Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Giant Gulliver installation piece in plaza turns into human anatomy classroom

By Nancy T. Lu

Bring your children to a class in human anatomy. Enter the giant body of Lemuel Gulliver.

The Paper Windmill Theater has recreated the surgeon and sea captain who turns into a giant in Lilliput in Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels” in the square between the National Theater and National Concert Hall in Taipei for public exploration. Admission ticket costs NT$50. Proceeds will go to the victims of the August 8 floods.

The giant measures 62 meters in length, 20 meters in width, 7 meters in height and 12 tons in weight. A foot of the giant serves as point of entry.

Inside, the guides who are colorfully dressed to look like human organs wait to point out the parts of the body. Visitors, therefore, get to meet Prince Happy Heart, Princess Lungs, Tooth Fairy, Grandpa Brain, Big Brother Bone and Muscle Man, among others.

Foot bones like the cuneiform, the metatarsal and the distal phalanx can be spotted right away inside the constantly-pumped giant balloon installation masterpiece.

The 15-minute exploration takes a curious visitor through the large intestine containing suggestions of human bowel, into the winding small intestine and then into the stomach filled with colorful enzymes. All kinds of food intake are recreated here. A paper cup with a straw from a fastfood outlet is a reminder of an unhealthy drink preference.

Lungs, which are amazing machines that function to fill the body with oxygen needs, have colorful bronchial tubes and alveoli. Pancreas, spleen and kidneys are conveniently pointed out to visitors, too.

The anatomical tour continues upward through the esophagus to the mouth and from there to the brain. Gulliver’s mouth opens to the sky and an exit nearby leads to an open-air viewing deck.

Gulliver, the largest installation art for human exploration to be ever created in Taiwan, was finished in April this year. After touring Taichung, Tainan County and Pingtung County, it is finally in Taipei. It will be open for visits until January 3.

Requests for guided group tours are entertained. Each group must be composed of at least 20 persons. Call tel. (02)3393-9825.

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