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  • George Berlin, Creative Genius

Tree of Light: How it helps

All the ways that it can elevate life in Alishan


The Tree of Light was designed to do a lot of things. Obviously, it's intended to be a big beautiful sculpture to enjoy. But there's so much more to it- let's dive into some of that!

I designed it to be one cohesive sculpture, with special areas that can be covered with art from local Taiwanese villages in made especially for it. The open blue sections on the image above (almost 20 total) are made for artists, school children, and others to create designs that reflect their cultural heritage. Its modular design allows that art to be replaced in rotation for different seasons or events. For the opening on December 20th 2020, those areas will have art designed in part by local schools based on what each village is known for- from fish scales in one village to stylized pigs in another area that is known for its pork. Other themes include stars, fireflies, keys, pulled leather, and iron. Sure, I'm flying halfway around the world to make a sculpture I designed... but it's intended to showcase the culture of the area I'm visiting. Here's some designs native to the area:

Pretty great stuff, right? Each level of the Tree of Light is also designed to evoke the shape and feel of a traditional kuba- with details like a two-story space inside and even sections lined with grasses much like what you see below.

Along with uniting native villages and showcasing their ways of life, the Tree of Light is intended to give these areas a financial boost as well. Alishan is an entire area that is huge for nature tourism within Taiwan- as you can see below- and this sculpture will be an attraction that will draw people to the area to visit and learn about those who live there.

Another way it's intended to do good is by turning the space around it into a gathering place for art vendors, food, and events. An old empty lot can become a cultural hub! The inside of the Tree of Light itself can also be used for art shows, musical performances and many other creative uses to come.

And while I'm here, we'll talk with people about how we created this and what I do in hopes of inspiring those native to the area with new possibilities for their lives.


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