The 17th Taishin Arts Award Laureates Announced
Bulareyaung Dance and Cultural Foundation Is Awarded the Annual Grand Prize, Making a New Record in the Award’s History
Taiwan’s prestigious contemporary arts award, the Taishin Arts Award, announced the laureates and presented the award ceremony at Taishin Tower on May 25. The laureates of three awards were selected from 15 finalists, and were respectively awarded to:
The Visual Arts Award: SU Hui-Yu, The Glamorous Boys of Tang (1985, Chui Kang-Chien) (NT$ 1 million monetary award)
The Performing Arts Award: CHOU Shu-Yi, Break & Break! Dance Video Exhibition (NT$ 1 million monetary award)
The Annual Grand Prize: Bulareyaung Dance and Cultural Foundation, LUNA (NT$ 1.5 million monetary award)
The ceremony commenced with the remarks of the chairman of the Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture, Mr. Simon CHENG, who states that the honor of the Award never represents an end for all the artists and the Foundation; instead, through the selection and recommendation of the Award, contemporary arts works that have been happening around us can be given more active and multifaceted attention to expand their influence!
Taishin Arts Award has been engaging all fields in dialogues with the launching of its website, ARTalks. Nine nominators selected 15 finalists from more than one hundred nominated works from last year. For the final selection, jurors from Taiwan and abroad formed an international final selection committee to select the laureates. This year’s final selection jurors included four representatives from Taiwan, including GENG Yi-Wei, CHEN Tai-Song, YU Shan-Lu and SING Song-Yong, and the three international representatives were Joseph Mitchell, Artistic Director for OzAsia Festival; Reuben Keehan, Curator of Contemporary Asian Art at Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland, Australia; and Anna CY CHAN, Dean of the School of Dance of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. After three days of intensive discussions and meetings, the final selection committee selected the laureates of the three awards, including the Annual Grand Prize, with a 1.5 million monetary prize, as well as the Visual Arts Award and the Performing Arts Award, each with a 1 million monetary prize.
First to be announced in the ceremony was the Visual Arts Award, which was awarded to The Glamorous Boys of Tang (1985, Chui Kang-Chien), a new work that artist SU Hui-Yu published in the 2018 Taiwan Biennial. With the approach of re-shooting, Su’s four-channel video installation presented in the form of a screen revisited CHUI Kang-Chien’s original movie, The Glamorous Boys of Tang, and introduced fresh meanings stemming from the gaps between the historical and the contemporary. The jury committee made the following comment regarding his work, “A significant achievement of The Glamorous Boys of Tang (1985, Chui Kang-Chien) is to look back at the suffocating control over eroticism and desire during the martial law ruling period. The artwork responds to a sense of urgency about the liberation of human desire, body, and gender in Taiwan, while presenting a transcendent artistic vision.”
The Performing Arts Award was the second to be announced, which was awarded to choreographer CHOU Shu-Yi’s independent production, Break & Break! Dance Video Exhibition. For over three years, Chou visited numerous corners in Taiwan and different countries, documenting his physical dialogues with the land with videos. He eventually presented a video exhibition conclusive of this journey in recent years at Polymer in Taipei, on the rooftop of the art space that used to be a disused textile factory. The jury committee made the following comment regarding his work, “The work conveys the artist’s personal journey as he interprets his body’s response to different urban environments, uncovering new directions in his own practice. These sites and the artist’s responses to them are depicted in a multi-channel projection that provides a dynamic backdrop and a point of dialogue for a compelling dance performance. While the work premiered at a specific site, its relevance to the global experience of urbanisation suggests that it can be staged elsewhere with the use of non-traditional sites that emphasise the centrality of the built environment to the artist’s project.”
This year’s Annual Grand Prize was awarded to LUNA, a 2018 production by Bulareyaung Dance and Cultural Foundation. The dance company brought home last year’s Performing Arts Award with its work, Stay That Way. This year, it surpassed award categorization and won the jurors’ unanimous recognition to become the first laureate to be awarded the Annual Grand Prize – the highest honor as well as a non-distinguishing prize in the Taishin Arts Award – with a performing arts work since the Award’s transformation in 2014. Meanwhile, the dance company is also the first consecutive laureate since the establishment of the Award. The jury committee made the following comment regarding the work, “LUNA is a milestone production! In an era of accelerating change and information explosion, this piece expresses inner calmness and assurance embodied in impactful physical movements. This piece demonstrates mutual respect between different communities as well as the possibilities of negotiation. After the refinement of learning from the culture of a different tribe, the choreographer applies a contemporary vocabulary and masculine posture through the company dancers to create a unique bodily expression. Bulareyaung Pagarlava’s dance is grounded in the perspective of human existence and enriches the culture of Taiwan.”
Theater director, LEE Ming-Chen, served as the chief organizer of this year’s ceremony, which was hosted by emerging magician Sean CHOU and theater performer SONG Meng-Xuan. The Muddy Basin Ramblers, nicknamed the most charismatic foreign musical band in Taiwan, performed in the ceremony, transporting the audience immersed in a nervous atmosphere back to the era of swing music with its performance of the 1930 Taiwanese popular song “The Dance Age” and other songs. The Award ceremony was also livestreamed online. For further information about the nominees, finalists and laureates, please visit the 17th Taishin Arts Award website.
Official website of the 17th Taishin Arts Award: http://17award.taishinart.org.tw/
Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture Website: http://www.taishinart.org.tw/index_en.php