Exhibition in Taichung features nation’s first ‘trademarked’ canal

Taipei, An exhibition in Taichung is highlighting Lyu-Chuan (??), or "Green Canal," which has just had improvements made to its hydraulic system and is being promoted as the first canal in Taiwan ever to receive a "trademark."

The Feb. 3-March 11 exhibition has invited 12 artists to share their impressions about the waterway, which runs through the Taichung Basin and contributed to early urban development of the central Taiwan city.

The artists used the five senses -- taste, sight, touch, smell, and sound -- to describe what they feel about the river, according to exhibition organizer Hsu Che-yu (???).

Hsu told CNA that the project invites the audience to take a journey along the canal, using their senses and imagination to build up their own feelings about it.

"We need to learn about our canal -- it is not just a ditch, or something we see in the photo," he said.

Hsieh Hung-kuo (???), who leads a six-person team called "Taiwan River Writing Ink," is one of the participating artists.

Hsieh said he is interpreting Lyu-Chuan through "touch," and to do that, he collected mud from the canal and used professional sterilization and grinding methods to turn it into ink materials.

"What struck me is that the mud from the waterway is really green," said Hsieh, who has explored 13 rivers in Taiwan to make ink out of their respective muds.

Hsieh said he thinks it is great that when people use the ink to write down their intimate feelings, they can instantly make connection to Lyu-Chuan.

"I hope I can make people meet their canal in their daily lives," he told CNA. "It is easy and a wonderful, nostalgic feeling."

The exhibition is part of a bigger initiative between Hsu and the Taichung City government, which wants to turn the canal into an icon of Taichung, an idea similar to how people relate to the Japanese city of Kyoto and its Kamo River.

To do so, they registered a trademark for Lyu-Chuan, the first of its kind in Taiwan, and authorized it for free public use.

There are numerous local businesses willing to take part in the project, Hsu said.

For instance, Iehihuku, a 90-year bakery in Taichung, has launched Lyu-Chuan-themed cakes.

There are also products bearing the trademark of Lyu-Chuan, such as the "Lyu-Chuan Red Envelope," a specially designed red envelope for people to hand out during the Lunar New Year.

However, Hsu admitted that it remains uncertain whether the Lyu-Chuan brand will be sustainable, because at the current stage, all the related vendors are sponsored by the government.

"Hopefully, the exhibition can keep the momentum going and attract private investment," he said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel