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22nd Taipei Culture Award winners announced

Rewritten by Leo Maliksi
 
The Taipei City Government on Aug. 13 announced the winners of the 22nd Taipei Culture Award: Peking opera performer Chu An-li, writer and filmmaker Lei Hsiang and Taipei City-based Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture.
 
Since 1997, the city government honors those whose artistic talents have made a contribution to the arts in Taiwan.

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The Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture promotes creativity and artistic sense and is dedicated to creating an environment for artistic development.
 
Thomas Wu, chairman of Taishin Financial Holding Co., established the Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture in 2001 to promote creativity and artistic sense which for him were the best expressions of stability and prosperity in society. The foundation is dedicated to creating an environment for artistic development. Wu’s vision was to inspire, nurture, and spread the spirit of the times through corporate social commitment in support of the contemporary arts. According to the foundation’s mission statement, the arts capture the diverse social trends and rapid evolution of the twenty-first century.
 
In 2002, the foundation initiated the Taishin Arts Award that recognized creative achievements in works of visual, performing and inter-disciplinary arts. Its unique selection process includes year-round nominations by professionals, release of observations and art reviews, and yearly involvement of international jurors.

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Writer and filmmaker Lei Hsiang once taught painting to children whose schools were destroyed by the 921 earthquake and gave painting classes to the deaf. For him, anyone, at any age could discover the joy of life in painting and creativity.

In addition to its importance in recognizing professional creative achievements in Taiwan, the Taishin Arts Award is also dedicated to establishing a platform enabling international networking for contemporary Taiwanese artists. Taishin’s Annual Grand Prize is a NT$1.5 million monetary award and trophy; the Taishin Performing Arts Award is a NT$1million monetary award and trophy; and the Taishin Visual Arts Award is a NT$1million monetary award and trophy.

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Peking opera performer Chu An-li strove to improve her work and took on the task of preserving and transmitting this traditional art. She is truly a pillar of Peking opera in Taiwan.
 
Writer and filmmaker Lei Hsiang was born in Shanghai in 1939. He graduated from the Department of Arts of the National Taipei University of Education (formerly Taiwan Provincial Junior Teachers’ College). He is a writer, painter, and documentary film director. 
 
In his youth, Lei Hsiang worked as art illustrator for newspaper supplements. He also wrote articles that won the admiration of readers. His later illustrations and writings full of candid honesty reflected a more mature vision of society. He eventually taught aesthetics at the community university and promoted adult education. He also taught arts management at the Taipei National University of the Arts where his students found in him a sincere and selfless teacher. He taught painting to children whose schools were destroyed by the 921 earthquake and gave painting classes to the deaf. For him, anyone, at any age could discover the joy of life in painting and creativity.
 
Peking opera performer Chu An-li was born in 1963 in Nantou. At ten years old, she left her Taiya tribe and studied Peking opera with the Opera School of the ROC Army (陸光劇校) and took on a performer’s name---Ju Shengli (朱勝麗). After finishing opera school, Chu joined the GuoGuang Opera Company and stayed on as a Peking opera performer for 45 years. She strove to improve her work and took on the task of preserving and transmitting this traditional art. She is truly a pillar of Peking opera in Taiwan.