The National Tainan Living Arts Center has renewed the "New Residents' Cultural Cultivation and International Art Exhibition Tour" program for a second year. This year, the motif tying the program together is "Southeast Asian Art in Taiwan," with a series of cultural forums, handicraft workshops, music classes, and folk arts exhibitions that aim to boost public awareness of and respect for Southeast Asian cultures and art.
First up will be "Handicrafts for Living," which starts with a session on Thai bamboo crafts on Sept. 8, followed by Taiwanese rush weaving on Sept. 15, Vietnamese bamboo crafts on Oct. 6, and Vietnamese rolled paper art on Oct. 13. Such activities are designed to lead guests through the wonderful world of Thai, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese handicraft designs and their cultural significance and practical use.
Next up is the six-week "Southeast Asian Folk Music Training," running from Sept. 29 through Nov. 6. Ethnomusicologist Chen Sheng-yuan, who is a specialist in Southeast Asian instruments and performance, will lead participants through an introduction to Indonesian folk music and how to play a distinctive Indonesian instrument, the angklung.
The angklung is the most iconic instrument to come out of West Java, and long ago was used to entertain gods, during festivals, and to celebrate major life events. More recently, though, it has come to be used for entertainment and celebration. Through these sessions, participants will get a deeper understanding of Indonesian folk music and the angklung, as well as having the chance at the end to take part in a performance to showcase what they will have learned.
The big event of the program will happen on Oct. 21 — the "Southeast Asian Culture and Art Forum." This year, the theme of the forum will be "Life Aesthetics in Southeast Asia and Taiwan," in which Thailand Creative & Design Center director-general Apisit Laistrooglai and Silpakorn University's Namfon Laistrooglai will share how tradition and modern design come together in a new era of Thai life aesthetics through the showcase of various Southeast Asian textiles.
Sign up for the free activities and courses at https://tncsec.wixsite.com/nrseaca.