Matsu’s Birthday Celebration is one of the very interesting cultural and religious events in this part of Taiwan, and it happens every year during the time of the Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project. Matsu is the goddess of the sea and protector of fishermen so she is an important religious god in Taiwan and particularly in southwestern Taiwan where Cheng Long village is located. The 2014 artists and volunteers all went to Beigang, a nearby city, for the Matsu celebration and parade joined by people from all over Taiwan and bringing Matsu on a journey around Taiwan to this big important temple in Beigang. Here is a photo of the Cheng Long artists and volunteers in front of the Beigang temple on the Matsu celebration night. Hundreds of people, parades, fireworks, street entertainment, lots of noise and of course food —all of this added to the great experience of the Matsu Festival for the foreigners visiting Taiwan this year for our art project.
Here is another photo showing 2014 artist Katie Surridge from UK, burning spirit money in the Beigang Temple during the Matsu celebration.
The people in Cheng Long village also had special dinners and celebrations for Matsu’s birthday. This year the 2014 artists and volunteers got invited to join two Matsu celebrations by families in Cheng Long village!
Here are some photos from one of the celebrations. There was a huge brightly lit portable stage set up with karaoke and some of the artists and volunteers went onstage for the karaoke! At this celebration there was lots of wonderful food and drink, beautiful dancing and singing girls, firecrackers, and lots of fun with the village people. The artists and volunteers had a great time at these celebrations with the villagers.
The artists are back to work each morning and making great progress on their artworks. The next post will show you some of the artworks in progress at the fishing hut area and in the working outdoor studio places where each 2014 artist is creating his art installation for the 2014 art project “Fishing for a Better Environment.”
The Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project is curated by Jane Ingram Allen (www.janeingramallen.com), and the photos on the Blog this year are by Timothy S. Allen (http://allentimphotos2.wordpress.com).