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Sun Rong-Hui: Passing on the Torch of the Pear Garden Exhibition

Taipei City Arts Promotion Office / 0912-285928

Time: Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am–5 pm, from now until December 11. Closed Monday and during Mid-Autumn Festival.

Location: Level 8 Exhibition Area, Dadaocheng Theatre (8F., No. 21, Section 1, Dihua Street, Taipei City, the level above Yongle Market)

The Sun Rong-Hui: Passing on the Torch of the Pear Garden exhibition centers on the artistic context and developmental trajectory of artist Sun Rong-Hui (孫榮輝), torchbearer of Taipei’s traditional Taiwanese opera performing art. The exhibition will consolidate the highlights of his 70 years of martial arts accomplishments across a variety of fields, including Shaw Brothers Hong Kong, TV Taiwanese opera, Peking opera, and Taiwanese opera, displaying rare photos and images alongside stage costumes, scripts, weapons, musical instruments, and Taiwanese opera props, allowing viewers to revisit the glory days of the art of Taiwanese opera.

Adept at playing Wusheng and Jing roles, Sun Rong-Hui is known as the torchbearer of Taipei’s traditional performing art to the Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs. He was also the winner of the 21st Global Chinese Culture & Arts Award (Local Opera Award) in 2014 and the 20th Taipei Culture Award in 2015.

In addition to his accomplishments in opera and martial arts, through diligent practice Sun taught himself to play Taiwanese opera drums, and by learning from the previous generation the traditional craft of making props and helmets, he has helped to preserve the craft—both remarkable artistic achievements.

The Yi-Shin Taiwanese Opera Troupe has planned three sections for the exhibition: Chronicle of Events, The Magnificent Seventies: Extraordinary Brilliance, and Continuity and Legacy. Aside from Chronicle of Events: Historical Images, the sections will feature consolidated highlights, carefully edited from the artist’s records of performances and interviews over the years, which will be shown on TV walls. Visitors can also get an overview of different periods of Sun’s artistic career over the course of 70 years.

Sun Rong-Hui (stage name Sun Rong-Ji (孫榮吉)), was a Taiwanese opera actor and director who performed for nearly 70 years. He was particularly lauded for his martial arts performances and is honored among his peers within Taiwanese opera circles as the “martial arts scholar”. In his artistic career, he witnessed the glory days of Taiwanese opera, from the days of the indoor stage, to the outdoor stage, and to TV. He also took on the role of martial arts performer and instructor in movies and TV with skills honed from a young age, and also transformed and integrated camera movements and shooting techniques from movies and TV into stage work. 

The exhibition takes as its starting point Sun’s artistic context and developmental trajectory, allowing viewers to revisit the glory days of Taiwanese opera through photos, images, and other historical materials, as well as physical exhibits such as stage costumes, musical instruments, and props made by hand by the maestro himself.