Conferencing at Minshung (Taiwan) and Drinking at Taipei (Underground Society)

by homey81

Last week I had been in Taiwan for particpating a conference about “digital culture.”  The conference venue was at National Chungcheng University at Minshung, a small city in Southern Taiwan. Among members of our group, Yoshitaka was there as “keyote speaker,” Eva as moderator/interpretator and Miao-ju as one of the hosts of the conference.

On Novermber 15, one day before the conference, Kelly Hu, who is not a member of our group but took much pains to organize the conference, and Miao-ju took us to a nice bar/restaurant and I felt very nostalgic when I saw old-style vinyl records there.

Also was there old-style television set, which seemed to be manufactured in the 1970s. They reminded me of “postwar history.”

On 17 November (the second day of the conference), Yoshitaka gave a keynote speech and Eva interpreted his talks. His talk was about the evolution of “J-pop” associating it with the development of moblie/digital technology and subcultural configurations in Japan. I would be happier if Yoshitaka can tell something about his talk~

After 2 days’ conferencing, I moved to Taipei (on 18 November) and met Tunghung for drinking in a pub/livehouse of which he is one of the owners. The name of the pub/livehouse is “underground society.” You can see how it looks like in the pictures below.

Tunghung showed us a “certificate” which permits live performance in the pub. I thought it was the outcome of his long time struggle. Tunghung, right? Nearly everywhere in Asia, we have faced with this kind of problem: fighting against bureacracy who tries to control public space for music performance.

Samll livehouses in Asian cities shares something similar. Crummy, small, dirty, untidy with posters here and there. Though it was the third time that I visited here, I always feel quite comfortable and nostalgic… As there was no live performance in Sunday night, Tunghung, who is always energetic, didn’t mind taking a role of DJ and played music which let me (us) know the history of Taiwanese popular music.

Before going out of Underground, I coudn’t resist the feeling of taking a photo with Tunghung (center) and Yoshitaka (right), who are one of the most famous music critic/scholar in Taiwan and Japan, respectively.

If anybody visit Taipei, I think he will welcome you. Tunghung, right? 🙂


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