13th Annual Passport to Taiwan Festival

Photo by Niko

Article by Pui See Tsang

13th Annual Passport to Taiwan (P2TW) Festival, the largest outdoor celebration of Taiwanese American Heritage in the US, presented at Union Square on May 25th with an afternoon of exciting performances, astonishing displays of Taiwanese arts & crafts, informative exhibitions, and of course delicious food!

Takao Run. Photo by Corky Lee

This year, P2TW Festival was particularly excited to display Taiwan’s cultural heritage through two featured arts troupes from Taiwan. The first one was Takao Run, an award-winning folk arts group hailing from Kaohsiung whose performances range from soulful traditional song and dance to upbeat pop-infused opera and techno Santaizi.

PATAS, Photo by Corky Lee

PATAS, a group of performers of the Atayal tribe that dedicate to the preservation of their heritage and the “Gaya” way of teaching, shared with us the Atayal culture through performances involving a variety of dance movements, songs, and percussion, such as a weaving dance, a powerful and heroic warrior dance, and a dance of romantic courtship accompanied by mouth harp (Lubuw).

Sun Of Morning, Photo by Niko

The stage program was rounded out by performances of two exciting bands from Taiwan: Sun of Morning, and OVDS. Sun Of Morning (晨曦光廊) is an indie band that originated in Tainan,Taiwan. The group formed in 2008 and the band keep adding different elements to their music composition and always experiment on different music genres and exploring all possibilities. With the love for the land and dialect of Taiwan in mind, through their music, more than just songs, Sun of Morning expect to bring touching moments to audiences.

OVDS, Photo by Niko

OVDS formed in their home-town of Taipei in 2004. Also known as OverDose in the early years, producing Dub-step/Drum&Bass/Electro House into its sound to develop its own distinct brand of rock and committed to a thorough exploration of electro-rock aesthetics, by the interac-tion between the two lead vocals generate vibrant contrasts that greatly contribute to creating a style that is unique in Taiwan’s indie repertoire. In 2013, officially change the name into OVDS, and was nominated the ASIA Versus in April to battle with musician and bands from Japan, Korea, Indonesia and Taiwan. By making music to let the ideals come true and overcome the multiple challenges in the real life, OVDS band members put the hope in their music, showing the world that they are  from Taiwan and hope to be heard.

Watermelon carving by Hsu Kai Jun, Photo by Chiu Ng

Off stage, there was a “Made in Taiwan” exhibit in honor of NYC’s Bike Month, featuring products made by companies and manufacturers in the bike industry of Taiwan. You could see why Taiwan is called the “Bicycle Kingdom!” Then, there was a special station that presented some of the best Taiwanese cuisine where four award-wining Taiwanese chefs were displaying their food carving skills and offering samples of their cooking!

Photo by Ada Tsang

As you walked around the site, you could also get information about traveling to and around Taiwan from Taiwan Tourism booth. And of course, there were plenty of traditional Taiwanese night market food and drink items, made by members of the Taiwanese community as well as established NYC eateries such as APou, TKettle, Shiny Tea, CoCo, and Come Buy.

Shih Pao Lin Exhibition, Photo by Chiu Ng

One exhibition particularly stood out during the festival was a gigantic display of pink car that is made of 10,000 worker gloves and scrap lumber. It’s a beautiful creation called the Pink “Like” Car by Taiwanese artist Shih Pao Lin. It’s definitely a show stopper.

Photo by Kevin Li

Special thanks to our drink sponsor Bruce Cost Ginger ale for providing us cases of jasmine tea ginger ale from Taiwan for all our performers!

Photo by Ada Tsang

We had an amazing time exploring the 13th Annual Passport to Taiwan Festival and can’t wait to support the festival again next year!

Photo by Kevin Li

Photo by Kevin Li

Avatar photo

About AsianInNY

AsianInNY.com is New York’s leader in Asian networking and a multi-cultural entertainment site. AsianInNY has established itself as the premier social and cultural authority for Asians in New York City. AsianInNY maintains the highest standards in providing reliable online content and producing live offline events. AsianInNY seeks to inspire, educate, and connect our community, using a versatile platform that engages our audience via a multi-layered digital presence that showcases the best of New York City. Our pages are updated daily with a rich cultural mix of news, events, interviews, and more. AsianInNY: Connect with Everything Asian!