By Tsai Tsung-hsien and Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporter, with staff writer
A sculpture made of 2,800 empty beer bottles and wood from the river tamarind tree is to feature at this year’s Taiwan Lantern Festival, which begins on Tuesday next week in Pingtung County’s Dapeng Bay （大鵬灣）.
The sculpture, which is 3m tall and 5m wide, lights up at night and is supported by a steel frame.
Each bottle is signed by a resident of Pingtung’s Hengchun Township （恆春）, where the artist, Yang Tsung-hsun （楊宗熏）, is based.
The sphere shape formed by the beer bottles is like a gigantic beehive, Yang said.
When the sculpture is lit up at night, it looks like a giant guangmingdeng （光明燈） — a small lamp lit by Taoists before Lunar New Year for good fortune in the coming year, he said.
The sculpture, which was commissioned by the Pingtung Cultural Affairs Department, is to also be exhibited in Hengchun Township after the festival ends, he said.
Born in Hengchun Township’s Dehe Borough （德和）, Yang often uses the river tamarind in his work.
His works have previously helped Dehe Borough win a Yuan Ye Award for architectural landscape.
He decided to use the green bottles that Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Corp uses for its Gold Medal Taiwan Beer after discussing the idea with Danish artists Rikke Juellund and Mikael Fock, Yang said.
He had been worried that it would be difficult to gather the number of empty bottles he needed within such a short period of time, but he was able to collect the empty bottles within a few days, he said.
The company should commend him or even “adopt” the sculpture, he added.
Artist Yang Tsung-hsun applies silicone to a sculpture made of beer bottles and wood on the site of the Taiwan Lantern Festival in the Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area in Pingtung County’s Donggang Township on Jan. 31. Photo: Tsai Tsung-hsien, Taipei Times