Discover Taitung> Taitung Times >2021 Vol 10 Taitung Times
Hope Through Art

As Taitung moves out of the grips of the pandemic, people are looking for hope and inspiration in a brighter future. The darkest days look like they are in the past, and Taitung is looking towards the power of art to lead everyone forward.

Taitung County Magistrate April Yao sees art as a transformative force and has wanted to include creativity in its vision for Taitung’s post-pandemic future. Fortunately, as Yao was drafting these plans, Jun T. Lai, chairwoman of the Taiwan Women’s Art Association, reached out. The two eventually met on September 14 and agreed that since the pandemic is receding, it is an opportune moment to host an exhibition.

The Taiwan Women’s Art Association has been a seminal force in the art world since 2000. The organization has around 300 members, and includes not only artists, but those involved in education, criticism and curating. Their aim is to promote collaboration and exchanges between female artists in and outside of Taiwan.

Yao and Lai chose the themes of hope and love to guide the event, which will take place all over Taitung County next year from June to September. Taitung will have a chance to house works from around the world in the Taitung Fine Arts Museum, the National Museum of Prehistory and the National Taitung Living Art Center.

The event will bring together women from all over the world through the celebration of art. The exhibition plans to invite artists from abroad to showcase their work alongside their Taiwanese counterparts. These spaces will allow for further creative and artistic exchanges from talent of vastly different backgrounds.

Moreover, Yao looks forward to letting artwork showcase Taitung. Hosting events around Taitung will draw visitors to different parts of the county. This will allow people from outside to experience the slow pace of life and inspiring stories of people in Taitung. In addition, art will showcase the natural beauty found all over the county.

Taitung is looking forward to this exhibit next year. It will join other summer art exhibitions such as the Nanhui Art Project, the East Coast Land Arts Festival and the East Rift Valley Land Arts Festival. All of these events will demonstrate the power of art as a unifying force amongst the backdrop of Taitung’s amazing scenery.

2021 Chishang Autumn Harvest Festival

Located in Taiwan’s Rift Valley between the majestic coastal and central mountain ranges, Chishang rich in natural beauty. However, Chishang has long been losing its population to the cities, but remarkably the township was featured on the website of Time magazine in 2009. In the photograph, a musician plays the piano amid billowing waves of golden rice. The melodies linger among the fields, as a gentle breeze caresses the rice paddies and resonates with the music through the vales and hills.

Chishang Autumn Harvest Festival has been running for 11 years. “We Chishang people have a great sense of community. That makes it easier to get things done.” Liang Zhengxian, chairman of the local Culture and Art Association said. The community springs into action. Volunteers are to be seen everywhere during the arts festival. From traffic control to medical assistance, the locals take everything upon themselves. In order to bring this festival to fruition, some volunteers need to spend at least eight months acquiring professional skills in diverse areas, including event programming, public relations, and facility management. Moreover, farmers have to harvest part of their rice early and leave the rest until after the festival to accommodate the stage. Hence, visitors can enjoy the art with an unobstructed view of rice paddies as far as the eye can see.

This year’s 2021 Chishang Autumn Harvest Arts Festival will be held on October 30th and 31st. Chishang is honored to have this year's music concerts produced by the famous Taiwanese dance company Cloud Gate and Taiwanese singer 9m88. Through the “13 Tongues” performance, they will bring visitors back to the life stories of legendary characters in Wanhua, a northern district of Taipei. Visitors can connect the past, present, and future of Wanhua street culture through traditional folk songs and stage lighting design. In addition, Chishang Festival’s theme of showing gratitude and respect is especially fitting this year with the pandemic suspending people’s social interactions. The intimate concert venue with the contributions of the locals will be an experience that you will not forget!
Hello Taitung

Most foreigners that settle down in Taitung long-term have interesting reasons for staying here. However, the initial move down usually is a mix of fate, good luck and faith.

For instance, Federico Davicino, the founder of Cape Café and Taitung Sailing School, was a footloose backpacker that happened to stick around because of the beaches. Similarly, Kyle Barker, the owner of Spice Chasm, came to Taitung because of its intriguing biodiversity and lived out of his car for weeks while getting settled in.

The stories of adventurous spirits in Taitung all have one thing in common. They didn’t know at first that the east coast could be more than just scenic beauty. These bold individuals discovered that Taitung was a place that could incubate larger dreams and aspirations. They just had to find out for themselves because they’d never read of anyone doing it before.

This changed in August with the publication of the first issue of Hello Taitung. Managing Editor Cheryl Robbins, a 32-year resident of Taiwan, is curating Hello Taitung, the first magazine dedicated to foreigners living in the county. She has helped select Taitung’s best stories to give people around the world firsthand accounts of foreigners living in this inspiring county.

The first issue focused on four entrepreneurs. Their stories tell ones of innovation and creativity. Through their perseverance and open minds, they have carved a life for themselves in agriculture, recreation, cuisine and skin care. These stories show that a sustainable lifestyle in an amazing place is possible through a little ingenuity.

Moreover, the articles showcased how connected these residents now feel to the land and people of Taitung. The challenges and hardships of adjusting brought them closer to the warm people and friendly environment of eastern Taiwan. For this reason, these four entrepreneurs have all realized that Taitung is a place they can now call home.

Every six months a new issue of Hello Taitung will be published. Robins and the team at Hello Taitung hope that these stories will attract the next wave of inspiring foreigners to find out what’s possible in Taitung.

For an e-copy of the magazine please visit

Coming Events

Oct Nov Dec
  • 2021 Starry Taitung Night Concert – Shangwu Coastal Park
  • 2021 Starry Taitung Night Concert – Guanshan Waterfront Park
  • 2021 Starry Taitung Night Concert – Luming Suspension Bridge Recreation Area
  • TTstyle Food Festival
  • 2021 Starry Taitung Night Tour
  • 2021 Xiaoyeliu Night Tour
  • 2021 Taitung Slow Food Festival
  • 2021 Nanhui Art Project Sicevudan- Forward From Here
  • Chishang Autumn Harvest Festival
  • Guanshan Indigenious Market-Maolahen
  • 2021 Xiaoyeliu Night Tour
  • 2021 Starry Taitung Night Tour
  • 2021 Nanhui Art Project Sicevudan- Forward From Here
  • 2021 Loving 197 East Coast Bike Race
* PLEASE NOTE: Event dates are subject to change or cancel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please also refer to the websites of specific events for more information.