Winners of the 22nd award

Winners of the 22nd award

Taishin Arts Award

June 24, 2024
22nd Taishin Arts Award winners

Apostating Time wins the Grand Prize for its interpretation of blending a Nanguan classic and contemporary theatre.

The annual major event of contemporary art in Taiwan, the Taishin Arts Award, presented the 22nd award ceremony on June 1st, 2024 and announced the three award winners selected from seventeen shortlisted works. The Visual Arts Award goes to Your Bros. Filmmaking Group’s Ký Túc Xá (Dorm), Taipei Seagull Theatre’s Who’s Koxinga? wins the Performing Arts Award, and the Grand Prize is awarded to Apostating Time co-produced by approaching theatre and Gang-a Tsui Theater.

The Final Selection Jury this year was chaired by theatre scholar LIN Ho-Yi and comprised various jurors, including art critic CHANG Ching-Wen, film director HUANG Ya-Li, producer SUN Ping, Paris-based artist CHEANG Shu Lea, the international jurors also included Rhana Devenport ONZM, the director of Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide, and Matthias Mohr, the artistic direction and executive director of Radialsystem in Berlin. A total of NT$ 3.5 million prize money was awarded to the three award winners.

The Visual Arts Award winner Ký Túc Xá (Dorm) by Your Bros. Filmmaking Group is a video installation inspired by a live-streamed strike of Vietnamese female migrant workers in Taiwan. The art group made an open call to gather Vietnamese migrant workers, agents, dormitory supervisors, and foreign spouses to participate in workshops for co-developing the story plots and designing the characters. The installation in the exhibition uses scenes, props, and video documentation of the workshops to weave and produce complicated narrative threads. The jury committee states: “The project becomes a vibrant tapestry of interwoven voices as the art forms, chosen to resonate with the project’s perspective, illuminate the potential for translation, communication, and negotiation in everyday life. Ký Túc Xá (Dorm) brings to light the challenges and opportunities faced by contemporary Taiwanese society.”

The Performing Arts Award is awarded to Taipei Seagull Theatre’s Who’s Koxinga?, a traditional Taiwanese opera production that spans centuries of history. It blends Han Chinese/international histories along with different depictions of Koxinga in folk tales and urban legends to tell the stories of historical figures, whose lives are intertwined with Koxinga while incorporating the actors’ personal supernatural experiences as mediums. The two actors, KU Yi-Fan and LIU Kuan-Liang, skillfully transition between complex identities and historical periods, delicately crafting “a play within a play within a play” and blurring the boundary between reality and fiction. The jury comments on this work, stating that “With a fantastical and enigmatic setting, the production employs an onion-like narrative that peels layer by layer. The appearing and disappearing of historical figures, drawn from diverse periods and perspectives, interweave their voices within the dialogues, creating a bizarre and bustling stage.”

The Grand Prize announced lastly is awarded to Apostating Time, co-produced by approaching theatre and Gang-a Tsui Theater. The work re-imagines and re-arranges a classic Nanguan piece through contemporary acoustic design. The storyline is woven with historical and modern narrative threads in a non-linear manner to juxtapose the mirroring life stories of a defected political victim and a loyal official in the Southern Song dynasty, carefully and thoroughly portraying people’s circumstances of survival inflicted by diaspora and dilemmas. The jury says: “The audience is compelled to confront the reverberations of political intrigue and the tough choices in life amidst the melodies of Nanguan, an ancient musical genre from Quanzhou (China), and the stage action. Through a meticulously crafted narrative structure, Apostating Time delves into the historical predicaments and transforms profound introspection into heartfelt criticism to reflect the fragility and complexity of human nature.”

The Final Selection Jury chairperson LIN Ho-Yi emphasized that the Taishin Arts Award’s commitment to art and its corresponding adjustments reflect the current ideologies and discussions within the contemporary art scene. The Award is also characterized by the winning works, which embody the perspectives and standards upheld by the Award. It is evident the pursuit of the Award will persist for everyone.

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