2019 Tainan Street Arts Festival Kicks Off with Three Days of Festivities on Hai-an Road
Instead of the former competition model, this year's Festival is a live exhibition of all forms of street art. With emphasis on "public participation" and "site specific creations", the event invites all participants to join the artists in the streets, experience various art forms, and create a collaboration project and street art festival that is distinctively Tainan. As the Tainan City Cultural Affairs Bureau pointed out, this year's Festival includes four major themes: Opening Ceremony Guest Artist, International Artists, Busker Corner, and Workshops. Eight international groups and 29 selected domestic and international street art performers will offer over 100 performances, covering circus arts, acrobatics, puppetry, dance, mime, manzai, and street dance.
The international artworks shown this year include the opening ceremony act "Des Bâtisses Sœurs aux Villes Ephémères" by French artist Olivier Grossetête, "Les Dodos" by Cie Ekart (France), "Nellie the Hippo" by Teatro Pavana (Holland/Italy), "Boxing" by Fraser Hooper (New Zealand), double acrobatic act "Impulse" by Theater Momggol (Korea), site-specific Performance "One Shot" by Collectif Protocole, graceful "Carillon" by International Show Parade, and a Site-specific Performance Creation Workshop Presentation by Johan Swartvagher (France) and Taiwanese performers. In addition to the array of performances, street artists will also set up booths for carpentry, metal work, ceramic arts, silk screen printing, accessory designing, portrait painting, and traditional crafts.
The most eye-catching piece at the opening event is the large cardboard box structure "Des Bâtisses Sœurs aux Villes Ephémères" created by French artist Olivier Grossetête and Tainan residents in the past two weeks. Among the many historical buildings that exist, or once existed in the city, Grossetête chose the old Tainan post office (which has been demolished) as inspiration to create the project. The completed collaboration artwork by the artist and local public stands at the Sakariba plaza between Youai Street and Zhongzheng Road and serves as the spiritual landmark of the three-day Art Festival.
The Tainan City Mayor was led on stage by a cute ostrich from Cie Ekart's "Les Dodos" and the large hippo from Teatro Pavana's "Nellie the Hippo" at the opening event. During the weekend the characters will randomly appear among the audience at the event venue. Keep an eye out for them! Tonight's grand showcase offers an unprecedented star line-up with New Zealand street artist Fraser Hooper, Korean magic and circus act group 231 SHOW, Taiwanese diabolo group Double V, Taiwanese kendama master Screwdama, and Japanese mime performer Yosuke lkeda.
The Cultural Affairs Bureau especially thanked the shops on Hai-an Road and local residents for their full support and cooperation since Hai-an Road was closed off to vehicles for the Festival. The main venue for the three-day event is the section of Hai-an Road between Minsheng Road and Youai Street. The Sakariba plaza also hosts some street performances and is open for check-ins and photos. Other performances are held on the five stage areas on Hai-an Road. Visitors can pick up a programme at the onsite service center or download it from the website.
All TSAF 2019 events are free. "Smile when you see a great performance!" said Mayor Huang. Some tips for the buskers would also be appreciated. The Mayor also suggested that visitors can take a break in nearby restaurants and shops between performances. Audiences are encouraged to bring sitting mats for a more comfortable viewing experience, and please take your trash with you when you leave to keep the city streets clean.