‘Asian Nobel Prize’ needs medals

DESIGN COMPETITION::It is aimed at highlighting climate change and the growing gap between rich and poor, Samuel Yin said, but first the prize needs medals designed

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Jan 25, 2014 - Page 4

The winning design in a competition to design the medals for the inaugural Tang Prize (唐獎) — billed as the “Asian Nobel Prize” — is to be awarded US$500,000, an offer aimed at boosting the award’s prestige.

Tang Prize Foundation CEO Chern Jenn-chuan (陳振川) said it has partnered with the Taiwan Design Center to attract 25 well-known design houses around the world, which have entered 50 designs for the top medal.

The other nine finalists are to receive US$50,000 each.

Winners of the best design for the prize certificates are also to receive cash bonuses.

The Tang Prize, which is to be announced for the first time in June, has four categories in sustainable development, biomedicine, sinology and rule of law.

Up to three winners in each of the four categories are to share a cash prize of NT$50 million (US$1.66 million) in each category. That is an amount larger than what a Nobel prize offers.

The prize is named after the Tang Dynasty (618-907), a period of Chinese history known for its liberal and all-inclusive policies, as well as robust cultural activities.

The prize was initiated in 2012 by Samuel Yin (尹衍樑), chairman of Taiwan’s Ruentex Group, with seed money of NT$3 billion (US$100 million).

Yin said he created the prize to call attention to the issues of climate change, natural disasters, energy and food, and the growing gap between rich and poor in an increasingly globalized world.

The winning medal would be 6.6cm in diameter and made of pure gold with Taiwan’s Central Mint commissioned to manufacture the medal, Chern said.

Judges will consider the innovative and aesthetic value of the competing designs, as well as whether the designs capture the spirit of the Tang Prize, Chern said.

While the competition for medal design is open to the world, the foundation has reserved the certificate design contest for local designers to stimulate Taiwanese interest both in the Tang Prize and its first awards ceremony scheduled for September, Chern said.

Those interested in entering the certificate design contest can register on the prize’s Web site at www.boco.com.tw/tangprize by the March 28 deadline.

The prize is to be awarded every two years.