Multidisciplinary artist Su Yu-Hsien has taken the top prize at one of Taiwan’s most important arts awards.
Now in its 12th year, the Taishin Arts Award recognises leading contemporary talent in Taiwan. This year was the first time the winner was selected from a single cross-disciplinary category; the competition previously divided between performing arts and visual art.
Su won the top prize for the work Hua-Shan-Qiang, which features a video installation examining the rituals of Taiwanese funeral ceremonies. The award carries total prize money of NTD1.5m (€36,850), the largest monetary prize for an arts award in Taiwan.
An international judging panel presided over the event, and included the director of Festival/Tokyo, Chiaki Soma, and the curator of Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Grazia Quaroni.
The panel concluded that Su’s piece ‘is an awakening metaphor about the passage from the life and death of human beings to the life and death of a nation’.
The panel continued: ‘By combining Taiwanese funeral ceremony, architectural form, the “house” for the spirit of the deceased made by paper craftsmanship, and theatrical text, the work elegantly crosses the boundaries between documentary, performing art, and movie genres in the way of storytelling.’
Four artists were also awarded Short List prizes: Li Ming-Chen for Dear All—2013 Young Stars New Vision-Theater II; Kao Jun-Honn for The Ruin Image Crystal Project: 10 Scenes; MeimageDance for My Dear; and M.O.V.E. Theatre for Dear John. They each received winnings of NTD500,000 (€12,280).
The award is organised by the Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture, which aims to promote leading contemporary artists throughout Taiwan.
The Foundation also collaborated with TEDxTaipei, with all the winners given the opportunity to share their experiences through an 18-minute TED talk.
The award winners’ work, along with that of the other finalists, will be exhibited at the Museum of National Taipei University of Education until July 13.
Image: Screen shot from Su Yu-Hsien’s Hua-Shan-Qiang