Friday, June 12, 2009

Taiwan descends on Licensing Int'l Expo in Las Vegas, June 2-4

Last week’s Licensing International Expo at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas showcased some 20 Taiwanese companies exhibiting their cultural and creative products in the Taiwan Pavilion. Sponsored by the National Science Council (NSC), Taiwan’s e-learning and Digital Archives Program were amply displayed on 1,800 square feet of floor space.

At a press conference to kick off the Expo, Dr. Joseph Yang, the NSC representative and also the Science and Technology Division Chief of TECO-San Francisco, said that the exhibitors had brought a wide range of Taiwanese cultural objects for licensing, with many of the precious articles on display for the first time.

Charles M. Riotto, the president of the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) expressed his appreciation for Taiwan’s yearly participation at the show, and for bringing Taiwan’s many cultural characteristics for licensing. He encouraged more Taiwanese companies to take advantage of the show as a platform to attract more licensing business opportunities.

LIMA, founded in 1985, is the trade group for the US$80 billion licensing industry. With over 1,000 member companies representing everything from major movies and mega corporate brands down to individual artists, LIMA pioneered the annual licensing show in New York City. This was the first LIMA show to be held in Las Vegas.

The opening ceremony of the Taiwan Pavilion began with a colorful and lively performance of Taiwanese aboriginal folk dance. With a theme of “Creative Taiwan–Beyond Incredible,” the specially designed Taiwan Pavilion was divided into three sections: Taiwan’s selected heritage, licensing brand names, and innovative brand names. The sections included digital archives, arts, cultural and creativity, animation, and digital learning.

On display in the selected heritage section was Academia Sinica’s ( huge National Digital Archive Program (NDAP). In 1998, Academia Sinica began their digital archive of Taiwan’s treasures. So far, a total of 3 million pieces of historical literature, architecture, documents, images and relics have been archived. The institution has established a sharing system so that the general public and schools can take advantage of the wealth of digitized materials. The institution has come to Las Vegas to encourage private companies to utilize this resource, sharing the wealth of Chinese and Taiwanese culture with a broader audience.

In explaining the importance of Taiwan’s digital archive, Yang said, “In the past, Taiwan attained remarkable heights in the IT industry, however, with a focus on hardware applications. As people’s living standard rose and appreciation for arts increased, Taiwan’s IT industry should now put more emphasis on artistic fashion designs in its productions in order to appeal to the international markets.” Since the commodities of the IT industry is now technically mature, the NSC has made great efforts in recent years to help local companies use the country’s high-tech edge to develop creative cultural products and add commercial value.

In the section under licensing brands were properties from the Bright Idea Design Company Ltd., Cathy Creative Company Ltd., and Artilize Worldwide Company Ltd. Some of these companies produce original designs - many drawing from the motifs found at the National Palace Museum, while others create original animated characters and animation-based products.

In the section for innovative brands, exhibitors included Taiwan Indigenous Association for Digital Heritage, Peter Pan Art Company Ltd., Tales by Pave, Vivo Tech Corp., Imagery Digital Graphics Company Ltd., Jetprint Image Services Printing Ltd., Pumpkin Creative Inc., and Royal Epen International Corp.

Among the products and designs were creative tattoos and printings from Taiwan Indigenous Association for Digital Heritage, and unique knitting patterns by the Atayal tribe. This was the first time these groups had participated in the Licensing International Expo with the hope of attracting international buyers.

At the closing of the exhibition, Ms Liu Ching-yi, spokesperson of the Taiwan delegation, expressed appreciation to the government for its strong support in the commercial application of digital archives in Taiwan. She said Taiwan has made inroads into this field by participating in the Licensing International Expo these past five years.

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About Me

The Press Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in San Francisco represents the Government Information Office (GIO), Executive Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan). GIO maintains nine Press Divisions in the United States, including the San Francisco office. The Press Divisions are in charge of promoting Taiwan's public relations and cultural exchanges. This blog is updated by the Press Division, TECO in San Francisco.