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Artist Florentijn Hofman, most known for his Rubber Duck installation which was displayed in Keelung Harbor last year to much tourist attraction, has constructed a 25 meter rabbit as part of the Taoyuan Landscape Art Festival. Hofman stated that the rabbit was inspired by the legend of Chang’e, the Chinese goddess of the moon, and the Jade Rabbit which is said to live with her on the moon. The sculpture has seen several hundred thousand views per day alone, though the Art Festival is slated to run until the 14th.
Nevertheless, National Taiwan University professor Hsu Shih-jung has taken the occasion to call on Hofman to join him in protesting the Taoyuan Aerotropolis Plan. The land the festival hosted on is land that the government plans to expropriate for the Aerotropolis Plan, which overall will require the relocation of 40,000 people and the acquisition of 3,200 hectares of land. Hsu also called attention to the means by which the festival has sought to profile famous foreign artists, rather than Taiwanese artists. When criticized for “politicizing” art by Taoyuan government officials, Hsu’s response was to suggest the intimate relation of art and politics from the onset.
Brian Hioe (丘琦欣) is a freelancer currently based in Taipei, he will be starting an M.A. in East Asian Languages and Culture at Columbia University in Fall 2014.