Thursday, November 25, 2004

Green Tainan

The tropical weather covers Tainan with a green coat, all year around. What changes is the color of the flowers, which decorate the coat.

O clima tropical cobre Tainan com um manto verde, durante o ano inteiro. O que muda e’ o floreado do padrao.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Tainan’s Temples

In spite of some architectural handicaps like the one posted here yesterday, Tainan is still renown for its temples.
In my neighborhood, right besides the little Japanese house and opposite to the kitsch creation, both posted yesterday, there is a very nice little temple – the reason the house remains abandoned:

It’s not luck the fact that I have a temple right at my door step, in fact you can see temples literally all over Tainan and they come in all shapes and forms.
I leave just a few examples of the much more you can find in Tainan, all within a few hundred meters radius from where i live:

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Evolução Arquitectonta

Almost everything has its times and eventually gets replaced by improved versions! Although I am an apologist for progress and development, I find it essential to maintain as much as possible the past alive. It helps the new generations understand where they came from and who they are.
But unfortunately this does not happen all the time.
The recovery of old patrimony and the natural evolution of modern architecture are sometimes destroyed and replaced by an ignorant need of exhibitionism of undefined kitsch.
This tends to happen more often in developing countries, immediately after emerging from a black period in their history, characterized by oppression at many levels.
When economies start to grow, sometimes money comes faster and easier than education and as to mark these days of economical prosperity, urban landscapes get marked forever – the nouveau rich est arrive’ confused, tasteless, and kitsch as ever.

Walking around Tainan city, we come across with a range of different house styles, some that truly marked a part of Taiwan’s history and from which we can still learn a lot today:

A bungalow made out of 100% natural materials, palm trees and bamboo – The typical aboriginal’s housing during many centuries in this island.

A town house built during the Japanese occupation (first half of the 20th century).
Today is abandoned right in the heart of the city (my front neighbor). I often ask my friends why they don’t take the opportunity and transform it in a residence or a nice lounge restaurant. The answer is first its old and people here prefer the new and then second it’s next to a temple where typically there are many ghosts.

And finally a house (my neighbor next door) built during the latest Tawian economic boom (late 20th century), whose architect (if I can call that person such name) was tripping big time on his 10 days-10 countries trip to Europe!

If I had the opportunity to influence progress here, I would not allow such kind of cultural terrorism in this beautiful ancient town and would restore the old charming houses even if we had to share them with the ghosts next door. After all, they are very friendly and share with us their beautiful temples!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Os deuses deviam estar loucos...

...ontem na cidade de Tainan. Parecia que todos os dragoes e personagens da mitologia chinesa tinham marcado encontro aqui nesta velha cidade. Por toda a parte, junto aos templos, assistia-se ao farnesim das dancas dos dragoes ao som dos tambores e musica que fazia lembrar opera chinesa. A cidade foi transformada num autentico palco de mitologia chinesa, coberta de uma neblina com cheiro a polvora proveniente dos efeitos pirotecnicos que rebentavam por todos os cantos, enchendo os ceus de floreados eufemeros.

"Dragon Lion's Legs", resting in between dances - Confusius Temple - Tainan - 21 Nov. 04

And at the end, nature will override man...

East section of the old town’s wall at "National Cheng Kung University's campus.

time and nature erases vestiges - Tainan - November 2004

and at the end, nature will override man... - Tainan - November 2004

Be the best...

Walking around in the "National Cheng Kung University's" campus, I came across with this setting, that at a first glance looked to me as if it was an altar:

Looking closer and I realized it was only a way to tell young people that they can be the best by following the instructions:

It underpins that you are the best when you are militarily superior.
I wonder where they got this idea from!!!

Make love not war!

Still my favorite tree...

“Banyan Tree” at the "National Cheng Kung University" - Tainan City - 21/11/04