17th Taishin Arts Award Laureates

Taishin Arts Award

June 14, 2019


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) (1 million NT dollar monetary award)
The Performing Arts Award: Chou Shu-Yi, Break & Break! Dance Video Exhibition (1 million NT dollar monetary award)
The Annual Grand Prize: Bulareyaung Dance and Cultural Foundation, LUNA (1.5 million NT dollar monetary award)

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, Australia; and Anna Cy Chan, Dean of the School of Dance of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

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. 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. Bulareyaung Pagarlava’s dance is grounded in the perspective of human existence and enriches the culture of Taiwan.”