Taiwan's charms pushed in New York

Updated: 2013-09-30 11:05

By Amy He in New York (China Daily)

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What is Taiwan most famous for? If you don't know the answer to that, then the Taiwan Tourism Bureau wants you to give Taiwan a visit to find out for yourself.

The bureau partnered with the Smithsonian to showcase the food, arts and culture of Taiwan at a Museum Day Live! event in New York City on Saturday. The goal of the event was to promote tourism to Taiwan.

Celebrate Taiwan @ Grand Central Terminal took place in the terminal's Vanderbilt Hall. Grand Central celebrates its centennial this year, a milestone it shares with the Taiwan Railway Administration's grand Hsinchu Station. New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority and its Taiwanese counterpart signed an agreement last month designating Grand Central and Hsinchu Station as "sister stations", since both turned 100 in the same year.

Celebrate Taiwan featured calligraphy demonstrations by artist and professor Pang Chiu Liu, a traditional dance performed by the Yungli Dance Group and live food presentations by chefs from the Shin Yeh International Dining Group.

James Guerrero, an attendee, said that a cultural event held at a bustling place like Grand Central would help promote tourism by helping to educate Americans. "A lot of Americans don't know a lot about Asia," he said. "they think Taiwan, China, and Asia are all the same."

The event finished off with a two-part fashion show featuring designs from the PRAXES label and from Malan Breton, a Taiwan-born American designer.

Breton - whose designs incorporate Eastern elements like specially woven fabrics from Asia - said that growing up in Taiwan heavily influenced his sense of design.

"In Taiwan, everything's presented as something for the senses, so I tend to present my fashion shows like that," he said. "My show at Lincoln Center, when you walked in, there was an opera singer, there was dramatic lighting. there was scent. Fashion is very much a sensory thing."

With the way Chinese and Asian customers are craving luxury fashion goods, Breton said an East-West fusion in fashion design around the world is only going to grow in the years to come.

"There was a strong fusion in the '30s, then the '60s, then the '90s, and it's now happening again," he said. "In the '90s you had the Japanese designers, but now it's the Alexander Wang's and the Jason Wu's that are influencing the market.

"People realize now how much has come from the East," he said. "People are more educated now.'


Taiwan's charms pushed in New York

(China Daily USA 09/30/2013 page3)