November 22, 2014
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The Beauty of Taiwan
Cranston gets a taste of Taiwan with library partnership

On Sunday, the William Hall Library and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Boston joined forces with Cranston Public Libraries to host their opening ceremonies and culture show.

The show features four Taiwanese photographers and their travels throughout Taiwan and it's surrounding islands. Anne Hung, director general for TECO, said she is proud of the exhibit.

"These photographs introduce many different aspects and beauties of our country. We hope it gives you a better understanding of Taiwan's natural beauty and culture," she said.

The photo exhibit will open at Cranston Central Library on June 1, and run through June 30. In the program room of the Hall Library over the weekend, there were 10 photos on display highlighting the landscapes, countryside, people and cultures that make up Taiwan. There was a photograph entitled “Roof of Taiwan” by Chi Po-lin, which featured Yushan. Yushan is East Asia's highest peak east of the Himalayas, and is four kilometers above sea level. Literally, you are on top of the world with this photograph.

In the back of the room, there were tables set up to learn traditional Chinese arts and crafts, such as rice dough figurine sculpting, Chinese knotting, origami and lantern making.

Edward Garcia, the new director for Cranston Public Libraries, served as Master of Ceremonies. He thanked the community for coming out, and for TECO for bringing the Chinese Folk Art Workshop, Inc. to perform.

"This is just the start of many more exciting programs we will be bringing to the community as we move forward," he said.

Mayor Allan Fung also thanked the audience, and commended Garcia for flourishing in his new position.

"We are opening doors in our city to whole new worlds. The diverse programming in our libraries is a wonderful opportunity to bring performers and information to our city," he said.

The eight performances by the Chinese Folk Art Workshop, Inc. were a combination of dance, music and unusual talent showcasing.

The Yoyo Sensation was perhaps the most unusual and appreciated act.

Four performers used red and white oversized yoyos that were spinning on a separate piece of wire, and used long handles to control the motion. They performed the tricks in synchronicity, and then took turns showing their individual skills, which brought applause from the crowd.

“The yoyos were my favorite part. I thought they were really cool,” said 12-year-old Ben Bowker, a seventh grade student at Park View.

The costumes for both the male and female performers were ornate, and specifically designed for each act. The girls did quick costume changes including hair, outfit and shoes while the young men performed.

All the performers in the workshop are ages 10 to 18, according to founder and director, Kun Chang.

"The children come from traditional Taiwanese backgrounds and households, in the surrounding Boston suburbs. While after graduation they move on, several of them will come back to assist and teach. Currently, there are 50 students in the program," he said.

After the performances, the guests were treated to a reception of traditional Chinese food sponsored by TECO, including egg rolls, lo mein, crab rangoon, dumplings and beef teriyaki.

“None of this would have been possible without the help and support of Mayor Fung,” said Garcia. “It was his suggestion to match TECO and the Cranston libraries. I think it is a great fit.”

For more information about this, or any other Cranston library program, visit their website at www.cranstonlibrary.org

Herald photos by Pam Tcath


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