SXSW, in collaboration with Taiwan Beats, delivered a smashing, high-quality online showcase featuring remarkable Taiwanese Artists

SXSW, in collaboration with Taiwan Beats, delivered a smashing, high-quality online showcase featuring remarkable Taiwanese artists Fire EX., Enno Cheng, The Chairs and NekoJam. The Taiwan Beats Showcase serves as a platform for Taiwanese artists to share their art across a wide audience. In light of the worldwide pandemic, the normally in-person showcase was converted into a completely online experience for audience viewers to enjoy from all over the world. 

The showcase opens with the peaceful and beautifully haunting voice of Enno Cheng, accompanied by her three-man band against a scenic backdrop of serene Taiwanese mountains. The group cleverly takes advantage of the setting around them to socially distance while performing a clear, and brilliantly entertaining set of songs. Enno Cheng, dressed in a body-length red dress and colorful striped hair, manages to stand out not only against the sea of green around her, but also through the strength and clarity of her voice. 

The showcase never ceases to incorporate aspects of Taiwanese culture and society into each act. The following performance takes place in a factory to represent the blue collar jobs of Taiwan, where manufacturers work tirelessly to produce high quality items for both the country and the world. FireEX. is a punk band from the former epicenter of manufacturing centers— Kaohsiung. Compared to Enno Cheng, FireEx. delivers a strikingly different yet equally attention-grabbing show. With music whose lyrics provide social commentary on topics such as Taiwanese independence, they don’t fail to make their mark on listeners. The video alternates back and forth between FireEx. and manufacturing workers completing their duties in the factory, providing social commentary through means of imagery of an important aspect of Taiwanese society. 

The third act, The Chairs, makes its presence in a facility for Indoor Shrimp Fishing to shed light on the cultural significance of Taiwanese food and culture. With an old-school sound reminiscent of sixties and seventies psychedelic tunes, the dreamy flow and rhythm of their music gives a smooth, bedroom pop aesthetic not easily achieved by many artists today. With heavy use of acoustics in The Chairs’ sound, the indoor fishing joints’ large, open spaces provide the perfect opportunity to highlight the band’s musical strengths. The friendly and soothing vibe given off by the four members makes for a comfortable and welcoming environment, inspiring international viewers to discover what Taiwan’s indoor fishing joints and overall cuisine have to offer, while also serving as a wonderful reminder to Taiwanese people of an enjoyable pastime they celebrate. 

The showcase concludes with NekoJam. The band provides a fun and energetic electronic concert from the inside of a historic temple, Monga-QingShan. Consisting of all female members, NekoJam shines with a completely different show than the other three musical groups. We are once more reminded of the diversity of Taiwan and all it has to offer. 

Rich in cultural history and diversity, Taiwan’s outstanding positive and progressive image is highlighted further through the Taiwan Beats Showcase at SXSW Online. Viewers will be pleased with the quality and range of each performance and inspired to seek out more things that Taiwanese society has to offer. In an impeccable showcase of Taiwanese talent and culture, listeners will not be disappointed with the Taiwan Beats SXSW Online showcase this year. 

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