Monday, July 27, 2015

National Center for Traditional Arts (國立傳統藝術中心) [Taiwan Day 694: That's All Folks! - July 26, 2015]



There was much clamor to the back-to-back travel adventures I made in Hualien last week. A lot of people were wanting to go there to experience the same thrill and fun I had in the river-trekking in Golden Grotto and the deadly hike in the Zhuilo Old Trail. But Taiwan is not just a subtropical island blessed with natural wonders. Man-made attractions also span across the island and the National Center for Traditional Arts (NCTA) is just one of them. It focuses on one thing – Taiwanese folk arts. 

It is the center for showcasing the traditional arts of the Taiwan with a land area of 24 hectares. It's a big complex with a museum, theater, old street replica and much more. One whole-day is recommended to explore the area and I went there by taking Bus 1570 of Capital Bus in Taipei City Hall for only NTD 120. I took the special summer season bus that will go directly to NCTA instead of the normal route to Luodong train station. Just tell the driver that you are going to this place...in Chinese. lol. I just showed to the locals inside the bus the Chinese name of NCTA and they were the ones who talked to the bus driver. 
 
Adult tickets cost NTD 150 and since I am a student I only paid NTD 100. I heard a loud festive music as I entered the gates of NCTA. I walked towards the source of the sound and I knew what was happening. In a few minutes, a street drama will start and the people are lining up the sidewalk to have a nice view of the live show.



















Colorful costumes, acrobatic acts and funny acting entertained the audience. The show was made for all ages and whether you are a Taiwanese or not you will definitely enjoy the show. If you want to catch the street drama just check the NCTA website for the schedules. NCTA varies the things that it offers to its visitors. The popular puppet Taiwanese drama of Pili International Multimedia was highlighted as one of the attractions of NCTA this season. If you're not familiar with Pili International just imagine moving dolls being filmed for television. I'm very sure that you will enjoy it.





The old street was cleared of tourist during lunchtime but suddenly it became crowded again as cosplayers walked along the street. The cosplayers were portraying the characters in the puppet show of Pili. They were wearing very attractive costumes and the kids really love it. And as usual I took a video to document what was happening. It was my first time to see a cosplay act in Taiwan.







The cosplay drama continued in NCTA's central square and it was very hot. My camera suddenly shuts off to prevent damage due to overheating. I never knew that my powerful camera has this kind of feature! I just strolled along the old street to see what kinds of things were in each store. Bunch of things about Taiwanese arts can be found inside each store. There was this charcoal sculptures, beads art, calligraphy, Chinese umbrellas and many many many more! You won't be bored in NCTA because each shop offers a DIY experience.



I've also watched a 3D movie of Pili and I was stunned by the special effects. I also entered the Exhibit Area where the theme this summer was about decorated deities. Photographs and video taking were not allowed inside but assure you of the highest quality of the displays inside. It takes so much talent just to paint a wooden sculpture and bring out the goddess look in a piece of wood.



I'm just hopeful that someday the Philippines will also have its own version of this institute. It's not a mall but they've got it all for you.  Hats off to the National Center for Traditional Arts for bringing out the best in Taiwan and I have nothing more to say. That's all folks!




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