Taishin Arts Award 2022/23


The 21st Taishin Arts Award Announces Three Major Award Winners

TANG Jo-Hung : As You Sleep Worry-Free Becomes the First to Win the Grand Prize with Two-dimensional Painting

The 21st Taishin Arts Award Announces Three Major Award Winners

TANG Jo-Hung : As You Sleep Worry-Free Becomes the 

First to Win the Grand Prize with Two-dimensional Painting

The prestigious contemporary art award in Taiwan – the Taishin Arts Award, announces the winners of the three major awards of the 21st edition on May 27. Curator TAKAMORI Nobuo, who has endeavored in studying the culture of the Global South, is awarded the Visual Arts Award with The Oceans and the Interpreters. LEE Chen-Wei, who has been nominated four times in seven years, and her husband, choreographer VAKULYA Zoltán, bring home the Performing Arts Award with Burnt [the eternal long now]. TANG Jo-Hung’s TANG Jo-Hung: As You Sleep Worry-Free —From Pandemic to War: About disaster crisis like a celebration in one or two different cook methods stands out from the seventeen finalists, and wins the Grand Prize, becoming the very first to ever win the Grand Prize with two-dimensional painting in the history of the Taishin Arts Award. 

The 21st Taishin Arts Award – A group photo of the laureates of the three Awards. From the left TAKAMORI Nobuo, TANG Jo-Hung, LEE Chen-Wei

Chairman Simon Cheng of the Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture expresses in his speech, saying that the Taishin Arts Award has never stopped for a single moment even during the last three years of the global pandemic. This year, the award has not only brought back international jurors, but is also delighted to welcome diplomatic representatives of different countries in Taiwan, who have graced the award ceremony with their presence. He further states that every finalist is unique and highly iconic, and that “it is an incredibly blissful thing to be able to appreciate so many works engaging in different aspects and enriched by different cultures in Taiwan.”

After three years of the pandemic, the final selection committee this year once again invites experts from Taiwan and abroad. Chaired by artist Yuki Pan, members of the committee include art historian TSENG Shao-Chien, theater critic WU Sih-Fong, art consultant CHOW Ling-Chih, and three international jurors, namely, German performing arts curator, Dieter Jaenicke, senior curator of the Yokohama Museum of Art, Eriko Kimura, and the director of the Hong Kong Art School, Louis Yu. After a three-day meeting marathon with extensive discussions, the winners of the three major awards, with a total prize money of 3.5 million dollars, are finally selected.

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

TAKAMORI Nobuo, The Oceans and the Interpreters

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

LEE\VAKULYA, Burnt [the eternal long now]—2022 Artquake In Autumn

Grand Prize (NT$ 1.5 million prize money): 

TANG Jo-Hung, TANG Jo-Hung : As You Sleep Worry-Free —From Pandemic to War: About disaster crisis like a celebration in one or two different cook methods

The Visual Arts Award winner The Oceans and the Interpreters is a research-based exhibition on view at both Hong-gah Museum and Solid Art. The curator TAKAMORI Nobuo invites over twenty artists from Africa and Asia to not only introduce African and Caribbean art to an Asian audience, but to also explore the aspects of politics, culture, and national identity in regional exchange through the featured works. Regarding the work, the jury gives the following comments: “TAKAMORI Nobuo and his artists team are opening the artistic horizon to interconnections between Taiwan and Africa, finding relations, common interests in the most diverse cultural identities. The Oceans and the Interpreters are based on his personal interest and long-term research on different cultures in Taiwan and the Global South. The exhibition is not a final result of his research, but rather just one more step in an ongoing artistic discovery process. We believe that TAKAMORI Nobuo has a very sincere interest and respectful view on the diversity of artistic and cultural expressions, also considering the different conditions under which artists work in different societies. With this award we hope to encourage the further development of his research and artistic statements and even reach out to other continents.

The 21st Taishin Arts Award – the Visual Arts Award The Oceans and the Interpreters by TAKAMORI Nobuo, Image courtesy of WANG Shi-Bang

The Performing Arts Award goes to Burnt [the eternal long now], co-choreographed by LEE Chen-Wei and VAKULYA Zoltán for the 2022 Artquake In Autumn festival hosted by the National Theater and Concert Hall. In this work, three dancers constitute a metaphor for a society to explore the sensitive, fragile mental state of contemporary people. The jury gives the following comments on the work: In a concise and powerful manner with minimalist technique and movement, choreographers LEE and VAKULYA recreate the drained mental and physical state of one confronted with the exhaust and emptiness of today’s world. Through refined body movements, we see repetitive cycles of separation and reunion between individuals and collectives, and intertwined yet fragmented arrangements. A hysterical energy with which to explore the body structure is generated and organized into a force that oscillates between mechanical and organic. The choreographers boldly face the burnt state and transform negative mental and physical signs into a unique body language, aptly conveying a bolstering and collaborating relationship. The dance provides an imaginative kinetic space where we may attain the power of emancipation through a subdued inner self.

The 21st Taishin Arts Award – the Performing Arts Award Winner Burnt [the eternal long now] by LEE VAKULYA, Image courtesy of LIN Cheng-Yi

The Grand Prize announced finally is awarded to TANG Jo-Hung for his TANG Jo-Hung: As You Sleep Worry-Free —From Pandemic to War: About disaster crisis like a celebration in one or two different cook methods. Exhibited at Mind Set Art Center, the exhibition theme reflects the changes of the artist’s lifestyle and creative state of mind in the past few years during the pandemic. The relaxed, carefree atmosphere in the paintings humorously satirizes the treacherous international situations, both commenting on and concluding this collective experience of the contemporary society in a unique way. The jury gives the following comments on this work: TANG Jo-hung, through his accomplished artistic expressions, offers astute insights into the distance between disasters and the daily life of the layperson. His unique and humorous aesthetic politics make this distance feel as close as an absurd drama. Amidst the pandemic and wars, the once-normal life suddenly disappeared and people around the globe are forced to face this situation together. The artist deploys a deft painting language and subtle narration together with free-flowing and chaotic strokes in scenes interwoven with both fantasy and reality, juxtaposing delightful and gloomy ambiences, and overlapping vibrant and dreary palettes. These works resonate with the inherent anxiety and fear that people are trying to evade and beckon concerns for the times we live in, which are indeed the core responsibilities of contemporary art. It is the jury’s wish that many years later as people look back on this edition of Taishin Arts Award, they would recognize the joy and tribulations of this era through TANG’s work.

The 21st Taishin Arts Award – the Grand Prize TANG Jo-Hung  As You Sleep Worry-Free by TANG Jo-Hung, Image courtesy of CHU Chi-Hung

The three award-winning works, in terms of the creative origin or creative process, have hinted at the individual state of mind, interpersonal interactions, and the collective physical and mental state under the impact of the pandemic. During the long periods of pandemic-induced home confinement, TANG Jo-Hung and LEE Chen-Wei have both developed new artistic vocabularies derived from the changes of reality in relation to self-reflection on the body and mind as well as interactions between family members. TAKAMORI Nobuo’s overseas curatorial and research projects were disrupted by the pandemic, making international exchange impossible. However, he was able to extend new dialogues and connections in Taiwan, which eventually presented a fresh curatorial opportunity. 

In his speech, TAKAMORI Nobuo states that the award is the best gift in his over a decade-long curatorial career, and he thanks the jury of the Taishin Arts Award for recognizing the art of “curating.” LEE Che-Wei says that choreography can be extremely exhausting. Every choreography feels like taking away some years of her remaining life. Drawing inspiration from her own experience of being burnt out and socially exhausted, she uses the body that she is most familiar with to convey the value of physical and mental health. TANG Jo-Hung is surprised to find himself winning the Grand Prize. He never thought that he could come onto the stage of the Taishin Arts Award with painting, and hopes that this very moment could be an encouragement to his fellow painters. 

Also an artist herself, the chair of the final selection committee Yuki Pan warmly expresses in her speech, saying that “seeing the fearlessness of all of you on the paths you have created by yourselves, unafraid of hardship and driven by the love and devotion for art, has been the most moving thing for us. Whether being awarded or not, just embrace who you are and the pure innocence to follow your path, and do not give up on the next chance.” Her remarks give the artists in the ceremony infinite blessing and encouragement.

The award ceremony this year is once again coordinated by theater director LEE Ming-Chen, and is moderated by the leading Manzai duo, “Dacon.come,” whose humorous, witty repartee connect the various parts of the ceremony, and inject a sense of uplift into the nervous atmosphere onsite. To view the livestreaming of the award ceremony, please visit the webpage of the 21st Taishin Arts Award on the website of the Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture, which includes comprehensive information of all the finalists and award-winning works as well.

The 21st Taishin Arts Award – The laureates of the three Awards have a group photo with the board directors of the Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture, and the Taishin Arts Award jurors

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Taishin Arts Award –Panel Discussion with the International Jurors

Topic: Contemporary Art and City Development

Taishin Arts Award –Panel Discussion with the International Jurors

Date & Time: May 28, Saturday, at 14:00 to 16:00

Venue: Yuan Hall, Taishin Tower (2F, NO.118, Sec. 4, Ren-Ai Rd, Taipei City)

◎ This is a free event, please register in advanced.

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