Smangus: A Year in the Clouds, a documentary about the Atayal community of Smangus, will screen on Taiwan’s Public Television Service (PTS) tonight (30 June). The documentary had its premiere in Smangus on Tuesday night. It is a co-production between PTS and British documentary makers Dean Johnson and Frank Smith. The team filmed various aspects of the daily life in Smangus over a period of 15 months.
ChthoniC have released a music video for their new single “TAKAO” (皇軍). The single is from their new album which is scheduled for release in August July. The video was directed by Vince Chuang (莊志文) who has directed other videos for ChthoniC including “49 Theurgy Chains“.
The video and song is about Taiwanese soldiers who fought for Japan in World War II. Some of these soldiers were indigenous people who were known as the Takasago Volunteers. Their story is the theme of ChthoniC’s forthcoming album. The video includes an 80 year old Atayal man whose father fought for Japan in Southeast Asia.
The song also features the voice of DPP legislator Yu Tien (余天). In a post on Facebook ChthoniC bass player Doris Yeh said, “Yu Tien’s voice perfectly provides the passionate vibe of the song.”
The Chinese name of the song means “Japanese Imperial Army” but the English name is “Takao”. This is the old Hoklo Taiwanese name for Kaohsiung, which was the harbor that soldiers departed from to join the war. Doris said, “This is a way of letting the fans around the world know Kaohsiung.”
The single is being released in Europe by Spinefarm Records. It includes a bonus track with Finnish metal band Ensiferum singing the chorus of “Takao” in English.
On the evening of 26 February a group of Taiwanese university students in Taipei went out to show their support for the Jasmine Revolution in China. While attempting to cross the road they were blocked from crossing by a group of plain-clothes people claiming to be police officers. The video embedded above shows the incident. The Taipei Times has also reported on the incident.
I took the opportunity to do a bit of local tourism today heading out to Dajia (大甲) in Taichung County. The first place I stopped was the Wenchang Shrine (文昌祠), a beautiful little temple with neatly kept grounds.
Taiwanese hip-hop group Kou Chou Ching (拷秋勤) have just released a new music video titled “Around the World” (世界放風聲). 2010 has seen Kou Chou Ching touring to the USA, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The video features footage from the group’s world tour, but the lyrics leave no doubt that their music is 100% Made in Taiwan.
Here is my translation of some of the lyrics:
從東京到台北 再來到紐約 我們的腳步從來不停歇
From Tokyo to Taipei and all the way to New York,
Our feet have never stopped for stopped for a rest
巡迴 的武器是音樂 Made in Taiwan 的純正口味
On tour our weapon is music with a “Made in Taiwan” pure flavor
高喊台灣 我從來不害臊 這個國家是我的驕傲
Shouting out “Taiwan”, I’ve never been ashamed
This country is my pride
我要你聽到 明瞭 知道 台灣的榮耀 在這 Right now
I want you to clearly hear and know the glory of Taiwan
Right here, right now!
Dr Walther and Klaus Bardenhagen have co-produced a documentary about the biodiversity crisis called Crisis of Life. It features interviews with a number of leading scientists. The trailer of the documentary is embedded above and you can watch more videos on the website.
It's quite abnormal that Taiwanese artists or performers have said so little on the issue of Taiwan's quest for international recognition, whether they choose not to or dare not to. I'm a musician, but I also have every right to speak about my own views as a Taiwanese citizen.
You rock Freddy! UN for Taiwan!
Update: Freddy Lim has been appointed executive director of the youth department for Frank Hsieh's presidential campaign. See Hsieh announces his campaign slogan. (added 19 Jan 2007)
The internationally popular Web site YouTube yesterday launched a local site "YouTube Taiwan" with a Chinese-language interface, in a bid to encourage more Taiwan users to share their video clips, not only with Chinese-language Web surfers, but also with others around the globe.
Steve Chen (陳士駿), one of YouTube's co-founders is Taiwanese. YouTube was launched in February 2005 and rapidly became popular. It was acquired by Google in October 2006 for US$1.65 billion.
The President's YouTube channel can let you get close to some of the President's daily activities. Get to know another side of President A-bian, get on the internet and take a look. [English translation by David]
President Chen also celebrated the sixth anniversary of his electronic newsletter. The Taipei Times reports:
President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) weekly electronic newsletter celebrated its sixth year yesterday and a series of short films featuring the president were posted on Taiwan's YouTube to coincide with the launch of the video sharing Web site yesterday. The A-bian e-newsletter, with weekly updates on Thursday, has published 314 entries since its inauguration on Oct. 18, 2001, and has 123,000 subscribers.