Sun, Apr 17, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Taishin Art Awards display best of 2004

Representations of last year's top performances and exhibitions are on display until the end of the month at the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi in Taipei's Xinyi district

By Diana Freundl  /  STAFF REPORTER

Photo installation from Sky Way, a solo exhibition by Julie Chou.

Photo Courtesy of Taishin Arts and Culture Foundation

At the Taishin Art Awards exhibition, you won't get a second chance to see what you missed, but you will get an idea of what some of the best performances were last year. The nation's top-10 performances and the top-seven visual arts exhibitions -- according to the judges -- are on display until the end of the month at Shin Kong Mitsukoshi in Taipei's Xinyi district.

One way to strengthen the capacity of Taiwan's cultural industry might be to gain more corporate recognition, but not everyone agrees. Culture funded by big business is contested by those who fear such sponsorship will place restrictions on what can be performed. The Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture has been providing financial aid to artists since it was founded in 2001.

Throughout the year, a committee formed of journalists, performers and art critics review various dance, theater and visual-art productions, and 10 performances and five exhibitions (in this case seven) are selected as finalists based on originality and quality of presentation.

A separate jury composed of senior festival directors, producers, curators and museum directors from both Taiwan and abroad chooses and awards one winner from each category with an NT$1 million prize. An NT$300,000 jury award is also given to an emerging new talent.

The Visual Arts Area

Before the winners are announced, all the short-listed nominees are showcased in a public exhibition. This year's display is as much a credit to the artists nominated as it is to those who designed the exhibit. The visual arts area in particular has skillfully recreated mini versions of the original shows, such as Chen Song-jei's (陳松志) solo exhibition, Then ? you see me like that.

The group shows are more limited in how many artists they can include, yet videos and installations allowed curators Hsu Su-chen (許淑真) and Tu Chao-hsien (杜昭賢) to represent almost all participating artists from their respective shows in Kaohsiung and Tainan.

Performance Arts Area

Logistics prevent the 10 dance, theater and concert performances from being staged during the exhibition, but in their place is a museum-like area with printed materials, photos, props and video clippings of the nominated productions. The displays are educational but slightly boring after the fifth one.

Whether or not it was the intention of the curator to hold the exhibition in a department store, it was a clever strategy to attract more viewers. The finalists will be announced at a ceremony tonight and the exhibition of nominations will continue until the end of the month. For more information on the foundation or the annual arts awards visit the Web sites or

Taishin Arts Awards Best Of 2004 (in no particular order)

Visual Arts Top 5 (this year 7) of 2004

Sky Way, a solo exhibition by Julie Chou

Then ? you see me like that, a solo exhibition by Chen Song-jei

Bubble Love, the art documents of Kao Jun-honn

City Odysseys: Losing and Loss, curated by Hsu Su-chen

Pilgrimage in Labyrinth, a solo exhibition by Shy Gong

Beautiful New Horizon: Arts Involved Planning Hai-An Road, curated by Tu Chao-hsien

Siamese Twin Symbiosis Project: The Result of Preliminary Research for Pseudo-Science Fiction, curated by Hsu Su-chen

Performing Arts Top 10 of 2004

Picture the Percussion, by Ju Percussion Group

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