In Taipei 101 is a large black granite circle in the floor, and in white marble are carved the names of a whole host of places, some well-known, others nobody has ever heard of. This of course is ART.
Public Art in fact, known as the ‘Global Circle’ and described on the Taipei 101 website rather eloquently as:
In the most luxurious and hottest shopping center, this Global Circle exists in silence. The black granite ring is embedded in the Social Plaza of the shopping square, and white inscriptions of names of cities from celebrated metropolises to unknown towns mingle in disorder along its border—in the tide of globalization, we are in the center of the world as well as the margin of others. Under sunlight, the Global Circle creates another dimension of space, echoing constellations in the cosmos.
So there I was on New Year’s Eve with many hours to spare before midnight, and there I was staring at all these randomly arranged places – and there, in the middle of them all is no lesser a name than the mighty TABORA! Yes Tabora! Is it one of ‘unknown towns’ mentioned above, or in fact a ‘celebrated metropolis’? After all, there it is placed between Hiroshima and Miami….
Ah Tabora, what memories! Famous because – well, David Livingstone hung out in the area long ago, but more famous cos it’s a major junction on the railway line between north and south Tanzania, the station where the trains going upcountry divide to go west or north, and where they meet up on their journey south – either way, travelers spend many long (sometimes never-ending!) happy hours waiting there on the train…..
So now Tabora can know it’s on the map – not just any old map – but on the Global Circle right in the heart of Taipei 101!