Chiu Shu-chong's touching "LOVE" Installation／邱旭衝的LOVE裝置藝術
Chiu Shu-chong's touching "LOVE" Installation
◎English translation: Peng Hsin-yi
◎Photo by Hou Ya-ting
In August 2014, the "LOVE" art installation became Kaohsiung's newest tourist landmark. With its charming waterfront that has been recently enhanced, the Love River is one of Kaohsiung's romantic highlights and an integral part of its urban landscape. Along its banks are a music theater, movie museum and historical exhibitions, which can be enjoyed within walking distance of each other. The "LOVE" art installation has been stands next to the Ambassador Hotel's Love Boat ferry station and has become a popular spot to take photos.
There are always lineups of tourists waiting to take their picture in front of it. Artist Chiu Shu-chong is very happy that it has become so popular. The installation's companion piece "Kaohsiung Love River", is also lit up and located across the river in front of the courthouse. Visitors who take the Love Boat tour at night will enjoy its colorful reflection shimmering on the river. These art installations have added much to the city's vibrant skyline.
When designing the instillations, Mr. Chiu discussed the details in great length with the City Government's Maintenance Office. He described his contemporary vision of how he could best present the beloved river and in the end the word "LOVE" prevailed. The word love transcends language and culture and is symbolic of a city that endeavors to reach out to visitors from around the world. It is also carries the river's namesake and embodies it original meaning.
The "LOVE" installation won the crowd over with its simplicity. The colors themselves were also arranged with much consideration. Mr. Chiu decided strong, saturated colors were soothing to the eye. With inspiration drawn from Andy Warhol, he picked yellow, pink and blue. In Mr. Chiu's work, yellow symbolizes supremacy and the Love River's unique status in Kaohsiung. The letter O was installed as a pink heart, embodying the softness of love. The letter V was created in an energetic green, which is a classic tone of Matisse's Fauvism.
The installation stands 4.5 meters (14.8 feet) in height and is the perfect size for taking photos. When posing beside the art piece, it is easy to get the whole installation in its entirety and the people in the photo will not look like tiny dots. The installation is made from stainless steel and coated in "race car" grade paint, therefore withstanding many people touching it.
LOVE這件裝置藝術，今(2014)年8月推出即成為愛河觀光新地景，總可見遊客們大排長龍要拍照。創作者邱旭衝表示，很開心作品能吸引群眾願意走近、拍照留念。他的另一件作品位於對岸，地方法院前的親水臺階，裝置著「Kaohsiung Love River」，從地下打燈，夜間乘「愛之船」遊河的旅客，看見水面上波光粼粼，更顯愛河夜色燦爛的魅力。
The Inspirational Story of Ultramarathon Runner,
◎English translation: Lin Fu-ju
◎Photo by Hou Ya-ting
Chiu Shu-Jung is nicknamed ultramarathon mom because of her passion for marathons. In 2008, Chiu Shu-Jung participated in an eighteen day, 1,151-kilometer ultramarathon, in France. However, she got blisters on her feet caused bacterial infections and then turned septic. Unfortunately, she had to receive two amputations, one on her right leg up to her thigh and half of her left foot. However, Chiu Shu-Jung realized sorrow could not alter what had happened and she would not give up. She also realized it was her sorrow which was the source of her family's sorrow and her happiness which was the source of her family's happiness. Therefore she had to stop feeling sorry for herself. After she went through the healing process, she was fitted with prosthetics and learned to walk again. At first, it took her some time to stop falling over the smallest bumps and holes in the road but she is now able to walk effortlessly again.
She has gained the respect of her fellow race competitors who adore her. She goes out to watch the races, well dressed and full of confidence. She carries cane covered with rhinestones. She wears skirts so she can show off her prosthetics and jokes that with them she doesn't get tanned or cold. On a more serious note, she believes people admire her courage and the way she tackled such a setback.
After her ordeal, Chiu Shu-Jung still dreamed of getting back into doing marathons. She received a tricycle by a bicycle company and was very excited that she would be able to begin cycling again. After she learned how to ride the tricycle, she took her first ride around Chengcing Lake, alongside her ultramarathon friends. Over the last three years, Chiu Shu-Jung has completed 30 cycling marathons, each being on average approximately 42.195 kilometers long.
Chiu Shu-Jung's story was made into a documentary. During the filming, she went to France to watch the ultramarathon. On the first day, she stood at the finish line, waiting to hug her old running pals. Chiu Shu-Jung's perseverance has proven that she has overcome both physical and mental trauma. The documentary was released last year in Taiwan. Chiu is often invited to deliver inspirational speeches and regards her prosthetics as a marathon medal. She is now eager to conquer a cycling marathon. Chiu Shu-Jung explained that although sometimes people will feel frustration, it's not the end of the world. "Sometimes detours will allow you to regard things differently and provide the opportunity to experience a different life."