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For Taipei Flora Expo, cultural sites choose a floral symbol

Representatives of Taipei cultural sites with children on October 7 (Photo courtesy of Department of Cultural Affairs)Some museums and cultural buildings in Taipei have lately been decorated with floral images. This is in preparation for the Taipei International Flora Exposition in November, an event that will see 22 cultural sites bursting with flowers to help shape Taipei into a floral city.

Each site has chosen a kind of flower to symbolize its history, spirit and cultural significance. For instance, the Museum of Contemporary Art chose the horse leek for its balanced esthetics.

“They bloom all year round, exuding a vitality that remains throughout the seasons. Just like what this museum seeks to convey—that life itself is art,” said MOCA Taipei director Shih Jui-jen on Oct. 7.

Besides offering horse leek cultivation workshops for the general public, MOCA will also hold the “Finding India” exhibition on contemporary art from India starting October 23.

The SPOT Taipei Film House chose the Iris as its flower because it means rainbow in Greek and diaphragm in photography, thus an excellent symbol for the venue famous for its film screenings.

For the newly-reopened Treasure Hill, it’s the Bidens Pilosa, also known as Spanish needle, or in Mandarin “xian feng cao.” This robust plant blooms under difficult circumstances, a fitting icon for the tenacity of the residents at Treasure Hill, a former veterans’ community in Taipei’s Gongguan area. In 2006, the New York Times included Treasure Hill as one of the must-see destinations in Taiwan. It reopened to the public earlier this month boasting 14 art studios, two exhibition rooms and two rehearsal rooms.

Visitors to these sites can collect stamps of each and get a talisman from the Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government for free.