Volume 18 • Issue 19 | Sep. 30 - Oct 06, 2005

10,000 butterfly orchids will be on display for a Taiwanese festival at the Winter Garden.

Orchids to return to Winter Garden for Taiwan fest

By Vanessa Romo

The palm-treed atrium of the World Financial Center Winter Garden in Battery Park City will be transformed into a Taiwanese Garden of Eden, featuring 10,000 butterfly orchids, bamboo trees and stones from Oct. 5 through 11.

The display will be an art installation and a major component of TAIWANtoday, an arts festival co-presented by the Taipei Cultural Center and the World Financial Center. The festival will also include daily tea ceremonies and staged nanguan musical performances specifically choreographed for the Winter Garden. The performers, dressed in lavish period costumes will also play their string and woodwind instruments strolling through the atrium throughout various events. Master artisans will hold bamboo-crafting workshops to demonstrate the various artistic and functional roles it plays in Taiwanese life.

“A lot of people think of Taiwan as just a manufacturing culture, an industrial place without beauty but we want [people] to think about the higher culture,” said Emmy Tu, a cultural officer for the Taipei Cultural Center. Each of the activities planned for the festival has a long history and significance in our culture and other people will enjoy learning about them, said Tu.

Within the Taiwanese artistic tradition, orchid blossoms are symbols of nobility, integrity, and despite their exotic shape and coloring, modesty. Taiwan is also the largest global producer of orchids.

The collection of butterfly orchids (Oncidium papilio) also marks the return of the popular flower to the W.F.C. The Winter Garden hosted the annual International Orchid Show for about ten years, before the building was damaged on 9/11. Since then the festival has been held at the Rockefeller Center ice skating rink.

The Taiwanese themed garden will be one of the largest exhibits of orchids in New York City. It will be assembled from Oct. 5-6 and experts will be available to discuss the ideas for the arrangements and the significance within the Taiwanese culture of the materials used in the display.

Debra Simon, executive director of the W.F.C. arts and events, said the festival is a great fit for the W.F.C. and stressed that it is not intended to replace the popular orchid show.

But she acknowledged that the display of such a large number of orchids would probably lure a significant crowd of “ardent orchid growers.”

“We are always interested in presenting international programming,” she said. “The components are very interesting and very beautiful and they really lend themselves to being in the natural beauty of the Winter Garden.”


Taiwan Today:

Floral Artists’ Q & A: Oct. 5 -6 at 12 p.m., 12:30 p.m., 1p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Tea Ceremony: Oct. 7 and 11 at 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., Oct. 8–10, 12, at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3pm.

Nanguan Staged Performance: Oct. 7 and 11 at 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Bamboo Crafting: Oct. 7 and 11 at 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., Oct. 8-11 at 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.


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