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  • George Berlin, Creative Genius

Tree of Light- the inspiration

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

A tale of pop stars, indigenous tribes, and a bad bunny


It all began with this sketch, drawn on my iPad while I was on the phone:

Well, actually it started a little while before that... One day back in 2019, I got a call from Corbett Wall- the Taiwan Prince of Saxophone in the 90's:

Since finding great musical success, he's moved into arts management, promotion, property investment and then back into curating and producing art events and spaces.


Corbett saw these concert visuals for this HUGE Latin Trap artist Bad Bunny that I created earlier in the year with the cool guys at Xite Labs...

...and he asked us all to design a stadium-sized interactive experience for some arts investors in China. That project never took off, but now he'd seen the great stuff I was capable of pulling out of my brain. He moved on to another organization and we kept in touch every so often. Jump ahead to 2020, and the pandemic found him in Taiwan, where he saw an opportunity to help revitalize some underserved areas in the mountain native villages of the Alishan area. Typhoon Morakot hit Taiwan in August 2009, triggering record-breaking rainfall in central, southern and southeastern Taiwan, causing many families to be displaced.


In this natural disaster, some people's homes were completely destroyed, while some people's land and houses were spared. The hearts of the villagers were hit and wounded, and mistrust between people gradually appeared due to many practical factors. In Laiji Village, the pace of reconstruction is slowly progressing, but finding a sustainable natural way of development without losing the heritage and cultural heritage of Tashan is crucial. Reestablishing active communication within the tribe is key for facing the next crisis. Only sharing and love can heal the anxiety and pain in the heart of the villagers. So Corbett's challenge to me was this: How can we bring light and connection to the villages and also build tourism in this area, along with some ways to share my unique perspective and ideas on creativity and technology with the people there? And that's how the idea of the Tree of Light was born :-)

Next time: designing the tree and what it symbolizes along with its sister heart sculpture

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