Saturday, July 30, 2005

From naturist museum to naturist concert

Vienna's Leopold Museum organized a special action Friday for its exhibition of erotic art by Austrian masters like Kokoschka or Klimt: visitors in bathing suit or birthday suit were allowed in free. That the action was a success, is clear from the pictures distributed by various media, including news site Visitors in bikini or completely nude - apart from shoes or sandals - did appear at the museum. Good promotional idea, as nude visits to shopping malls in London or record stores in Australia have shown, and also a promotion for the normalcy of public nudity in a non-offensive context.
Transposing the idea to Asia and Taiwan, what could we organize here? Nude visits to the vast Chinese art collections at Taipei's National Palace Museum? Or to summer shows at fine arts museums and art centers in the region? All good ideas, but we don't see these happening yet because of legal obstacles.
On another local naturist note, popular Taiwanese singer Bobby Chen - known as Chen Sheng in Chinese - is quoted by the local media today as saying he would like to stage a naturist concert on Green Island, a small island southeast of Taiwan, which, by the way, would also be a perfect spot for a naturist resort. While probably delivered half in jest, the remark again shows that if only laws were changed, naturism would no longer be something for small groups of people hiking in the mountains or desperately looking for a remote beach. If naturism were allowed, all kinds of Taiwanese, from students to more enlightened middle-aged people to celebrities, would have the opportunity to escape the pressure of the high summer temperatures by relaxing naked under the trees, at beachside restaurant tables, in swimming pools, just like their more fortunate counterparts in Europe, North America and Australia-New Zealand.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Forumosans Go Naked

One of Taiwan's top Internet forums frequented by foreign residents, Forumosa, launched a poll recently on the topic "Would you walk around naked if you could?" The response was overwhelmingly favorable. Of 59 visitors who bothered to take part in the poll, 46 - or 77 percent - replied yes, only 13 - or 22 percent - voted no. The website of course is slanted more toward foreigners, say westerners, living in Taiwan, so you could expect more "liberal" or open attitudes. Nevertheless, it's another sign that people in general are more open to one of the basic tenets of naturism, namely that public, non-sexual nudity is normal and nothing to be ashamed of. Many poll residents mentioned they at least slept naked, because they felt more comfortable, or because the heat in Taiwan - more than 30 degrees every day for more than half the year - made clothing unsufferable. The only limits those respondents placed on nudity were caused by respect for others, the possibility of being seen by people higher up in another building nearby, the possibility of visits by outsiders, and so on. Many respondents said they didn't mind being seen naked by others, though they understood those others might not want to see them naked. On a completely different topic, if you're wondering why this blog has been inactive for about two months, here's the explanation: first an absence of naturist news from the region, and second, my absence from Taiwan for over a month, in a hot, far-above-30-degrees environment that was nevertheless still unfriendly toward naturism. That's exactly the place where you start thinking about the benefits of naturism, and what you can do to promote the idea to more people, more countries.