There was a first at the 31st Chimei Arts Award ceremony in Tainan on Tuesday: Two sisters winning awards.
Pianist Hsu Shan-chi (許珊綺), 24, and violist Hsu Ming-yu (許名妤), 19, won awards in the music category. The sisters opened the ceremony at the Chimei Museum with a performance.
Their fellow awardees in the category included two-time winning cellist Liang Cheng (梁辰), clarinetist Su Yu-hsin (蘇宇欣) and tenor Huang Ya-chung (黃亞中).
In the fine art category, oil painters Huang Chun-chieh (黃俊傑) and Chuang Da-wei (莊大緯) and sculptors Chen Ho-cheng (陳荷錚) and Kao Yu-wei (高有薇) were selected.
Each of the winners is to receive a NT$30,000 monthly grant for a year.
Lee Chu-hsin, who passed away in February, was honored with a special contribution award.
The Chimei Arts Award has sought to reduce the financial pressure on young artists since it was established in 1989, museum director Liao Ching-siang (廖錦祥) said.
A total of 326 people have received the award, totaling more than NT$110 million (US$3.54 million at the current exchange rate) in grants, he said.
Many of the award’s earliest winners now teach at universities, while some have become world-renowned artists, he added.
Liao said that he hoped others would also shine on the international stage.
Unlike most other arts awards, the Chimei Arts Award aims to foster talent, Deputy Minister of Culture Hsiao Tsung-huang (蕭宗煌) said.
The award is a source of pride for Taiwan, which could not do without it, he said.
Hsu Shan-chi — who had previously been considered for the award, but was eliminated in the final round — said that she was confident about her application this year.
She said that she was shocked and thrilled to learn that she and her sister had been selected.
Hsu Shan-chi — who is pursuing a master’s degree at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media in Germany — said that the the costs involved with studying abroad have been substantial, especially when she participates in summer programs or performances.
With help from the museum, she has been able to focus more on her studies, she said.
Hsu Ming-yu said that when she was 13 years old, the museum, which is known for its collection of string instruments, lent her a viola.
She said that she was pleased to have once again been recognized by the museum, adding that she hoped to further master her instrument.
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