【PR】 21st Taishin Arts Award is a win for painting

Tang Jo-Hung – “As You Sleep Worry-Free—From Pandemic to War: About disaster crisis like a celebration in one or two different cook methods,” installation view, Mind Set Art Center, Taipei, 2022. Courtesy Chu Chi-Hung.


Painter Tang Jo-Hung has won the Grand Prize of the 21st Taishin Arts Award, it was announced in Taipei on May 27. This is the first time in the award’s history that a painting exhibition has taken home the top honor, which comes with NT$ 1.5 million in prize money.

Established in 2002, the Taishin Arts Award is one of Taiwan’s most prestigious distinctions for cultural achievement. It recognizes outstanding works of performance, visual, and transdisciplinary art presented in Taiwan during the preceding year. Tang earned the top prize for his solo exhibition “As You Sleep Worry-Free—From Pandemic to War: About disaster crisis like a celebration in one or two different cook methods,” held at Mind Set Art Center, Taipei, from November 12 to December 24, 2022. Tang’s large paintings, some measuring up to 3 meters across, combine aspects of figuration, abstraction, and graffiti-like gestural play with delicate color palettes to depict surreal situations that respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and other crises that have arisen across the world in recent years. The jury commended Tang for offering up “astute insights into the distance between disasters and the daily life of the layperson.” Noting his use of humor and his “deft painting language,” the jury added that “These works resonate with the inherent anxiety and fear that people are trying to evade and beckon concerns for the times we live in, which are indeed the core responsibilities of contemporary art.”


Above: “The Oceans and the Interpreters,” curated by Nobuo Takamori, installation view, Taipei, 2022. Courtesy Wang Shi-Bang. Below: LEE\VAKULYA – Burnt [the eternal long now]. Courtesy Lin Cheng-Yi.


Also winning prizes were curator Nobuo Takamori and choreography duo LEE\VAKULYA, who each received NT$ 1 million. Takamori won the Visual Arts Award for the research-based exhibition “The Oceans and the Interpreters,” held October 22, 2022, to January 15 of this year across two venues in Taipei, the Hong-Gah Museum and Solid Art. Referencing Nigerian author Wole Soyinka’s 1965 novel The Interpreters, the exhibition brought together more than 20 artists from Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean and is scheduled to travel to venues in South Asia and West Africa in 2023. Takamori was praised by the jury for “opening the artistic horizon to interconnections between Taiwan and Africa, finding relations [and] common interests in the most diverse cultural identities.”

LEE\VAKULYA won the Performing Arts Award for Burnt [the eternal long now], presented at the 2022 Artquake In Autumn festival held at Taipei’s National Theater and Concert Hall in October–November 2022. The three-dancer composition employs repetitive cycles of separation and reunion between individual and collective to address the physical and mental exhaustion affecting many people in contemporary societies. In the words of the jury, “the dance provides an imaginative kinetic space where we may attain the power of emancipation through a subdued inner self.”

For the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s jury, chaired by artist Yuki Pan, included both Taiwanese and international members. The other members of the jury were art historian Tseng Shao-Chien, theater critic Wu Sih-Fong, and art consultant Chow Ling-Chih from Taiwan alongisde performing arts curator Dieter Jaenicke from Germany, Yokohama Museum of Art curator Eriko Kimura from Japan, and Hong Kong Art School director Louis Yu.

More information about the winning works is available online at the Taishin Arts Award homepage.

Copyrighted Image