Taishin Arts Award 2021/22


20th Taishin Arts Award –Guling Street Avant-garde Theatre Brings Home Two Awards with its Programs


20th Taishin Arts Award –Guling Street Avant-garde Theatre Brings Home Two Awards with its Programs

Mr. Wing Theatre Company Reaps Abundant Rewards with A Journey towards Sentiment (kanshooryokoo) and Prince Hamlet

howdoyouturnthison Wins the Visual Arts Award with Game Engine Animation

The 20th Taishin Arts Award – A group photo of the laureates of the three Awards. From the left: YANG Kai-Ting, CHANG Pao-Hui, YAO Lee-Chun, YANG Qi-Yin, LI Huan-Hsiung, LI Yi Fan, HUNG Tzu-Ni, and WANG Mo-Lin.

The 20th Taishin Arts Award announces the three laureates of its 20th iteration in a joyfully festive ceremony interspersed with nervousness which peaked at the moment of announcing the winners.

The Grand Prize (NT$ 1.5 million prize money)

Mr. Wing Theatre Company / A Journey towards Sentiment (kanshooryokoo)─My Endless Melancholy Becomes Siberia Comprised of Oblivion After You Left for the Southern Villages

The Visual Arts Award (NT$ 1 million prize money)

LI Yi Fan / howdoyouturnthison ─ 2021 Asian Art Biennial

The Performing Arts Award (NT$ 1 million prize money)

Body Phase Studio & Mr. Wing Theatre Company / Prince Hamlet

■ Website of the 20th Taishin Arts Award|https://20award.taishinart.org.tw/

■ Facebook fan page of the Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture|https://www.facebook.com/TAISHINART/

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Taishin Arts Award 2021/22The 20th Taishin Arts Award — Finalists


Taishin Arts Award 2021/22The 20th Taishin Arts Award — Finalists

The 20th Taishin Arts Award

Refractions and Imprints of Taiwan’s Diverse Culture.

With the support of the Taishin Holdings, the Taishin Arts Award has consistently and steadfastly recommended exhibitions and performances which embody profound creative insights and outstanding artistic forms to the public. As iconic examples, these works have highlighted the zeitgeist and contemporary thoughts of our time, and become refractions and imprints of Taiwan’s diverse culture. 

For the Taishin Arts Award, a total of nine nominators have selected 17 finalists from an annual nomination list of over 100 nominees to compete for the three major awards, namely the Performing Arts Award, the Visual Arts Award (with a monetary prize of NT$ 1 million respectively), and the uncategorized Grand Prize (with a monetary prize of NT$ 1.5 million).

The 20th Taishin Arts Award —  Finalists

【Visual Arts Works】

《THÓO-PŌO TÓO-GÍ—Hung Cheng-Jen: A Survey》HUNG Cheng-jen, YANG Shun-fa, WU Mong-jane, LIN Xiao-xi

《Father's Video Tapes __Avoid A Void》Manbo Key

《The B-Side of Yueh-Tao》HUANG Li-Hui (2021 Green Island Human Rights Art Festival)

《howdoyouturnthison》LI Yi Fan (Phantasmapolis: 2021 Asian Art Biennial)

《Project : The Folly》Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab, CHUANG Wei-Tzu (Curator)

《After the Last Shadow》Sherry HUANG

《Cotton Research Project III, IV and Side Chapter》Ya-chu Kang

《A Mountain Enwrapped》LIN Gieh-Wen (Commissioned Curator) (2020-2021 Pulima Art Festival)

《Save as》LIAO Xuan-Zhen, HUANG I-Chieh

《There Are Lights That Never Go Out》Musquiqui Chihying 

【Performing Arts Works】

《WANG Xin-xin Performs:The Song of Everlasting Sorrow》XinXin Nanguan Ensemble

《Prince Hamlet》Body Phase Studio & Mr. Wing Theatre Company

《A Mother, King Lear》Body Phase Studio & approaching theatre

《River/Cloud》Performance Workshop (2021 Taiwan International Festival of Arts)

《Ride the Beat 》LEE\VAKULYA  Lee Chen-Wei  (2021 Taoyuan Iron Rose Festival)

The Land Project II《The Dream of Koxinga 》One Player Short Ensemble

《A Journey towards Sentiment (kanshooryokoo) 》Mr. Wing Theatre Company

Arts Works /Artists

Comments on the Finalist

《THÓO-PŌO TÓO-GÍ—Hung Cheng-Jen: A Survey》

HUNG Cheng-jen, YANG Shun-fa, WU Mong-jane, LIN Xiao-xi

Based on solid photography research, the exhibition foregrounds a deep context stemming from the surface of photographic images by HUNG Cheng-jen. At the exhibition site and standing in front of the works, what the audience perceive is an expansive landscape filled with sharp briary spikes. Sometimes, images cut into thin strips resonate with rods of steel, and sometimes, heads that are cut off and pasted back again seem to express certain chaos of a site. At times, the human figures in the midst of dilapidated walls and twisted steel rods resemble ghosts from the underworld, and at other times, one cannot help but feeling that the figures in these images embody the collapsed state of the site. The barbed consciousness highlighted in Hung’s work repeatedly pokes and jabs the contemporary land and the audience’s existence in reality, pointing both to the symptomatic pains of “tē-hng” (place) and the shrill cries of “tiûnn-sóo” (site). (Commentator/GONG Jow-Jiun)

《Father's Video Tapes __Avoid A Void》

Manbo Key

Father's Video Tapes __Avoid A Void plays on the oxymoron of the subtitle – “avoid a void,” to both satirize and critique a paradoxical reality in contemporary neo-liberalism and pluralistic cultural politics, in which the tenet of “everything is open for discussion” conspires with practice of “avoiding certain topics.” When plural queer performative acts are reduced to a certain homosexual identity, which is subsequently contained by Taiwanese society and cultural memory, being assimilated and narrowly pigeonholed by its connection to the state, marriage and sex, whereas the multiplicity of history and performance, on the other hand, falls into the restraint of avoidance. Father's Video Tapes __Avoid A Void creates a visual undercurrent linking itself with its precedent, Father’s Video Tapes. In the meantime, it indicates a story yet to be revealed by history, and calls attention to the performative politics regarding “what is open for discussion” and “what is being avoided,” together with all possible future actions. (Commentator/WANG Chun-Yen)

《The B-Side of Yueh-Tao》HUANG Li-Hui (2021 Green Island Human Rights Art Festival)

HUANG Li-Hui cleverly uses “Yueh-Tao”* to connect her mother’s life story with the space and history of Green Island to portray various difficulties of achieving understanding and empathy, while thoughtfully giving her mother, a family member of a political victim, a presence to restore her agency in history. Under the burdensome forces of historical narrative, what is more precious is that the artist has always retained a slightly humorous tone without being restricted by the testimonial demand of historical archives. Through videos, textual descriptions, sound files, found objects, and a delicate arrangement of physical movements, this work not only avoids the stereotypical route informed by sorrow, indignation, bitterness, but also unfolds an enriched and three-dimensional way of expression for the site of issues related to transitional justice. (Commentator/WANG Sheng-Hung)

* Translator’s note: “Yueh-Tao” is the name of the artist’s mother and that of shellflowers, which are commonly found on Green Island.

《howdoyouturnthison》LI Yi Fan  (Phantasmapolis: 2021 Asian Art Biennial)

LI Yi Fan’s howdoyouturnthison is a video work created with game engines, a video production tool for making videos and games. Utilizing qualities of image post-production and with a sense of humor characteristic of the games generation, the artist interweaves processes of video production with video images that have been produced through these processes. The work is brilliant in the way that it takes serious political and social issues which seem unrelated to video production, and converts them into restrictions and requirements to be faced in the production processes, thus reconnecting the method and the result of such production. Meanwhile, it employs technological infrastructure such as game engines to pose questions regarding how technology confines narrative and our ways of thinking. As the work provides an excellent entertaining effect, it helps us navigate and deeply reflect on the issue of the technical-economical complex. (Commentator/WANG Po-Wei)

《Project : The Folly》Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab, CHUANG Wei-Tzu (Curator)

With a poetic and refined arrangement of works, Project: The Folly re-explores C-Lab’s architectural texture and a sense of place in the urban environment. Moreover, with a precise selection of works, such as CHEN Wan-Jen’s Redundant Tales, TAI Han-Hong’s From One Corner to the Other, CHIU Chen-Hung’s Plant Stand 05, etc., the exhibition highlights and expands the spatial characteristics of the various rooms in C-Lab’s Art Space V, and enables the audience to bring about and conjure up diverse and changing interpretations and imaginations throughout viewing the exhibition. In contrast to C-Lab’s grand mission of serving as a cultural lab, Project: The Folly specifically delineates the temporality of C-Lab in reality, as well as its polysemic state that is still evolving. (Commentator/WU Meng-Hsuan)

《After the Last Shadow》Sherry HUANG

With photography and document-based installations, After the Last Shadow exhibits the dark entanglements between feeling, gender, family, and violence, utilizing a portentous structure of hindsight to unveil the last silhouettes of victims in crimes of passion. The exhibition also includes images of scenes of the crimes and murder weapons, while unfolding the multiple (dangerous) layers of empathy: whether it is the voyeuristic remakes of images of victims from surveillance cameras, or personally killing the blind spots of public order like a perpetrator, the artist transforms image and its vehicle into the powerless weak, through which the artist and her collaborators/survivors face and become an abyss together, without fearing to be devoured by such an abyss. Here, we see and experience the listening and partially concealed presence of image, as well as its power of catharsis, as we re-think the sublimated meaning of regarding the pain of others. (Commentator/TSAI Pei-Kuei)

《Cotton Research Project III, IV and Side Chapter》Ya-chu Kang

Ya-chu Kang’s art project focuses on the contemporary world map of textile production. She builds a foundation comprising travel, translation, research, writing, and publication of the art of weaving culture from different countries, and uses her consistent approach of live interviews to produce eleven large-scale computerized jacquard textile paintings at Siao-Long Cultural Park, creating a tapestry interweaving imagination and historical reality that is accompanied by disused weaving machines. The exhibition shows installations constituted of wood, fabric, cotton, thread spools, and straw mattresses, together with maps, timeline, and the enormous Dirt Carpet #10 – Mian-bei displayed directly on the floor, which reveals print patterns, zipper patterns, and lace crochet patterns of blankets delineated by using a mixture of sugar and salt. The exhibition touches upon the central artistic subject of contemporary weaving and textile, and re-assembles the weaving machines that we have grown unfamiliar with or simply abandoned.  (Commentator/GONG Jow-Jiun)

《A Mountain Enwrapped》LIN Gieh-Wen (Commissioned Curator) (2020-2021 Pulima Art Festival)

Weaving textile and a mining area form a dialectic between softness and solidness, whereas modern wounds of mountains are revealed to be gazed at and listened to through weaving techniques and patterns, as well as the bumpiness and clanking sounds made by the small trucks traveling into the mountains. Artist-curator LIN Gieh-Wen gathers her friends to unfurl a creative, collective scene of “co-creation through weaving.” The participating weavers transform diasporic and hybrid experiences into a raw momentum and fresh language, wrapping the mountains as well as wounds of wars and relocations from the past with the healing power emerging from group efforts and mutual learning. Perhaps, the two-dimensional patterns recorded by the textiles hanging on rock formations and cliff faces are pointing to a pathway leading towards the future. (Commentator/WU Sih-Fong)

《Save as》LIAO Xuan-Zhen, HUANG I-Chieh

In their retrospection of resistance movements, LIAO Xuan-Zhen and HUANG I-Chieh veer away from making narratives based on personal perspectives, and remove symbolic, slogan-ridden objects. The exhibition depends neither on convenient “documentariness,” nor underlines any typically heroic figures. Instead, in a precise manner, the artists allow space and its residual sounds to take center stage. By combining and arranging architectural blueprints, animation videos, and sounds created by objects, they evoke meaningfully subtle memories of the resistant body, and at the same time, deconstruct the previously enclosed, suffocating space that is the parliament in the depth of memory, rendering it clear and bright. This exhibition is an unprecedented thought-provoking proposal, which offers the political imagination, which has apparently faded, a form for rebooting and continuation. (Commentator/WANG Sheng-Hung)

《There Are Lights That Never Go Out》Musquiqui Chihying

The three works – The Chat, The Lighting, and The Kung Flu, in Musquiqui Chihying’s There Are Lights That Never Go Out unveil a new possibility for thinking about the essay quality of image. While the artist contemplates on the use of contemporary machines and technologies, as well as how they influence the production of meaning on a perceptual level, he also touches upon the historical framework that sustains the genre of essay. Through creating an entanglement of light, movie, digital image, racial image, and the artist himself, the three works constitute a discourse about “the biased errors of technologies,” and offers a rather convincing form of expression for the essay narrative regarding the image of our time co-created by human and machine.  (Commentator/WANG Po-Wei)

《WANG Xin-xin Performs:The Song of Everlasting Sorrow》XinXin Nanguan Ensemble

Bringing together the gentle, elegant QingQing Sing and the heavy, sorrowful The Song of Everlasting Sorrow, the way that WANG Xin-xin performs might appear traditional, but it transcends the tradition greatly. Departing from the norm of Nanguan ensemble, Wang creates a solo performance with just a single pipa (Chinese lute) that somehow expresses the full extent of Nanguan music—a one-person music band, a one-person theater troupe, and a one-person choir. As a music genre of instrumental music and singing, Wang transforms Nanguan and infuses it with a dramatic momentum that a grand theater might not even be able to produce. By integrating performance and narrative, the objective and detached narrative is instantaneously switched to a theatrical work of subjective intervention, demonstrating the outstanding arrangement of this piece. QingQing Sing, as an indulgent overture in an ethereal style, is followed by a tragedy in the second half of the performance. In between momentum and tranquility, a tragic twist signaling the earth-shaking war drums from Yuyang is gradually paved and revealed, before a dramatic tension finally bursts with an impressive force. (Commentator/WANG Pao-Hsiang)

《Prince Hamlet》Body Phase Studio & Mr. Wing Theatre Company

Through the agency of Prince Hamlet’s spirit, the sinking body in a threshold of anger and suffocation, with restrained movements and accusations, casts a shadow over and wreaks a vengeance on the free world that merely talks a big game about virtue and morality. With YANG Qi-Yin’s script and solo performance, as well as WANG Mo-Lin’s directing and use of the mise-en-scène, the work brings together an urban young man resurrected through a spirit, and a performance of breaking through the shell to reflexively uncover the agency of biopolitics, transforming a live monodrama into a site before the outbreak of social movements. Another layer of the work, on the other hand, unfolds a dialogue of resistance between an old anarchist and a contemporary youth , who co-construct a temporary site of an ideological community despite their vast differences—“to be or not to be, it is a matter of choice." (Commentator/WU Sih-Fong)

《A Mother, King Lear》Body Phase Studio & approaching theatre

Epitomizing the line of “all the world’s a stage” and contemplating on the statement, the captivated, invested solo performance of its playwright CHENG Yin-Chen, accompanied by WANG Mo-Lin’s lively, detached mise-en-scène, explores and expands the possibility of a Shakespearean play in a meta way. In a performance space that is the size of a few straw mattresses, an entire world is staged. Through the mother of three daughters in the original play, the work evokes her presence but does not mean to fill the absence of the Shakespearean play. The mother’s ghost lingers through three independent yet interconnected performances: the youngest daughter who finds herself in an entanglement of love and hate that leads to her identity being torn apart; King Lear who has lost his kingdom and falls into bewilderment; and the self-evoking ghost of the queen who delivers a revelation through her spectral gaze. The “I” of all beings, evolving from a loss of words to delirious ravings, ritualistically shakes, beats, and lashes the omnipresent ghost of power. (Commentator/WANG Pao-Hsiang)


Performance Workshop (2021 Taiwan International Festival of Arts)

River/Cloud is a supplement to The Peach Blossom Land, and a revisit to what could not be uttered during the Cold War and what was suspended subsequently in the post-Cold War era as well. Interweaving narration and performance to take the audience through four decades of time, the work overlaps histories and memories as well as experiences and imaginations through crisscrossing performances by two sets of actors, exceeding singular facts in the process. Focusing on post-war Taiwan, ordinary individual lives and the state as a collective unit are blended together; whereas everyday life and major historical events are woven as well. Moreover, the elaborate and ingenious design of space enables both actors and memories to surface or submerge into the multi-layered façade stage. Meanwhile, the arrangement of sound, lighting, and performance construct a parallel universe external to the world of the characters. In a grand and profound way, this work responds to the aesthetics, society, history, and world unveiled by Taiwan in the post-war era. (Commentator/WANG Chun-Yen)

《Ride the Beat》LEE\VAKULYA  Lee Chen-Wei (2021 Taoyuan Iron Rose Festival)

With group dance, music, installation, and brilliant spatial arrangements, Ride the Beat portrays physical suppression and loneliness, and in an implosive manner, adds one layer after another to create relaxing rhythm that is both wild and reserved. The remarkable performances of drummer Dutch E Germ, and the singer-dancer TUNG Po-Lin, on the level of sounds, also highlight the sense of solitude and desolation in revelry and fervor. Through Ride the Beat, it is undebatable that LEE Chen-Wei has mastered the technique of the Gaga movement language, and forges it into a unique and mature dance method, with which she guides the dancers to navigate and explore individually what it means to be lonely and wild, forming an intricate dance-scape in which the individual and the collective co-exist. (Commentator/WU Meng-Hsuan)

The Land Project II《The Dream of Koxinga》One Player Short Ensemble

Expanding from the backdrops of previous productions, Coming Back from the River and The Angry Oyster, which included Taiwan’s polluted rural villages and magical oyster farms, the setting of this work encompasses Dutch commercial ships in the late Ming dynasty, Southeast Asian regions during WWII, and modern Taiwan, spanning a total of five centuries. Symbolic objects and tunes are used to differentiate various storylines of different time periods, and performers need to utter extensive lines in Dutch, Indonesian, and the indigenous Sirayan language. The drifting dream of the Koxinga, like segments broadcast on the radio, comprises more unknown stories waiting to be unearthed. Director WEI Chun-Chan drives the tension of HU Jin-Yen’s script and the power of the performers to the extreme, and demonstrates the courage not to celebrate the subjectivity of Taiwan, unfolding a new direction of Taiwan’s historical drama. (Commentator/HUANG Dawang)

《A Journey towards Sentiment (kanshooryokoo)》Mr. Wing Theatre Company

This is an exquisitely refined solo performance, which transforms fully the limited space of the 1st-floor experimental theater of the Guling Street Avant-garde Theatre into a space that extends imagination both in width and depth. The performance unfolds with a layered delivery of director LI Huan-Hsiung’s poetry and prose, while paying tribute to the important mentor of Taiwan literature, CHEN Ying-Zhen, weaving out a “kanshooryokoo” (literally, “sentimental trip”) that traverses through multiple imageries of the south. Revisiting the context of the left-wing history in Taiwan, the work is a theatrical work, a literary piece, and a political inquiry. What makes the work even more special is that although it is a one-man show, it avoids a narcissistic sense of self-indulgence, and at the same time retraces critically the ideal and loss of the avant-garde and modernity, offering both a testimonial interpretation as well as a splendid translation of the languages of different generations. (Commentator/TSAI Pei-Kuei)

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