18th Taishin Arts Award laureates of Visual and Performing Arts Awards and Annual Grand Prize

Taishin Arts Award

June 6, 2020
June 23, 2020


The three awards reflect contemporary social issues.

Known for honoring outstanding artistry, humanistic engagement and contemporary spirit, Taiwan’s benchmark contemporary arts award, the prestigious Taishin Arts Award, announced the laureates of the 18th Taishin Arts Award, selected from seventeen finalists on June 6. They are:

Visual Arts Award: CHEN I-Hsuen, Commissioned—I-Hsuen Chen Solo Exhibition (NT 1 million monetary award)

Performing Arts Award: WANG Shih-Wei, Masses (NT 1 million monetary award)

Annual Grand Prize: Against Again Troupe, White Clear Song (NT 1.5 million monetary award)

Due to the impact of the global pandemic, this year’s jury committee was entirely formed by jurors from Taiwan. During a two-day meeting convened for the final selection, the seven jurors entered in multiple rounds of debate about the works, discussing their artistry, the innovativeness of the creative concept and form, the dynamics among the audience and the use of environment and space, along with how these works have reflected the relationship between arts and contemporary society. Through such a process, the three awards were born.

The first award announced and presented was the Visual Arts Award, which was given to CHEN I-Hsuen’s Commissioned—I-Hsuen Chen Solo Exhibition staged at Hong-gah Museum. The artist reversed the roles of commissioners and those that were commissioned, creating a humorous portrayal of the relationship between the so-called “Party A” and “Party B” in ordinary contracts while reflecting the employer-employee relation and common situations encountered by contemporary arts and cultural workers.

The Performing Arts Award was announced next, and was awarded to the theatrical work, Masses, created by theater director WANG Shih-Wei with choreographer TIEN Hsiao-Tzu, sound designer LEE Tzu-Mei and light designer Helmi FITA. Masses delineates the passion and chaos of social movements, responding to the conflicting feelings of the masses with solo dances that explore the complex emotions within the minds of protestors to interpret individual frustration and solitude in crowd movement.

Out of seventeen finalists, Against Again Troupe, with their work White Clear Song, became this year’s laureate to take home the Annual Grand Prize. White Clear Song was directed and written by Snow HUANG. CHIANG Tao, who also took part in the playwriting of this work, designed the music and was a musician in the performance. Collaborated with the Transitional Justice Commission, the troupe visited sites of stories from the past and employed folk singing, storytelling and the contemporary theatrical form to interweave archives and oral history records of White Terror, including letters, confessions, farewell notes and depositions, constructing a polyphonic site of dialogue.

Theater director Lakuz LEE served as the ceremony’s chief producer. Adopting the structure of circular theater and the form of participatory TV studio, the ceremony exuded splendid and warm colors, conveying the imagery of reunion and springtime. TSANG Bowie, the winner of Best Variety Show Host of the Golden Bell Awards, was this year’s ceremony host. During the ceremony, Bulareyaung Dance Company performed an important part called “Mapulaung” (literally, “my battle achievements”) from Luna, which won the Annual Grand Prize of the 2019 Taishin Arts Award, transforming the rite into a special performance. Immersed in ancient indigenous tunes, the eight dancers performed their work while wishing all finalists the best in the ceremony. The live recording of the award ceremony can be viewed on the website of “The 18th Taishin Arts Award,” where more detailed information about the finalists and their works can be found.

Official website of the 18th Taishin Arts Award.