TIME Fine Art

Watch This Kid Fall Into a Piece of Art Worth Over $1.5 Million and Put a Hole in It


Every curator’s worst fear came true Saturday for the stewards of an exhibition of Italian masterpieces in Taiwan, when a visitor stumbled and accidentally punched a hole in one of the paintings.

The exhibit in this case was the 17th century oil painting Flowers by Italian master Paolo Porpora (1617–1673). It is, according to the Guardian, which cited a database of European art, the only one of Porpora’s works that is signed. Taiwan’s official Central News Agency (CNA) reported that the work was valued at over $1.5 million.

It was damaged when a 12-year-old boy, strolling through the exhibition being held in the capital Taipei, lost his footing right in front of the work, CNA says.

In a video posted to YouTube by the agency, boy is then seen stumbling over a barrier and accidentally punching his hand through the canvas. He gets up, sheepishly looks up at the damage and then turns around to see the presumably horrified reactions of passersby.

The boy’s family will not have to pay the restoration costs, as the painting was already insured, but organizers fear the damage is permanent.

TIME weather

Watch This Hypnotizing Video of Rare Twin Typhoons in the Pacific

Two simultaneous typhoons have been observed for the first time since October, 1997

Prepare to be enthralled: a Japanese satellite has captured twin typhoons—that’s Goni on the left, Atsani on the right—swirling simultaneously for the first time since October, 1997.

The stunning images come courtesy of Japan’s new weather satellite, the Himawari-8, currently coasting about 22,000 miles above the Pacific. The video is able to capture the typhoon’s movement especially well because the Himawari-8 is snapping photos every ten minutes. U.S. weather satellites take shots every three hours, and at half the resolution.

The twin typhoons are a weather oddity—it’s the first time in about 18 years that twin typhoons have been observed. Incidentally, 1997 is known for hosting a particularly strong El Niño (we’re in the middle of another El Niño now), which tends to lead to typhoons in the central Pacific, according to Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist who writes for Slate. The stronger storms lead to stronger El Niño effects, leading to “a feedback loop of sorts,” Holthaus writes.

Goni might make landfall near the Philippines, Taiwan, or Japan over the next week or so. Atsani is so far not expected to affect any country.

TIME Taiwan

Two Mailboxes Are the Newest Taiwanese Celebrities After a Supertyphoon

Taiwan takes stock in Typhoon Soudelor's wake
Kyodo/AP A postman poses in front of a pair of newly famous postal boxes in Taipei on August 10, 2015

The battered Taipei mailboxes have become symbols of resilience

As Taiwan surveys the damage wreaked by supertyphoon Souledor over the weekend, including at least seven confirmed dead and 100 missing, locals are finding some lighthearted relief in what is otherwise a dark situation — namely, in two mailboxes in Taipei’s Zhongshan district that have been christened the country’s newest stars after surviving high-intensity wind.

The mailboxes remained upright throughout the storm, but at a cost evident in the newly quizzical tilt of their metal heads and slant of the poles connecting them to the ground. It’s an image that netizens are exploiting for whimsical photos on Instagram and Twitter, labeled with the hashtag #郵筒, which means “#mailbox.”

The meme has spread with such ferocity that at some points early this week there was a line of people patiently waiting for a moment with the inanimate celebrities.

Philip Ong, head of the local postal system, told the Taipei Times that there are plans to turn the mailboxes into official tourist attractions, including a historical plaque and even possible t-shirts and other tie-in paraphernalia. The boxes will also be lightly refurbished and will continue to serve their original purpose, albeit rather more adored than their postal peers.

TIME weather

The Strongest Typhoon This Year Is Heading Toward Taiwan, Japan and China

It is expected to weaken as it nears Taiwan, however

Supertyphoon Soudelor has rapidly strengthened into a Category 5 storm in the northwest Pacific, with peak sustained wind speeds of 180 m.p.h., the Weather Channel reports. That makes it the strongest tropical cyclone recorded this year.

On Sunday, Soudelor, which made landfall as a Category 2 storm, slammed into the Northern Mariana Islands, causing “extensive” damage on Saipan. The storm brought down power lines, toppled roofs and flooded the island’s power plant. Hundreds of Saipan’s residents sought shelter until Monday afternoon.

Saipan’s acting governor Ralph D.L.G. Torres declared “a state of disaster and significant emergency” for the island, reports the Pacific Daily News.

According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, the supertyphoon is expected to continue on its path northwestward across the Pacific Ocean over the next few days but will weaken as it nears Taiwan, China and Japan’s southwestern Ryukyu islands by Friday.

The name Soudelor comes from the Federated States of Micronesia and is a Pohnpeaian word for a legendary chief or ruler.

[Weather Channel]

TIME Mobile

How Apple’s New Emoji Could Anger China

A simple flag can be a big political statement

Apple is adding a new emoji to its iPhone operating system that could anger leaders in one of its most important markets.

The Taiwanese flag will be available on Apple keyboards for the first time when iOS 9 launches in the fall, according to Emojipedia, a website that tracks emoji updates. The sovereign status of Taiwan is a hotly contested issue in Asia, as China has identified the independently run state as a “renegade province” that needs to be reunified with the mainland. China openly opposes any references to Taiwanese independence.

The new flag could strain relations between Apple and China, which has in the past used its state broadcaster to call the iPhone a security threat. China is also well-known for its strict censorship policies on digital communications.

Apple generated nearly $17 billion in sales in Greater China (which includes Taiwan) in the first three months of 2015, making it the company’s second most important region by revenue generation after the Americas.

TIME Taiwan

Hundreds Injured in Taiwan Water Park Fire

Taiwan park fire
EPA Taiwanese push a young man suffering from burns on his legs to an ambulance at the Formosa Fun Coast park in the Bali District of New Taipei City, northern Taiwan, June 27, 2015.

The fire's cause is under investigation

More than 200 people were injured in a fire that broke out at a water park in Taipei, Taiwan on Saturday.

The fire ignited in the midst of “colour play” party at the Formosa Water Park, which featured music and dancing. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but BBC reports it may have sparked when a colored powder being thrown on the audience burst into flame.

There were at least 215 people injured, with 83 of them suffering severe burns, BBC reports. There were about 1,000 people near a stage where the fire started.

The fire was brought under control.


TIME Behind the Photos

Behind TIME’s Cover With Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen

Photograph by Adam Ferguson for TIME

Photographer Adam Ferguson explains his approach

Tsai Ing-wen, who is running for president in Taiwan, is on the cover of this week’s edition of TIME Asia. Freelance photographer Adam Ferguson, who authored the cover portrait, takes us behind the scenes:

“The shoot followed a morning interview by TIME’s Emily Rauhala and Zoher Abdoolcarim in Taipei,” Ferguson tells TIME. “I was setting up a studio on location and I was nervous I wouldn’t get [a lot of] time, but Tsai was very relaxed and happy to work with me.”

Ferguson was allocated 20 minutes with Tsai, which he felt would be enough.

“It was my initial idea to light Tsai with a traditional butterfly beauty lighting set up,” he says, referring to the lighting style that creates a butterfly-shaped shadow under the subject’s nose.I thought [this style] was simple enough to allow her personality to speak rather than the lighting being too dominant.” But, as the shoot started, Ferguson thought it wasn’t working. “I really wasn’t happy with the results I was getting,” he says. “The portraits I made were two-dimensional and didn’t capture the political aspirations inherent to Tsai and her party, so after about 15 minutes I asked Tsai [for] a break.”

Ferguson had followed Tsai the previous day. “She had seen me dripping with sweat jostling with Taiwanese photographers trying to make a candid image of her traveling, so I think she recognized that I was serious about making an image that I was happy with and agreed to the extra time,” he says.

Ferguson chose a lighting technique that was more dramatic with harsher shadows. “It gave her face more shape, accentuated her features and in my opinion promoted a more complex reading of her,” he says. “I enjoy political portraiture because there is space to capture personalities in a way that is rawer than the visual tools used in the fashion or commercial world of imagery. I have deliberately not pandered to a visual language that accentuates youth. Our daily lives are already saturated with imagery like this, through advertising, and my intent was for this to be a strong character-driven portrait that speaks about aspiration more than beauty.”

The resulting portrait, which appeared on the cover of TIME’s Asia edition, has been the subject of intense debate in Taiwan, with some accusing the photographer of making Tsai look older than she is.

Ferguson is unfazed by the controversy. “With Tsai I was hoping to capture an expression that was serious, contemplative and strong—all emotions that I believed epitomized her current political aspirations,” he says. “I suspect people are surprised by a lighting style with high contrast because it is not the way subjects are lit in more conventional context.”

And, he adds, giving her face extra depth gives viewers more to look at — and, in this case, more to talk about.

Read TIME’s interview with Tsai Ing-wen.

Adam Ferguson is a freelance photographer based in Bangkok, Thailand.

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

TIME France

Thieves Stole More Than $5 Million Worth of Chanel Jewels in a Paris Smash-and-Grab

French police are hunting three perpetrators

A Taiwanese art collector was robbed Thursday of nearly $5.4 million worth of Chanel jewels near Paris, France when her taxi was traveling through a long tunnel between the city and Charles De Gaulle Airport that has become infamous for theft.

French police are hunting three perpetrators who smashed the car window and snatched the woman’s handbag before escaping.

It has not been confirmed if the thieves were aware of the jewelry in the woman’s handbag or if they targeted the taxi at random, but police did point out that the uniqueness of the jewels would make them difficult to sell without a developed network.

According to Agence France-Presse, the woman said the jewels were meant to be displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. The museum has denied the claim.

Almost 1 mile (0.8 km) long, Landy Tunnel is the most common transit route taken to Paris from Charles De Gaulle Airport. Notable robberies include a 2010 smash-and-grab committed upon the daughter of the mayor of Kiev and a spectacular armed assault on a Saudi prince last August.

TIME Food & Drink

You Won’t Believe Where the World’s Best Whiskey Comes From

Taiwan Whisky Winner
Wally Santana—AP A visitor walks past casks at the Kavalan whiskey distillery in Yilan County, Taiwan

Sorry, Scotland. Nice try, Japan

Taiwan’s Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique is now officially the best single malt whiskey on earth, according to the World Whiskies Awards.

The contest’s judges described the malt as “surprisingly smooth on the palate” and added: “it’s like Bourbon infused milk chocolate.”

The spirit is produced at the King Car distillery in northeastern Taiwan’s Yilan County, where the whiskey is aged in American oak barrels that once stored white and red wines.

The distillery, which went operational just a decade ago, has been racking up a plethora of awards in recent years and getting nods from some of the world’s top single-malt connoisseurs. In 2012, the acclaimed guide Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible named Kavalan’s Solist Fino Sherry Cask malt the “new whisky of the year.”

Read next: Calorie Count Coming Soon to a Can of Guinness Near You

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