Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) on Thursday drew attention to the unique family history of singer Judy Ongg (翁倩玉), a renowned Taiwanese artist based in Japan.
“Judy Ongg is the treasure of Taiwan,” Lung said.
Lung added that the unique family history of Ongg, who is widely known in the Chinese-speaking world, could be made into a TV drama as Ongg’s grandfather was the first Taiwanese person to join the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance, formed in the early 1900s in an effort to establish a republic in China.
Her grandfather also fought against the Japanese during the Sino-Japanese War, Lung added.
Ongg was in Taiwan to promote her woodblock-print exhibition, which started on Tuesday. Her woodblock prints have received numerous awards, including a top prize at the 2005 Nitten exhibition, one of Japan’s best-known public art competitions.
Born in Taiwan, Ongg was raised in Japan by Taiwanese parents.
“Taiwan is like my natural mother and Japan my foster mother,” the artist said.
More than 60 of Ongg’s woodblock prints are to be exhibited at the National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall until Oct. 24 with an opening ceremony to be held today.
The 62-year-old artist said compared to other forms of art, such as making films that require teamwork, painting gives her the freedom to express herself in any way she wants. Ongg has been creating woodblock prints since she was 25-years-old and her works often focus on images of flowers and architecture.
During her meeting with Ongg on Thursday, Lung wore a scarf that used one of Ongg’s award-winning woodblock prints in its design. The artist said she would be wearing clothes sporting the same woodblock print during the opening ceremony of the exhibition.
Ongg was honored as cultural ambassador by Taiwan’s government last year for her role in promoting exchanges between Taiwan and Japan.