taiwan’s traditional industries-based economy into a hi-tech one, and made “Taiwan Silicon Island” the moniker for the ROC. Since then, the HSP has generated revenues of NT$3-4 trillion (US$91-121 billion) per year for Taiwan. In addition, five universities and national-level research institutions have been established in this city over the years. Consequently, high-tech and innovative advances will be applied in the 2021 Taiwan Lantern Festival to create a futuristic cosmopolitan lantern festival while transforming Hsinchu City into a large gallery that gives the world a better understanding of Hsinchu City via this significant event.
For the 2021 Taiwan Lantern Festival, the Old City District will be designated as the exhibition area with six major lantern sites, including the Train Station Lantern Site, the City Moat Lantern Site, the Cultural Lantern Site, the Long En Canal Lantern Site, the Dongda Road Lantern Site, and the Central Lantern Site. The six lantern sites will be connected along the axis of Dongda Road, encompassing the old city districts of the train station, the city moat, Dongda Road, Hsinchu Park, Long En Canal, and the Cultural Affairs Bureau, etc., with plans for performances and a parade. An open call for international submissions for the Long En Canal Lantern Site will be launched to provide a platform for international artists and designers to dialogue, to carry-on traditions and nurture new ideas through their work, and to spread positive energy during this global pandemic.
Long En Canal Lantern Site Geography and History
Located near the Hsinchu Train Station and the North Hsinchu Train Station, Long En Canal lantern Site is on flat terrain and easily accessed by transport. This rectangular band of land along the canal has a total length of about 770 meters.
The Long En Canal in Hsinchu City is one of the three major historic canals in Taiwan. Upon completion, its main stem and tributaries irrigated over 2,400 acres of rice fields. In addition to irrigation, local residents also relied on the canal for drinking water and cleaning, as well as for recreation such as swimming, clam digging, and shrimp fishing, traversing 300 years of Hsinchu history and life memories.
The canal gradually fell into ruins due to Taiwan’s transition from an agricultural economy to an industrial one. The agricultural sector has therefore experienced a serious decline over the past decades. To recreate a relaxing space for its citizens, the Hsinchu City Government hired a professional architectural team to transform the area into a waterfront park, which was reopened in May 2018. It is now a great place for people to relax and recharge.
CLIMATE IN HSINCHU CITY
The subtropical climate of Hsinchu City is humid and warm year-round, with a rainy season between February and September. The flat terrain and location on the windward aspect of the Northeast Monsoon, expose it to high winds during the winter season, and earned Hsinchu the moniker of Taiwan’s "Windy City".
Open Call–Theme Description
Chosen to be the host city of the 2021 Taiwan Lantern Festival, Hsinchu’s Long En Canal Lantern Site is announced to be the location to present light art works that will feature local culture and echo the Festival’s theme—When the Wind Blows Through the Isolated Land - Unexpected Flow. Light art by international artists will be chosen for exhibition by a professional Curatorial Team and a panel of judges. Works submitted should reflect human responses to Covid-19 pandemic within the arena of Hsinchu City– the Windy City and the City of Technology; and welcome the arrival the traditional Lantern Festival in these uncharted circumstances as families reunite; as well as include images of “hope” and “embrace”, etc., that echo the Festival Organization’s (Hsinchu City Government) theme of “HSINCHU STYLE” and contribute to a celebratory atmosphere of warmth and good tidings in this festival of lights.
In the first phase of the open call, capable individuals and teams from the fields of architecture, arts, design, and landscape design are invited to submit proposals of temporary installation art works in line with the objectives outlined in the call for submissions, and in the spirit of the Lantern Festival and urban reconstruction, to jointly promote the 2021 Taiwan Lantern Festival. 6 locations have been designated in the exhibition site for the display of 6 chosen international works during the 10-day festival period.