The Ministry of Culture has recognized traditional structural painting master Hung Ping-shun (洪平順), traditional carving master Lee Ping-kuei (李秉圭) and gezai opera backstage musician Lin Chu-an (林竹岸) as important individuals for the conservation of traditional arts and performances.
Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君) on Thursday said that such individuals are recognized when they meet the standards listed in the Cultural Asset Preservation Act (文化資產保存法).
The ministry has recognized 22 individuals across 18 fields as important figures in preserving important cultural performance arts from 2009 to this year, as well as 14 important people in 10 traditional handicrafts during the same period, Cheng said.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Culture
The individuals have been tasked with passing on their knowledge of culture and art, and have taught about 61 students in their respective fields of expertise, she said.
Born in 1936, Lin is an expert in backstage music for traditional gezai opera and has seen all the different stages of the opera’s evolution.
Well-versed in all styles of accompanying music, including those utilized in gezai, Hakka traditional performances, traditional opera, hand puppetry and Western music, Lin’s knowledge is important in terms of how culture has evolved across the ages, the ministry said.
Photo: Lee Ping-kuei, courtesy of the Ministry of Culture
Lin’s knowledge of styles and applying them under different circumstances, his knowledge of when and what instrument to use, as well as his exquisite technique were also considered in his nomination, it said.
It is rare for any individual musician to be so well-versed in different styles and to possess not only the knowledge, but also the ability to play all kinds of instruments, it added.
Born in 1946, Hung’s paintings have incorporated themes and styles of various schools, and have since evolved into his own signature style.
Photo: Hung Ping-shun, courtesy of the Ministry of Culture
His works have their roots in the nation’s history and culture, fully reflecting the uniqueness of Taiwanese beliefs, the ministry said.
Hung has all the relevant knowledge and techniques for painting traditional scenes, and he is willing to pass on his knowledge, lending him considerable credibility and weight in Taiwan’s traditional painting field, it said.
Born in 1949, Lee is a fifth-generation descendant of a local Lugang (鹿港) wood-carving family and is well-versed in the techniques required for small carvings.
Heavily influenced by his father, Lee Sung-lin (李松林), Lee Ping-kuei’s works embody both the spirit of the current times, while maintaining unique local characteristics, the ministry said.
Employing both ancient and modern carving techniques, Lee Ping-kuei is also knowledgeable about Sinology, calligraphy and painting, allowing him to fully express his creativity in ways ultimately all his own, and yet blending such individuality seamlessly into a traditional art form, it said.
Lee Ping-kuei has embarked on a project to foster wood carving talent since 2014, and while seeking to pass on what he knows, he continues to seek ways to improve his own work, it said.
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