Experts highlight book fair's 'green reading' theme
Taipei, Jan. 31 (CNA)
Gunter Pauli, founder of the Japan-based Zero Emissions Research Initiatives, said at a press conference that he is happy to come to Taipei to do "green reading" for children and adults at the fair Feb. 1-6.
Pauli, who was named one of the ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World in 1983, is the author of a set of fables that cover more than 1,000 scientific subjects for children.
His fables are aimed at helping children and young adults develop their emotional intelligence, eco-literacy and creative capacities while learning science.
"They (people) say children are the future. They're wrong. Children are the present. We are the past," Pauli said.
To change the world, "children need to teach their parents the new things they find out thanks to their creativity and fantasy," he said.
Meanwhile, Markus Wernhard, director of Germany's Geothe Institute in Taipei, introduced a comic project called "Morgenstadt," which gathers comic artists from Germany, Taiwan, Japan, China and South Korea to express their hope and vision for the future through comics.
The one-year project allows comic artists to post comic pieces weekly on a blog with the aim of addressing global issues such as climate change.
"We hope that through this plan, people will know that the cultural community can provide a unique perspective to help raise awareness on the environment," said Wernhard, whose institute co-launched the project with comics group MOGA MOBO in Berlin.
An exhibition of the project will be set up at the fair's main pavilion, titled "green reading."
Noted Taiwanese literary figure Huang Chun-ming said the aim of "green reading" is to rebuild "the ethics of the environment" and a sense of respect for nature.
He said Taiwan spends too much money on activities such as firework displays and lantern festivals, which "leaves behind little impact and is harmful to the environment." Money should be spent on more meaningful events like book fairs, he suggested.
The 76-year-old writer encouraged adults to tell stories to children instead of forcing knowledge on them.
"We often say do this, do that, but we don't tell them how fun it is," he said.
Another feature of the main pavilion at the fair will be a rare collection of 53 ancient Chinese books and documents from the Ming Dynasty, seven of which are the only copies left in the world.
"It is the first time these ancient documents are being displayed outside the National Central Library (NCL)," said its director-general, Tseng Shu-hsien.
The ancient works reveal the leisure lives of Ming scholars, their taste for literature, emphasis on health and respect for nature, Tseng said.
"This was very close to the contemporary concept of green living," she said.
Tseng said e-readers will also be made available at the fair to allow readers of different ages to enjoy a visual image of the social lives of people during the Ming period.
Other items to be displayed at the pavilion include handmade books and the photography of French artist Claire Xuan, a Torah scroll, the photography of Italian artist Massimo Listri, and various books on green living.
The exhibition will be held at the Taipei World Trade Center Feb. 1-6.
(By Christie Chen)