The year of the Ox is coming! With the support of Ministry of Culture of Taiwan, Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles collaborated with Asian-Canadian Special Events Association (ACSEA) to present 2021 LunarFest for celebrating the Year of the Ox. 2021 LunarFest, themed “Family is Everything!”, will bring a series of physical and virtual programming from February 11th to 28th. For the physical activities, there are outdoor exhibitions of “The Lantern City - Family Ties” and the Community Lantern project “We Are a Family”. Due to the pandemic, there are also a variety of virtual programs including “Firecrackers” school tour, a virtual hot pot dinner, storytelling sessions, Ox-picious lanterns, Fortune Telling-The Bullish Future and Lunar Craft Studio! Through those physical and virtual activities, people could experience the New Year holidays through various cultures.
As an artistic interpretation of the family theme, “The Lantern City - Family Ties” brings eight lanterns with designs from two remarkable indigenous art families, artist Susan Point of Canada and artist Sakuliu Pavavalung of Taiwan. Susan Point will lead her family with Thomas Cannell (son), Kelly Cannell (daughter) and Summer Cannell (granddaughter) to have an artistic and cultural dialogue with the Pavavalung family from Paiwan tribe in Taiwan with artists of Pairang Pavavaljung, Sakuliu Pavavalung (son), Etan Pavavalung (son) and Reretan Pavavaljung (grandson). Those Coastal Lunar Lanterns are based on indigenous culture and legends, illustrating the inseparable connection between nature and family.
To enhance the vision of making Vancouver a “Lantern City”, the lantern installations by six Canadian artists from different communities will be presented as part of the Community Lantern project – “We Are a Family.” Those lanterns symbolize that all the people belong to one family and celebrate the lunar New Year holidays together. “Lunar New Year isn’t just a celebration of an Asian tradition; it is an opportunity to bring our communities together regardless of who you are. Only until we accept the importance of treating everyone as part of a big family, can our city truly celebrate our diversity as the city’s strength and vibrancy,” said Charlie Wu, Managing Director of ACSEA.
It is the first time that LunarFest team produces virtual programs. “Melting Pot, I Think Not” is a virtual dinner that the multi-ethnic families in Taiwan and Canada find their connections through hot pot dishes. Hakka singer Wei Jie Huang, Japanese bassist Toru Hayakawa and Mongolian guitarist Jiya Urianghai create an online storytelling concert that describes the stories of common people "drifting" in a large environment such as Taiwanese indigenous peoples, migrant workers, and new residents. To pray for blessing and ward off bad luck, Taiwanese artist Yen-Chun Lu designs the Ox-picious paper lantern in combination with Taiwan paper cutting “Window Flowers” and Native American dreamcatcher images.