The 2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition (2015 TIBE) scheduled for Feb. 11 to 16 at the Taipei World Trade Center will feature a paper pavilion with a Maori cane as its main design element. Theme country New Zealand will bring the largest-ever delegation of participating writers, Maori dancers, and woodcarvers, and present the creative collaboration by an alliance of Taiwanese and New Zealand novelists and illustrators.
Designed by renowned architect Andrew Patterson, the New Zealand Pavilion will be built with paper sheets to form the shape of a traditional Maori cane, an item that symbolizes the right to free speech and pays homage to oral literature. The pavilion will house some 20 New Zealand-based publishing houses that will display their publications and promote copyright exchanges.
A 22-member New Zealand delegation comprising 17 writers, two illustrators, and three image novelists will also attend the exhibition as the largest-ever visiting delegation. Among them are Eleanor Catton, the youngest author to ever win the Man Booker Prize for Fiction; Joy Cowley, a writer deemed as New Zealand's national hero; renowned Maori writer Witi Ihimaera; and famous children author and illustrator Gavin Bishop.
In addition, Nga Kete Tuku Iho, a performance group with the New Zealand Maori Arts & Crafts Institute, will stage two performances per day between Feb. 12 and 16. A Maori carver is also expected to complete a wooden sculpture during the six-day book fair by working inside the New Zealand Pavilion.
Since New Zealand was named 2015 TIBE theme country by the Ministry of Culture on Aug. 14, the two countries have closely cooperated and jointly promoted the "Taiwan-New Zealand Publishing and Collaboration Project” by choosing three illustrators/novelists to be resident writers in New Zealand and Taiwan in October 2014 and February 2015, respectively.
Their goal is to create a bilingual (Chinese-English) illustrated novel that will be published in 2015. The six novelists will showcase their preliminary teamwork and inspirations during the Taipei book fair and share their residency experiences with visitors and fans.
To show the importance New Zealand has attached to its role as the theme country of the 2015 TIBE, executive curator Kevin Chapman (second right) made a special trip from New Zealand to attend a Dec. 22 press conference in Taipei.
The six artists participating in the Taiwan-New Zealand residency exchange are: Sean Chuang, 61 Chi, and Ahn Zhe from Taiwan (pictured above), and Tim Gibson, Ant Sang, and Rachel Fenton from New Zealand (pictured below).