[PR] 22nd Taishin Arts Award announced

approaching theatre and Gang-a Tsui Theater – Apostating Time. Photo by Lin Yu-Quan


approaching theatre and Gang-a Tsui Theater has won the Annual Grand Prize of the 22nd Taishin Arts Awards, as announced in Taipei on June 1. The theaters will share a prize of NTD 1.5 million for their co-produced work, Apostating Time, which masterfully blends a Nanguan classic and contemporary theater. Additionally, Your Bros. Filmmaking Group won in the Visual Arts category, and Taipei Seagull Theatre in the Performing Arts category, each receiving NTD 1 million.

Established in 2002, the Taishin Arts Award is one of Taiwan’s most prestigious honors in the fields of contemporary art and culture. It recognizes outstanding works of performance, visual, and transdisciplinary art presented in Taiwan during the preceding year.

approaching theatre and Gang-a Tsui Theater earned the top prize for Apostating Time presented at the 2023 Taiwan Traditional Theatre Festival, 2023 NTT Fall for Great Souls. The work re-imagines and re-arranges a classic Nanguan piece through contemporary acoustic design. The storyline is woven with historical and modern narrative threads in a non-linear manner to juxtapose the mirroring life stories of a defected political victim and a loyal official in the Southern Song dynasty, carefully and thoroughly portraying people’s circumstances of survival inflicted by diaspora and dilemmas. According to the jury, the play “delves into the historical predicaments and transforms profound introspection into heartfelt criticism to reflect the fragility and complexity of human nature.” They also prised both theaters for “demonstrates remarkable courage in this collaboration to illuminate the unbearable weight of life with such artistic dialectics, and ultimately reveals more possibilities for contemporary theatre.”


Your Bros. Filmmaking Group – Ký Túc Xá (Dorm). Image courtesy of Your Bros. Filmmaking Group

Taipei Seagull Theatre – Who’s Koxinga?. Photo by LIN Yu-Quan


The Visual Arts Award went to Your Bros. Filmmaking Group for for Ký Túc Xá (Dorm), featured in the 2023 International Techno Art Exhibition “Are You Working Now?” The group, formed by artist So Yo-Hen, architect Tien Zong-Yuan and art historian Liao Hsiu-Hui, created a video insatallation inspired by a live-streamed strike of Vietnamese female migrant workers in Taiwan. They issued an open call to gather Vietnamese migrant workers, agents, dormitory supervisors, and foreign spouses to participate in workshops for co-developing the story plots and designing the characters. The installation in the exhibition uses scenes, props, and video documentation of the workshops to weave and produce complicated narrative threads. The jury prised Your Bros. for their re-enactment as “a vibrant tapestry of interwoven voices,” noting that “the art forms, chosen to resonate with the project’s perspective, illuminate the potential for translation, communication, and negotiation in everyday life.” They allso commented that “Ký Túc Xá (Dorm) brings to light the challenges and opportunities faced by contemporary Taiwanese society.” The installation was also presented in the 8th Yokohama Triennale “Wild Grass: Our Lives.”

Taipei Seagull Theatre won the Visual Arts Award for Who’s Koxinga?, presented at the Taiwan Traditional Theatre Center. The production blends Han Chinese and international histories along with different depictions of Koxinga in folk tales and urban legends. It tells the stories of historical figures whose lives are intertwined with Koxinga while incorporating the personal supernatural experiences of the two actors, KU Yi-Fan and LIU Kuan-Liang, as mediums. In the words of the jury, “The play exhibits an echoic structure, where the beginning resonates with the end, unlocking the full potential of narrative in traditional Taiwanese opera. On the basis of traditional artistic techniques, it ventures into innovative experimentation and historical reflection.”

This year’s jury was led by theatre scholar LIN Ho-Yi, and included art critic CHANG Ching-Wen, film director HUANG Ya-Li, producer SUN Ping. The panel also featured Paris-based artist CHEANG Shu Lea. International jurors included Rhana Devenport ONZM, director of Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide, and Matthias Mohr, artistic direction and executive director of Radialsystem in Berlin.

More information about the winning works is available for viewing on the official website of the 22nd Taishin Arts Award.


The 22nd Taishin Arts Award – A group photo of the laureates of the three Awards. From the left
approaching theatre” and “Gang-a Tsui Theater (YANG Kai-Ting, CHEN Yan-Xi, CHENG Yin-Chen, KOH Choon Eiow), Your Bros. Filmmaking Group (TIEN Zong-Yuan), and Taipei Seagull Theatre (SUNG Hou-Kuan, TSAI Yi-Suan, JIANG Sin-Ru)

Copyrighted Image