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Feel the charm of Han brush strokes at the 7th Chinese Character Festival

By Psyche Cho
Staff Reporter

A magician plays trick on Han characters on the press conference held December 20 to officially open the 7th Chinese Character Festival. (photo courtesy of Taipei City Department of Cultural Affairs)One of the most eagerly-awaited cultural events in Chinese-speaking circles every year, the Chinese Character Festival, was unveiled December 20 in Taipei, highlighting Han characters that people can appreciate, study, wear, play with, and even… —eat.

The festival, held in Chang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and Taipei Confucius Temple this year, has been a move to promote traditional Chinese character writing, life aesthetics, and creative design, said Hsieh Hsiao-yun, Commissioner of the Taipei City's Department of Cultural Affairs, organizer of the event.

Taiwan’s continuous efforts in preserving and promoting traditional Chinese characters in the past years have hastened exchanges back and forth across the Taiwan Strait on the subject.

A Chinese character art festival was therefore held jointly by Taiwan and its counterpart across the Strait earlier this year in September. “It was the first time for  cooperation of this kind,” said Hsieh in a press conference held December 20 in Taipei to mark the opening of the festival.

This year, in its seventh edition, five themes covering 27 programs were developed to fully explore and manifest the beauty of Han characters through various media.

Visitors to the event were invited to appreciate calligraphy works by a number of noted literati spanning four hundred years back to the Ming Dynasty and to participate in a joint calligraphy writing event on January 1, 2011, to wish for a prosperous new year.

Those who love modern art can see how artists present the old legacy through contemporary materials; fashion goers can attend an Oriental-styled show as well as a fair selling creative products.

An online website offering a test on Chinese characters also serves to advance contemporaries’ knowledge of the beautiful strokes. In addition, magic shows, tea parties and cross-talk performances are also on the list of programs.

The 7th Chinese Character Festival will run until January 30, 2011.